Sturgis Motorcycle Rally #6: Wrap up

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 08-09-2014 09:47 PM 1273 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Start of day 7 Part 6 of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally series no next part

If you have been following along with this, you know that I didn’t get rich this past week. Of course going into a show you have delusions of everyone there leaving with one of your products and you go home with part of their money. Reality says that it is never that easy. I achieved covering the first cost level of the show. What it cost for the booth, expenses to put on the show, etc (this is where you include hired help). The second cost level is the cost of replacing the products that you sold and paying yourself for the time at the show. This is the part that most people at craft shows fail at. I probably made enough to replace my product, but I in no way made enough to pay myself to be there. Craft show folks pay $100 to get into a 2 day show. If they make $150 they say they made a $50 profit for the show. They consider this their break even point. Not really. It would cost them most of the $50 to replace the products they sold. Then they probably have 16 hours of their time in the show. Even at $10 please per hour, that’s $160 for your time that you didn’t get. All that just gets you to what I consider the “real” break even point. The 3rd level is what I consider the true profit level. I got nowhere near this.

The reality about my booth this year is, it was an experiment. The things I made going into the rally were more aimed at the show that starts next Friday. The Central States Fair has always been one of my 2 big shows. The other being the Black Hills Stock Show in February. So with that in mind, I really wanted profits, but I needed to learn first hand what works best at the rally so that next year when probably record crowds come for the 75th annual rally. They expect one million people. I gained a lot of knowledge and made many contacts to talk to for next year. So that part was a huge success. Now I have a year to be really ready for next year.

So I will leave you with the last group of pictures

Bagpipe player in the field of honor

And bikes

And always a few other things

And a wedding that I watched

One final view

Thanks for reading, on to the next show.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

23 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

16125 posts in 1154 days

#1 posted 08-09-2014 09:49 PM

Yes, I know a couple pictures are sideways, but I am not editing now.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View grizzman's profile


7298 posts in 2119 days

#2 posted 08-09-2014 09:57 PM

well i hope the next show is as good as you want, and i hope this years knowledge will help you be ready for next year, have you decided for sure if your going to do it, how did your mugs do, and what about the chests you made, can you tell us a bit about that…good luck for the next show

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View whitebeast88's profile


3681 posts in 1006 days

#3 posted 08-09-2014 10:03 PM

thanks for all the great pic’s of this years show.hope your next show goes great and next years sturgis show even better.thanks for sharing.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View JoeinGa's profile


4043 posts in 823 days

#4 posted 08-09-2014 10:11 PM

If I were to only get one question… it would come from all the way back at your first post about this rally.

Did you sell out of the mugs??? :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5409 posts in 2124 days

#5 posted 08-09-2014 10:42 PM

Can’t win all the time…but hopefully the results for the long haul will make it worth while. Great that we don’t have to go work for someone else

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View Roger's profile


16017 posts in 1620 days

#6 posted 08-09-2014 10:51 PM

I know you still had a gr8 time. You’ll be hearing all those fine Harley Davidsons in your head for a few days or so.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View CFrye's profile


4420 posts in 656 days

#7 posted 08-09-2014 11:34 PM

Monte, I think your experiment was successful. Congratulations! I know you will take what you’ve learned and use it to your advantage in the future. I think there’s a whole lotta folks kicking their own behinds for not getting a mug and saying I WILL get one next year! (Or even contacting you and having it shipped)!

-- God bless, Candy

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

16125 posts in 1154 days

#8 posted 08-10-2014 12:03 AM

I did not sell out of mugs. However, they were my main seller and paid for the booth. Of all the trunks I built the Maple I felt was the least attractive. It’s also the only one sold and is being shipped to Washington state. Signs were so-so. The poker table probably would have sold if it had red felt. 2 people said they would have bought it with red felt.

Note, red felt was delivered today. :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DIYaholic's profile


15662 posts in 1491 days

#9 posted 08-10-2014 12:35 AM

First off…. Thanks, for sharing your experience with us!!!

Glad you didn’t really come out behind on this venture. Some things, like knowledge and experience, are far more valuable in the long run. But you knew that already. Here’s to the Central States Fair and the Black Hills Stock Show in February getting you the sales you deserve. That and next year’s 75th Sturgis booth grants you the sales you can retire on. Oh wait, you’ll never retire!!!

Again, thanks for taking us on the (motorcycle) ride with you!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View DocSavage45's profile


5665 posts in 1658 days

#10 posted 08-10-2014 12:48 AM

Great planning. Excellent assessment of costing and earnings. You will only know in time how well you did. Didyou get some alligator meat? I’m looking forward to your “Really Big Show” Thanks for keeping your fans in the loop.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View grizzman's profile


7298 posts in 2119 days

#11 posted 08-10-2014 01:04 AM

thanks monte for telling us the ins and outs of this show, and so many pictures, they were great, i do have to say that i think one of the last bikes you took a picture of was my favorite , sam elliott on the fender, you cant beat that…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2407 posts in 1377 days

#12 posted 08-10-2014 01:08 AM


I hope we all learn from your experience and I know for sure lots of venders would have like to even break even.

Now on the motorcycles

What is up with the Low rider tires. They seem kind of Odd

The CarBike was kind of cool looking

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View eddie's profile


7635 posts in 1430 days

#13 posted 08-10-2014 01:13 AM

Monte you didnt go in the hole and learned a lot for the next go round so alls not lost and had a good time some of it , think the red velt would look good on that awesome poker table,

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View gfadvm's profile


12066 posts in 1506 days

#14 posted 08-10-2014 01:22 AM

Monte, Sorry it wasn’t a more profitable show for you. I wouldn’t work that hard and spend that much time to break even (unless you had a REALLY good time).

I’d probably stay home and work on all the commissions. But that’s me. You are MUCH more adventurous.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View hotncold's profile


645 posts in 360 days

#15 posted 08-10-2014 02:24 AM

Monte, I would have loved to have been there with you! I loved your pics!

-- Dennie - Tennessee - Every Pro was once an Amateur. Every Expert was once a Beginner. So dream Big and start Now!

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