John's Jottings

117. Leaflets Go Again - March 2016

Posted on March 1, 2016 at 4:45 AM

We’d been at the Barton Bridge show. Just before closing time on the Sunday, Fred went over to the table where exhibition leaflets were on display. He collected the ones for our show, and then tidied up those for other events. One of the stewards from the host club told him not to bother.


“What are you going to do with them?” Fred asked.


“Bin them,” the steward replied. “What else?”


“What a waste. Can I take them?”


“Do what you want. They’re no use to us. They’re not for our show. What do you want them for anyway?”


“I’ll keep them safe and put them out at the next show I attend,” Fred explained. “That way, they get a second chance to be picked up.” The steward looked puzzled. He could only see them being used for shopping lists.


Now the Plonkton club had made sure that there were plenty of their leaflets. There were three piles: one printed on pink paper, the others on pastel blue and pale yellow. Fred collected them all together.


“Do they do this so that you can choose whether to attend a pink, a yellow or a blue show?” he enquired with a smile. The steward looked on blankly. He didn’t see any difference between pink and yellow exhibitions. And he definitely didn’t attend blue shows.


“Look at this lot,” Fred said, holding up the stack. “There must be at least a hundred and fifty here. How much has that cost them? If you chuck them out, that’s a complete waste of money and resources.”


It took Fred some time to convince the steward of the possibility that there might any benefit from recycling residual leaflets from show to show. Now Fred had to accept that there was no advantage to that particular club’s show for this year, but it was a benefit to the entire show circuit, as a whole, over the annual cycle. It might help to grow their collective audiences.


Fred pointed out that the Regional Federation had a display-board with transparent pockets in which posters for forthcoming exhibitions were placed. The board was passed on from show to show. Why couldn’t something similar be done for leaflets at the same time? Was it too much trouble? Was a box of leaflets too heavy to move? He thought it was no more so than the display-board.


The show steward offered no answers. He quickly busied himself on other aspects of clearing up at the end of an exhibition.


“Is this passing-on of leaflets something we should take up with the Regional Federation?” our chairman asked. And there was general agreement that it was a matter worth raising at their next meeting.


“Should we take the initiative ourselves and collect residual leaflets at shows Fred doesn’t attend? We could pass them on at club meetings.” We agreed that this was a good idea, but it remains to be seen how thoroughly it is implemented.


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