Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
Observations from my fist show

Roger Smith
>Thanks again to the people on this site that made suggestions to prepare for my first show. It just completed and I would like to share my experiences. I was located at the top end of a “T” aisle intersection with a lady to my fight selling jewelry and hand painted Christmas bulbs. The booth to my left was selling spiral-cut expanding baskets/bowls. There was a pen turner ($10/each) and another turner with segmented bowls ranging from $5 to $25 each.

The show was completely different on Friday and Saturday for me and the booths on either side of me. They made several sells on Friday and I went home after 12 hours without selling the first thing. I realized after a couple of hours I had my booth arrange wrong. I had my display table down one side of my booth and no one was looking at the bowls. My daughter helped me move the display table next to the aisle. People then begin to examine bowls and other objects on the table.

Someone advised me not to doubt my pricing if not sales on the first day and it was hard not to do so. I did not think this was the problem because very few people that stopped and examined anything even looked at the price. However, I did decide to lower the price on my ornaments. No one had sold a single ornament or any kind on Friday.

Saturday was a different day. I made my first sell before the show opened. I ended up selling several ornaments and smaller bowls. I sold all of my potpourri bowls.

The highlight of the show was a young couple that looked at a set of candlestick holders turned from dogwood and padouk. The man pointed them out to this wife and she wanted them as a gift for her mother. He them looked at the price and told her that it was over their budget. I told my wife “They will be back” after they walked away. We could see them at the other wood turner booth. He picked up a bowl and showed his wife. She pointed back to my both. About 45 minutes later I saw them coming towards my both, but they turned and walked away without even looking. A few minutes later they came back by, but still didn’t stop. Halfway down the aisle they stop, she pointed back towards my booth, but they walked away. My wife said they are gone. I told he to watch. They turned around and walk straight towards us and did not look left or right. They purchased the set.

Things I learned.
1. Presentation: It made a big difference when I rearranged the booth.
2. Preparedness: I was not nearly as prepared as I thought. I had problems finding things in the totes under my table. It would be better to have some type of shelf behind me with the other objects in plain view.
3. Observation: I took some checks and never look at them. One of the checks was from New Orleans. I would have taken the check, but I missed an opportunity to minister to one of the families my community that had relocated because of the hurricanes.
4. For this show, I needed some lower price items to sell.
5. Some people will actually come back by after promising to do so.

I apologized for the length this post. Thanks, roger

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