Marketing and Outreach at the Green Festival Washington DC
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 15:59:03 -0700 (PDT)
Hello all --

Just thought I'd write a few words about Mid Atlantic Cohousing's (MAC) experience at the Green Festival (GF) held here in DC this past weekend.

Like WOW.

This is the third year that MAC has staffed a booth at the GF. The GF has been well attended in the past. This year: hordes of people.

The prior two years we had steady to heavy foot traffic in the booth. This year, the foot traffic was staggering even though the section we were in was off to one side and not on the way to anywhere of any import in the show (except the Beer Garden ... so maybe we were well placed after all!)

Almost all the handouts various communities brought were gone by the end of the Festival. And believe me ... there were a ton of handouts!

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who knew something about cohousing but even more surprised at the people who didn't know anything and wanted to learn! We had two big displays at the front of the booth. One was a map of DE, PA, MD, DC VA & NC with numbered dots showing where member communities are located along w/ a column listing the communities keyed to the numbered dots. A second big display had a written series of characteristics of cohousing. People loved both displays and actually stopped to READ the characteristics.

Chris ScottHanson has frequently spoken about the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) movement as a solid niche for marketing cohousing. The GF obviously overlaps LOHAS. Both these niches are ripe for cohousing.

If you live in the San Francisco area and you are looking for members or have re- sales I urge you to get in touch w/ Raines Cohen -- he's on this list. On his own initiative, he is staffing a booth at the SF Green Festival Nov. 10-12. You might talk to him about sharing the cost of the booth and working with him to promote cohousing. Your new neighbors might be in the crowd. (The SF Festival is much larger than the DC event.) There's also a new GF in Chicago next year April 21-22 (just in time for Earth Day!)

Note to Raines: apologies in advance if I'm screwing something up for you by announcing you are staffing this booth. You can abuse me off line ... please ...

The GF is a rich market to be mined by cohousing as well as a market to which cohousing can contribute.

I urge CohoUS to consider a presence at the various GFs and if possible at the annual LOHAS event.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Principal, The Cohousing Collaborative
Cohousing Consultant
--Takoma Village
--Eastern Village
--Baltimore City
--Concord Village

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