How many people go to this sort of thing? Will it be packed? Is it just booths?
This event is part of the MFCU Annual Membership Meeting. In other words, MFCU supports all things green so what better way to help their members be green than by bringing together the folks who do green best? It is easy to become an MFCU member. To join, you simply have to be a resident of Missoula, Ravalli or Lake County and put $5 on deposit.
In the past, the event attracts probably several hundreds who pass through over four hours and it is primarily booths (tables) where people can display wares or services. It is really very interesting.
Although the Sustainability Fair is run in conjunction with our annual membership meeting, it is open to the general public. We want to reach as many people in our community as possible, and if it helps them to even take a small step toward sustainability, we're happy.
The type of vendors we're looking for are those who have a product or service that the general public would be interested in. Past participants have included Missoula Valley Recycling, PETES, Green Light, FreeCycles, Mountain Water and lots of others, including some non-profits. We usually have about 25 participants, who set up tables/booths to present their business in a trade-show fashion. This year, we're expecting at least 35, as this is the first year we've openly advertised for vendors. We have 200-250 attendees to the event (although with more word out about it, we're expecting it will be in the 300-350 range this year). Attendees this year will receive a reusable shopping bag, a 60-watt equivalent CFLlight bulb, and be eligible for some cash drawings throughout the evening. We have refreshments as well.
This year's event will be at MCT. It's free to the public, but there's a small charge to vendors to participate, since this event costs us quite a bit to host.
Paul, my lovely assistant Julie (who is helping to wrangle vendors for the sustainability fair) and I were just talking yesterday about how we'd like to get more info on local food supplies--specifically meat and dairy--to people at the fair. But local farming being what it is, weren't sure that farmers and growers would be willing/able to swing the $50 entry fee. We'd be happy to have either a combo booth or even distribute some information on local meat, dairy, and poultry suppliers. To be fair, we really can't waive booth fees for anyone but non-profits, but if anyone has flyers or promotional materials for local farmers, we could consider distributing them in the bags we'll be handing out.
I don't mind shelling out a few bucks .... like maybe $20. And I don't mind hanging out all day to bombard passers-by with my obnoxious theories on permaculture, raising chickens, the glorious Sepp Holzer and my wofati designs. But I don't have anything resembling a booth or even a table.
As for farmers and stuff - I just got back to missoula and have not run into a lot of farmers.
Is the extension office gonna be there?
It seems like there was something I saw at the good food store that was a list of local farmers ....
I am planning to apply and have a booth. Would love to have you as part of it. As a side note - I am planning to start a permaculture feature in the magazine - are you interested in contributing? (please?)
edibleMISSOULA, a quarterly publication, endeavors to create and grow community through our connection to local foods.