The first Reptiday event in Chattanooga went well for CHET. We met a lot of new folks and reconnected with old friends, too. I ended up doing 3 of the 5 presentations throughout the day. Greg did a good interview with Channel 12 News which actually got aired(I was in the opening shot with Arawen, our boa).
We connected with several families. One comes to mind in particular. When they first approached us, we overheard her telling him “If you get a snake I’ll buy 6 tarantulas and I WON’T keep them in cages!”. They stopped by and talked with us for a bit, held Arawen and asked some questions. A little later, they came back by to show us they had purchased a normal Ball Python baby. At my next presentation, they were in the audience. During my talk, it came up that there have been 17 deaths by large constrictor in 30+ years compared to multiple deaths by family dog just this year. Even later in the day I encountered them one more time. She had asked him to return to the show and purchase HER first BP!
We had a herpetology major approach us with a few questions. She wants to do her internship with the local zoo and wondered if we could help her. We are hoping she will join us and add her knowledge to ours and expand our ability to educate. We’ve already informed her that we intend to pick her brain over the process of obtaining a propagation permit, since she has hers.
As usual, Greg spent a good portion of the day reaching out to vendors and attendees alike, expanding our network and building or contacts. All in all, we continue to be favorably received and I feel like our influence is growing. We are continuing to increase awareness of the struggles we face as reptile owners.
Unfortunately, for those who were hoping to profit from Reptiday, it wasn’t a good vending day again. While there was a decent crowd, not a lot of purchasing was occurring. While having these events in Tennessee is great, there has been some concern voiced that 2 and 3 visits per town, with the close proximity of Chattanooga, Knoxville and even Nashville, might actually be overloading the ability to sell animals at all of these shows. The fact that the promoters rarely buy radio spots, to let the public know they are coming, does not help the situation. While several of us try and promote what Repticon is doing, we are herpers talking to herpers, not really reaching the non-herp community. I just hope we don’t lose the opportunity that Repticon presents for us.
On a positive note, Felita and I have officially joined the group of Crestie owners! We decided that a reasonably priced Crested Gecko would make an interesting addition to our little zoo! We’ll be working in the next couple days to get Henry’s permanent home set up.
There is a video I made at Reptiday, but Greg and I have to work thru a few technical difficulties before I can share it with you. Until next time, Happy Herping!