His and Hers Show offers best of both worlds

Matt Gardner
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A trade show taking place at the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre this weekend is offering plenty of toys for big girls and boys.

Customers Debi and Bob Pederson examine a selection of stoves with Wood and Energy distributor representative Clint Kaplun (far right) during the His and Hers Show at the P.A. Exhibition Centre. The event brings together vendors for male or female-targeted products and services and lasts through the weekend. Prince Albert Co-op hardware home centre manager Terry Pichette is in the background.

The His and Hers Show 2012 takes products and services that are primarily male or female-oriented and groups them in two separate halls. This year, the “Hers” section is located inside the Exhibition Centre, while the “His” section is across the street in the Prince Albert Armoury.

“The event is one of the largest trade shows of its kind,” show organizer Peggy Schlichemeyer said. “It’s the only one of its kind in Canada. Saskatoon has two different shows: One that’s His, one that’s Hers. We have it all together … We wanted to be unique and to promote stuff that was very specifically for him or for her, instead of being too general.”

Vendors in each building offered a wide array of products targeted at male or female consumers. The Hers section contained booths for Tupperware, landscaping, high-speed internet and products for beauty, hygiene and weight loss.

In the His section, customers could peruse cars, trailers, stoves, hot tubs, sports memorabilia and equipment for fishing, hunting and golf. There was also a recruiting booth for the Canadian Forces.

Such a division raises the question of whether the show might reinforce gender stereotypes, but Schlichemeyer said each section was more varied than one might assume.

“As much as we want to get away from it, we’re never going to get away from the stereotyping,” she said. “We do have some booths over on the men’s side that you wouldn’t think might be on the men’s side,” such as jewelry that may be worn by men or women.

The event is one of the largest trade shows of its kind. It’s the only one of its kind in Canada. Peggy Schlichemeyer

Throughout the weekend, product demonstrations and shows take place on a stage inside the Exhibition Centre. One of the more prominent is a two-hour fashion show, starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, in which members of the Norsask Roller Derby team will model dresses from bridal salon Treasures in White.

Each person who buys a ticket to the His and Hers Show can enter a draw for door prizes. Friday’s big prize was a snowblower, Saturday’s is a 50-inch 3D television and Sunday’s will be a trip for two to Las Vegas.

According to one vendor, attendance was relatively low on Friday evening.

“I’m hoping tomorrow it’s going to pick up a bit,” Prince Albert Co-op hardware and home centre manager Terry Pichette said. “But I mean, it’s good. It’s got a good mix throughout.  I like it that nothing doubled up, that’s for sure.”

2012 marks the second year that event organizer Rawlco Radio has combined its male- and female-oriented trade shows into one. Schlichemeyer said the resulting show was a lot of work but well-worth the effort.

“It’s a good event,” she said. “People should come and see it … It’s lots to see, lots to do.”

His and Hers 2012 runs throughout the weekend and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3 at the door.

Organizations: Exhibition Centre, Tupperware, Canadian Forces Prince Albert Co-op

Geographic location: Canada, Saskatoon, Las Vegas

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