A variety of reasons made it into a success. First of all the beautiful location, but most of all the diversity in style, design and the diverse use of materials for the dolls (textiles, ceramics, self-drying clay, polymer clay and porcelain). During this exhibition, a number of members gave demonstrations of how their dolls were made, sharing techniques, tips and tricks with the visitors. Visitors enjoyed themselves for hours. This successful day was the start to make it an annual event.
In 2009 was the concept of the DABIDA day expanded. A competition was launched for the first time and the annual Doll Award was introduced. An Award that should inspire by inviting every dollmaker to make a doll based on a theme. The top 3 nominees were invited to attend the DABIDA day with his or her entry. There, the number 1 winner was announced. Unfortunately, Hannie Sarris passed away shortly after the 4th DABIDA day, in May 2010. As a tribute to her, the Annual Doll Award was named after Hannie. Since this time, the Doll Award is called the Hannie Sarris Award or HSA. In this way we hope that her craftsmanship, her passion and commitment to doll art will continue to inspire.
In 2009 there was also the introduction of “the guest of honor”. Well-known established doll artists were invited to participate in the DABIDA day with their beautiful creations as guest of honor. They tell about their work and/or gave a demonstration about their creations. These past years we have welcomed several famous artists from abroad like: Brian and Wendy Froud, Popovy sisters, Virgini Ropars, Tatjana Raum, Renate Jansen, Sabine Vogel, Patrizia Cozzo, Elisa Fenoglio and Claudia Raddi. There were also several Dutch guest artists such as; Eric van Straaten, Yuliana Kamerbeek, Marijke Eeken and An Brzoskowski.