No prizes for guessing who went along to the massively hyped Cake and Bake Show in Earls Court over the weekend. But what a mixed bag. The fact that the event was held at Earl’s Court, which I will happily nominate as easily the worse venue in South East England, should have alerted me as to what was in store – or rather wasn’t.
Day one, by 12 noon, some of the vendors were running out of goods to sell, a mere 2 hours after the doors opened. To make matters worse and the Earls Court vendors had run out of food well before lunch time, leaving many visitors angry, frustrated and hungry. Ironic as this was a food show!
If you are a cupcake decorating enthusiast, then you would have been in your element. There were a huge variety of cup cake cases, decorating tools, all kinds of food dyes, brushes, even a few (highly priced) cup cake decorating cutters to satisfy the Rembrandts of the cake decorating world. However, if you are more keen on making the cupcakes themselves or lean towards bread and bread making, the variety sadly was simply not there.
The organizers missed a trick, a massive one. Yes cupcakes are a big deal, and so are cake pops, but their popularity has reached it’s peak. There were several calling out for more information regarding other forms of baking, but with the show dominated my cupcake decorators, they left disappointed.
The huge crowds no doubt made the accountants happy, but it didn’t make for an enjoyable experience for ticket holders. In a small enclosed area, with loads of hungry, tired and irritable people, tempers soon flare. Reports of people waiting in line for over an hour for refreshments, only to reach the end and be told there was nothing left, were not uncommon.
Freebies were few and far between, but what was a huge shocker was the A3 sized programme (yes a ridiculously huge and highly impracticable), which cost a princely sum of £3, with little content. But that wasn’t the worse. There was a goodie bag to go with said programme, only many people were not informed about it! Wait it gets worse! Those few who were informed – it was pot luck what you got in your goodie bag. Some went away laden with all manner of cake decorating goodies, while some were lucky if they got 1 small bottle of vanilla flavouring. Yet everyone who purchased the programme all paid the same £3.
Who said “FRAUD”?
Day 2 was slightly better, but only because there were slightly fewer people. I managed to see a few demos, and attended a couple of interesting talks, but the shine had been taken from the event by the bad organisation and the foray over the programme/goodie debacle.
A cake and bake show which didn’t have any much cake or bakeware for sale, and few good quality cupcakes to eat. A show which labelled a table of wedding cakes as a ‘showroom’, and where people paid and extra £8 for extra classes, that anyone could attend for free.
In all, nice try, but must do better.
Rating 1.5 out of 5 (and that’s only because I’m feeling generous).
- The Cake and Bake Show 2012 (calmyourbeans.wordpress.com)