Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Last Washington Show Is Done!

In my last post I promised to let y'all know how things ended up in Coupeville. The short answer: don't rock the boat.

The organizers tried really hard to find a better spot in the show, but weren't able. I ended up right where I was assigned with only one hour to set up instead of the two or three that I need. My sales were pretty dismal, just like I knew they would be. Aaaand, I ended up looking like a pain in the butt. Nothing is ever good enough. "He'd complain if he was hung with a new rope." I might like to be actually in this show in the future, but it seems unlikely that they'd have me after the amount of work I caused them in looking for another spot. I've never asked for anything like this in the past and I'll probably never do it again. Live and learn, right?

Here's the weather that morning. Perfect for selling cloaks!

And here's what the traffic looked like, shot from in front of my booth. Notice how the far side of the intersection is crowded? This is what it was like for much of the time. After not seeing a single person for 15 minutes or so I would feel like the show was ending early and look to see that nope! The rest of the show was still going strong.

And many of the people who came down our row turned around before they got to my booth. They'd stop two booths down and crane their necks to see what was in the last booth, then head back toward the action. I know this because I had plenty of time to stand back and watch. You know, the time that should have been taken up with helping customers...

I am very good at estimating complex things like this. (Remember that part of my time as a software developer was spent creating systems to predict and manage special effects studio pipeline traffic.) I think that, at best, 20-25% of the visitors to this show stepped in front of my booth. Thankfully, this is a commission show. They get paid depending on how much I earn. When I make little money I pay them little money.

If I had it to do again, I would not have asked for reassignment after they told me how well they treat returning vendors. I would have accepted that this weekend would be written off and that I could petition for a better space in the future. It's frustrating, but I really am in this for the long haul.


Pickyknitter said...

This might make you feel better: Once I had a soap show where we were already in a poor location away from the other craft vendors. However, the proverbial straw was the Christians in the next booth who would literally come up to our customers, put their hands on their shoulders and lead them out of our booth to theirs next door. It was so bad that customers started turning away at the end of the road because they didn't want to be accosted. How I didn't stab anyone with my knitting needles is a mystery for the ages.

Blossom Merz said...

Eek! I'm not sure what I'd do in a situation like that. Maybe ask the organizers to watch their behavior and kick them out? Thankfully, the one time I had a neighbor who offended customers with her religious assertions, they left her booth and came over to mine.