I've been busy these past few days soliciting seed packs and door prize donations for the upcoming Seed Exchange we are hosting at the U.S. National Arboretum (http://www.usna.usda.gov/Information/index.html) on January 28. This task is a bit awkward for me as it is outside my comfort zone or past experiences. We are giving sponsors some great publicity (listings in the Washington Gardener magazine, web site, and at the event), but it is hard to know what is appropriate to ask for without overstepping.
Still I must be doing something right. So far we have gotten a generous seed pack donation from D. Landreth Seed Company (www.landrethseeds.com) and pledges for items from W. Atlee Burpee (www.burpee.com), Thompson & Morgan Seedsmen (www.thompson-morgan.com), and Gardener's Supply Company (www.gardeners.com).
BTW, if you'd like to donate seed packs or door prize items for the event, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm trying to get all donors in by December 10 so I can give them publicity in our Jan/Feb issue of the magazine.
By my calculations, with an entry fee of just $15 our seed exchange attendees will walk away with goods worth far more than that fee -- aside from that they are getting educated by the great speakers we have lined up and of course the seed trading amongst themselves.
Now I'm starting to worry about the limit of 125 attendees in the USNA main auditorium. That puts a constraint on the size of the event -- which is good and bad. Manageable for us at our first venture, but if we want to grow it in future years we may need to look at hosting it at other area locations.