What a journey of four weeks from early Nov to first weekend of Dec. My bride and I had just left one of my retailers without a check. Sad Day. Now we had to determine what is the best way to sell the serving/cutting boards and bookmarks. Sondra, my bride, on the travel home was searching on the phone for shows in December. There were two the first weekend of December. One in Wooster, about 5 years continuity; one in Akron, 35 years of continuity with over 100+ vendors, two booths remaining. Major difference in entry fees, but we felt the Akron show would have greater attendance. This is a Juried show, so we had to be “approved” for entry. Pictures were sent that night; within minutes, a phone call from the selection team approved our entry. Either they liked what was shown or they wanted to fill the booth. No matter, we were IN. Four weeks to get ready. This was a lot of work that required both of us to conduct. Research and order affordable business cards, order clear affordable bags, make bookmark cards, find display props: wine glass with fake wine, apple, cheese, etc; set up credit card transactions on iPhone. (This was a frustrating matter! I set up PayPal to accept credit cards, practiced all week before the show with no glitch. The first sale at the show, customer offered credit card. I was ready. Let’s do it. Well, the reader/app would not work in the building. I tried all weekend to get this to work, but to no avail. Even had PayPal on the phone trying to determine the problem. Other vendors in the show were using Square and GoPayment with no problems. GoPayment actually determines the sales tax rate by GPS. I will be switching. Oh, what is interesting, I lost no sales because of the glitch. The customer always found a way to pay by check or cash.) Yes, I had to make a lot of boards during the four week interval! Our booth assignment was next to steps. The lower booth could use the steps for display. That was us. The pictures will indicate how we displayed the product. Everyone going up the steps got a full view of the boards. There were also two tables to arrange for the best display. The table covers were borrowed from the promoter. Something we will have to purchase in the future.
Setup time was Friday morn, opening was Noon. Our display was easy to set up compared to other vendors. We came prepared. Extension cords, receipt book, chargers for the phones, props, wrap paper, bags, display tree for bookmarks, board stands, business cards, and change, you know money. We decided to round the price to the nearest quarter, that way we only needed quarters and bills for change. This was a lot of work and FUN. We made many new vendor friends, received lots of advice, some good, some not so good. The booth across the aisle sold chocolate and Carmel corn, they were our best friends.
Results: Very happy, will do more shows in 2014. We took 55 boards to the show and brought home 18. We sold zero bookmarks from the display tree on Friday, moved the bookmarks to the bookmark display, and sold over 100 on Sat and Sun! (Lesson learned: you do not have to use seasonal displays to sell. If what you currently use works, use it!) https://s3.amazonaws.com/vs-lumberjocks.com/myze8yr.jpg!