Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday Was Dress Rehearsal

What a strange day yesterday was. We got up, checked in and double checked with the show organizer. Yes, the booth should face toward the building. That's where people would be entering our part of the show.

Well, people are funny. The show layout changed and people now prefer to walk a different route. Vendors with popups (everyone but me) can just open the other side. And so they did. Within a couple of hours I was the only one with a booth facing backwards.

I hung garments on the back of the booth and did a "little dance" to get customers trying on garments and coming into the booth. There weren't many customers anyhow, and all the vendors I talked to agreed: nobody was buying on Friday.

In the middle of the afternoon we were able to rotate the booth 90 degrees and make the "front" more visible, but the last 90 degrees would have to wait until the end of the day since it would require removing all of the booth hardware, grids and such.

It was just as well that there were no customers. In the middle of the afternoon my portable broadband internet died. It turns out to have been a service outage, and took until 9:30PM before it was restored. That would have meant no credit card processing for five hours of show. Not good. I think I need to bite the bullet and buy a real card swiper. Grrrr. More startup cost.

The good news on that front is that I do pay for credit card service already so that won't be a new expense.

Other good news is that I had time to go make friends with other vendors and get some tips on other shows to do. Many of these people have been around the block and have narrowed in on the consistently profitable shows. And since I'm not competition to them, they're happy to help me figure out what shows to do next year. As one of them told me yesterday, "there's a lot to learn."

I'm really glad that we got to learn so much yesterday and not worry about missing sales.

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