Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My First Show! Part II-- How it turned out!

Okay! I know some of you felt I was leaving you hanging with my blog post last week about my first vendor show. Well, here's the rest of the story!

All in all, it went well! I made my table fee back and I was able to make a little over what I would make in a day of being a substitute teaching (which I sometimes do). And as a bonus, I didn't have to discipline anyone's child! But, it was slowwwwww!

The set up went fine. It did take me from 8-9am to set up my booth. That was not including the time from 7:30-8am to unload and bring my things into the gym. Although we had been sent a floor plan, it was not easily understood and no one knew where to set up. I was given a place at the end of a row, by the door and felt this was a good spot. I was please with my display. The pampered chef vendor was behind me with cash and carry items and a home interiors type vendor was next to me. Across the aisle was a lady who taught sewing lessons. There were other jewelry vendors (4-5) spaced around the room.

I had sent personal invitations to this event. I knew some people had other obligations and some came and visited me and bought my jewelry! A special thank-you to those people. I enjoyed meeting people and talking to other vendors. I passed out business cards to many people, even though they were just "window" shopping. I reminded them that I was "local"!

I went into this experience knowing and actually, hoping, it would not be crazy busy. I went into this hoping to get some exposure and network. I got both my wishes! I made some contacts and got my name out there in the community. I have noticed an increase visitation to my website per my google analytics report. So, from that perspective; it was successful.

More importantly, I was able to personally observe what people were interested in and commenting on. This was very valuable information. I was able to talk to a vendor who makes jewelry her full time career. Her pieces are beautiful and well made but very different from mine! She, in turn, visited my table and commented on some of my pieces. One piece, in particular, is the focus of a new line of jewelry for me. I was thrilled that she called it "gorgeous".....it happened to be the piece I was wearing!
I found all of the vendors very nice and helpful. It was a good day for more than monetary reasons. I learned from it! I could do a show! I could compete for sales! I could do it!

I also know that I don't want to do a show all the time! Whew......it is a lot of work. You see, I am very organized and being that organized takes a lot of work! I also know since I just did my books for the last year that by far the most successful venture for me this past year was to do a house party! I would like to do two this year. One summer and one at the holidays.

I now have a plan, don't wonder about what I am missing (at shows) , have a couple of new design lines to work to on, and will looking forward to doing more home shows. I have been gathering post-show info from people I know that attended the show and those that did not. Come to find out, it was not advertised well. Our middle school families were sent e-mails and it was advertised in the school newsletter. Many did not realize it was going on. The signage at the event was lacking. Have you ever been to a show and wondered where to go? Many people entered the wrong door of the building and were unable to get back to the gym. I think this probably made people (especially mom's with strollers) angry! I know I wouldn't have been pleased. Sometime this week, I'll pass this information on to the organizers of the show.

I was asked at the end of the day if I would do the show next year (they are trying to make it into a yearly event). I said I would and I meant it, but maybe I'll help with the advertising!

Just a reminder that the lovely green handtwisted Sterling silver Disc Bead Earrings at the right will be given to my 50th blog follower! Come on and follow me! Also, in my shop, right now at;
http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com
I'm having a giveaway for my 50th sale (next one---I'm at 49). Winner will receive a pair of all sterling earrings that are either sailboats or cutout hearts (winners choice). Stop on by and shop! You could be a winner! Thanks. Have a great week!

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