Over the last 7 years since my Mum was first diagnosed a coeliac, her (with or without someone else) has attended 6 Gluten Free Expos. 7 years ago they were set up and ran by Sue Shepherd at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre at South Warf. After about 5 years of running them (in early 2009), she sold off the rights and running of them to an outside company, but still did guest speaking roles at them.
Then in early 2012, that company decided to combine the Expo with the ever popular "Good Food and Wine Show". Whilst they obviously thought it would be a good idea, the exhibitors didn't agree due to the high prices and most of the people not going for the Gluten Free side of things, so they had trouble finding exhibitors to go.
So the Coeliac Society of Victoria and Tasmania decided to run their own. They held a one day Expo at Caulfield Racecourse in September 2012. Due to it being run by CSVT and being an unknown of how popular it would be, the exhibitors were slightly scant with how much products they took.
Then this year, due to the success of last year, the CSofVT decided to host it over 2 days in September at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre again.
I went in 2009 and flew in Friday morning, spent Friday in Melbourne shopping, Saturday at the Expo and flew back out on Saturday night.
I then went with Mum last year. We decided that so we could buy up big, we would drive over from Adelaide. So we left on Thursday afternoon, stopped in Horsham over night and arrived in Melbourne on Friday afternoon, after stopping in Bendigo in the morning. Went to the taping of the 7pm Project (Channel 10) in the evening on Friday, Expo on Saturday, then spent all day Sunday driving home.
I have so many wonderful memories from expos of the past and cannot wait to go this year and see all of the friends I've made and meet new ones!