Monday, September 21, 2009

Taking time to do the shows

I wanted to post something about working a craft show or a booth. This past weekend I went to one of the largest outdoor craftshows in southern Colorado. The setting was absolutely gorgeous... in a historic landmark park, near Pikes Peak in the background, beautiful grounds. I have gone for many many years to this event and look forward to it every year. There are thousands of people who come to it.
I noticed a few less booths/tents this year and that is probably attributed to the economy. At first glance you see several EZ-ups in various stages of set up. This show opened on a Friday late afternoon and I was there first thing at opening on Saturday morning. That was a surprise that so many people had not taken the time to be finished setting up with hundreds of people already getting into line. I know that between getting the last of your items made, tagged and packed that you can be so exhausted during set up. The problem is... I don't want to stand there and wait for the set up while I have already stood in line for 30-45 minutes already to pay to get in. The vendors were still trying to assemble displays and then frantically hanging their items from the poles and the upper tent structure inside. That doesn't make it look appealing at all. Those are potentially lost sales because of a lack of preparation.
I also noticed very few attempts at a welcoming entrance to the space. Something autumn... cornstalks, scarecrow. mums... anything like you would use to draw someones attention and make it welcoming. The entrances into the booths were generally tight and not easy to manuever around in just by yourself. When you put decorative elements (or for sale decorative elements) at your entrance... attach it to the posts to keep it out of the way. Keeps the tripping and manuevering to a minimum.
I was surprised at how vendors didn't take advantage of using varying heights to display their items. Nothing up near the eye level mostly flat on a table or leaning on the front of the tables. It won't make your eye travel to see all of what is available in that booth.
Lastly... and most surprisingly I was so disappointed at the lackluster greetings if any I received when coming up on a booth/tent. I tried to engage the vendors, admiring their wares and they seemed very disinterested and sat solemnly in a chair behind some items. Very few smiles, hellos and just a general who cares attitude. In this economy every sale is important. Take the time to say hello, make small talk and make people feel welcome in your space!! If you don't... it is easy to just shrug shoulders and move on to the next one... which is what I did. It doesn't cost a single penny to wish someone a good day, smile, and be genuinely pleased that someone took the time to pause and look over the things you took such time to work on. People will remember that and perhaps the next year or the next show when they see you again they will be eager to say hello and come in again. Kindness matters !!! I hope everyone has a lot of success with any shows they are working on and enjoys the upcoming season when they can visit the latest booths of wonderful creations!! Wishing you many blessings and a delightful autumn season, Dawn !!

Harvest Your Blessings