Friday, August 10, 2012

Rocking The Boat

Well, not really, but sort of...

I've remarked on this before, but it's gotten more apparent than ever at this show. First year vendors get the worst placement. This was substantiated by the woman who wrote down my request. I quote directly, "We bend over backwards to get returning vendors the exact space they want." I think this was meant to cheer me up in a "your reward lies in heaven" sort of way.

Here's an overall map of the show with my highlighting to show where people are actually going to walk with my booth spot in blue.

How do I know this? Well, I've been placed at enough dead-end spots this year to have learned. People want to maximize their fun so they head for where the action is. If a row is short and goes nowhere, they'll look down it and then turn toward where there are more booths.

And I'm not the only one who thinks so. The maker of this map has graciously indicated the traffic flow, including a big, prominent arrow that shows people turning toward the show instead of visiting the booths in my row.

And then there's wind. My sales depend on cool weather, and it's helped by a breeze in the booth. In Coupeville, the wind blows in from the water.

"A-ha!", I thought, "Here's a hindrance I can overcome. I'll design a new booth layout that lets the wind flow through from the back." Well, that's OK except that behind me there will be two functioning forges. Opening to the breeze will mean letting their smoke and heat flow through my space. Oh, yeah, and all that banging. Don't they pound on metal all day in a foundry? Oh, this is really not looking good.

The final factor, and one that I wouldn't even consider except in combination with the others, is the angle of the sun.

As you can see, by facing my booth to the south, I'll have sun in my front door all day. Yes, I have awnings. Yes, they will help, but it's still not going to be an enticing place to try on cloaks.

All of these factors put together have caused me to "rock the boat". I've asked to set up late in the hope that another vendor cancels from anywhere else in the show and I can have their space. I have asked as nicely as I can, but I had to ask. There are just too many sale-killing factors to ignore.

There is not another space in this show that I wouldn't rather have. I'll let y'all know how it works!


Laura Fry said...

Part of the steep learning curve is finding out which shows are actually worth doing and which aren't. Hope you get a different booth placement.

Teresa Ruch said...

It might be worth the extra expense of a corner booth to get a better position. Though that is not always a cure for the placement problem.

Teresa Ruch

Blossom Merz said...

Laura, you're totally right. I knew this show was iffy, but it could have been worth doing since I was already up here for Bellevue and Anacortes. A decent location would make all the difference.

Teresa, I ended up with a corner spot anyhow because the last person on my row didn't show. I don't think it would have mattered if I paid for a corner. This is a show where you have to pay your dues by dealing with less than optimal placement your first year. Apparently, most of the shows I've done have this silent policy. It just gets tiresome.