WOFEX 2007: Disappointed with Day 4

My apologies for the sporadic posting last week. Been swamped the past few days, and while I could’ve written something over the weekend, truth is I wanted to take a break from writing. Hope you folks forgive me, promise to be more diligent with the posts.

To put things in perspective, I have to say that I only went to the World Food Expo 2007 on August 4, a Saturday. I acknowledge that my experience can be chalked up to an unfortunate set of circumstances and is probably quite different from the first few days. Still, I also believe that proper planning and foresight could’ve avoided the disaster that was Day 4, so I’ll nevertheless write about it.

World Food Expo 2007

Because we both have work, my mother and I decided to go to the WOFEX on the last day. We were originally planning to be there by 10am but due to some delays (mostly my fault) we ended up getting there a little before lunch time. As we were crossing the street, I started to wonder why there was a thick crowd outside the World Trade Center. I was also surprised to see large buses dropping off large crowds. I thought there was another event at one of the other halls. Until we got closer and realized that they weren’t letting ANYONE in, and that the crowds outside are actually WOFEX visitors who weren’t being let inside!

World Food Expo 2007

No one was telling us anything outside. We managed to corner an exhibitor who stepped out and he said the only way to get in was to get a postcard from exhibitors, who are, ironically, inside. Tough, the way the cookie crumbles, huh? Still, my mom was dauntless. We drove all the way there, we had to get in. As we were squirming through the crowd, I saw a handwritten sign that confirmed what the man said—only those with stickers and invites (the said postcards) could get in. That definitely earned a big WTF from me, coupled with muffled yet crisp swearing. What earned the ire of other people who were also there was the fact that this “invite only” thing was NEVER mentioned in any of their posters and print ads.

World Food Expo 2007

Still, we were able to wiggle our way in, along with other people who insistently pushed until they got in. Icky thing, really, much like squeezing into an already full MRT during rush hour.

World Food Expo 2007

More mayhem ensued, as it was very confusing inside. When we finally found the registration line, it was so long, despite there being four lines. Thirty minutes after we got in the building, we finally managed to finish registration. The crowds outside? Still depressingly thick. When we got inside, we saw a big streamer with the scheds. It appears that they only allowed schools to visit on the last day. Sure, it was a good idea to keep the first few days exclusive for tradespeople since that’s the expo’s real target, but limiting schools to the last day brought about an extraordinary amount of people visiting! What about people like us who go there just because of a genuine interest in food? What, we’re not allowed in just because we couldn’t afford to skip work and go on an earlier, less congested date when they don’t limit it to invites?

World Food Expo 2007

And schools! I don’t get why the schools would insist on doing field trips / requiring their students to go! I mean, I understand schools with Hotel & Restaurant Management courses. It’s their thing. The MAFBEX was even co-sponsored by DLSU-CSB, a school. But schools whose courses have no relevance at all? I mean, we were in line and college students were more interested in that evening’s gimmick, rather than what was in store for them. Schools! Don’t force your students to go if they’re not genuinely interested! They only crowd out people who really want to be there.

It just left a bad taste in my mouth which totally tainted my WOFEX day. And to think I was looking forward to it months ago. I do hope that they learn from this year’s logistic nightmare and do better next year.

NEXT POST: So, was all that pushing and shoving worth it?

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9 Responses to WOFEX 2007: Disappointed with Day 4

  1. JB says:

    Ack! And I was feeling bad about having missed this year’s WOFEX. Now I’m sorta glad I did hehehe. I’m sorry you had to go through all that, kaoko. It’s strange, actually, the WOFEX has been getting progressively disappointing over the past few years. Bad planning? Pulitika sa organizers? Who knows? Basta the past few times I’ve gone I hardly did more than a desultory scan of the exhibits, not really finding anything exciting, and afterwards felt that I came away with not much at all in the way of either experience, knowledge gained or loot bought. And now I’m actually glad I missed it 😛

  2. khursten says:

    God Kao, that was too much! ;A;

    And here I was almost regretting not being able to go. I think they thought too much of themselves this year. ;_; Saaaad.

    Looking forward to the next post!

  3. nina says:

    You know, I was supposed to go there on Saturday as well. I decided to go to Glorietta instead. Man, reading your account now makes me glad I didn’t go.

  4. gita says:

    your patience and perseverance is unbelievable!

  5. kaoko says:

    It was a disappointing experience surely, but I have to admit, an email I received yesterday made me feel slightly better about it. Much as I’d love to share it, they asked me to keep the email private. Still, in the interest of fairness, I’d like to share a bit. The organizers aren’t brushing it off and are chalking it up as a learning experience. The large volume of people was unexpected and caught them off-guard. I mean, people were coming by the busload! Still, as mentioned, it would’ve been nice if people outside were better informed–but I guess it slipped their minds as they tried to deal with the bigger issues. Personally, I find it forgivable. And at least I was able to bring loot home so I was still happy, to a certain extent.

    It’s reassuring to know that they aren’t being arrogant about this and are looking to make next year’s event better. So let’s all just wait for 2008, shall we? I know I am.

    For food! Fight fight! 😛

  6. Jel Chu says:

    Is the WOFEX already over? Sayang naman. I wanna go there pa naman ^_^

    • kaoko says:

      Yeah, it took place last August 1-4. There’s always a next year naman 😀 And I bet a couple of other food fairs–I recall going to an Asian Food Expo last year. 😀

  7. Pingback: WOFEX 2007: Stepping Inside the Food Fair | bento, restos & recipes at http://www.kitchencow.com

  8. Maya Brooks says:

    i love to eat asian foods because they are tasty and spicy.`-*

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