While your responses are trickling in, I’ll do some editorializing about craft shows.
Everyone has a bad show. It happens. I don’t care how awesome your craft is, I don’t care how many BIG SHOWS you’ve done, I don’t care how much financial success you’ve had, sooner or later, you’re going to have a stinker of a show.
It happens, move on. Do not spend the whole day whining and moaning and complaining to everyone in earshot (and beyond) about how horrible of a day this has been. How you could have been anywhere else, or done SO MUCH MORE if you hadn’t spent the day here at this terrible, awful, horrible show.
Don’t blame the promoter, because they’ve got bigger problems than your stinky day. Don’t blame the patrons, because they don’t care. Don’t blame yourself. You win some, you lose some. It happens.
Some people go to Vegas or Atlantic City to gamble. We do shows. It’s the same kind of crap shoot, really. The odds are better doing shows, but not everyone digs getting up at oh dark thirty to lug tubs and totes and tents into position. But at AC or Vegas, you don’t get the warm fuzzies when someone stops in their tracks and says, “Oh. My. Goodness! I have to have that NOW!” and takes away one of your pieces.
Customers can hear you, other vendors can hear you, the promoter can hear you. “So what!” you say. So what? I wouldn’t buy from someone is whining and complaining. So what? I wouldn’t invite you back if I was a promoter and I heard your constant sniping. (You never know, next year’s show could be gangbusters, again the gamble) So what? I wouldn’t want to be set up next to you next time because who wants to be constantly barraged by negativity all day long? “Dude, you’re harshing my show”
If you want to complain, wait until you get home. Tell your dog or cat all about it. Then decide if maybe you’re not cut out for doing shows. (Not everyone is, and that’s cool too)
If you want to complain, do it constructively. Don’t tell a promoter, “your show was awful!” Give a suggestion to make it better. Don’t tell them how to run their show, but maybe you had an experience elsewhere that could benefit the promoter. Never ever complain to a patron. EVER. That’s rude and they don’t really want to hear it. It’s not their fault you’re not selling anything. Your neighbors don’t really care either. Sure, maybe they’re having a bad day too, but does misery really love company?
Meanwhile, put on your happy face, engage the patrons, and at least act like your cash box is overflowing. You never know, that big sale could be walking past your booth right now.
As my old buddy T-Bob says, “Buck up Buttercup”
I’ve gotten some really excellent responses to my (And Madame President’s) email about shows, but I still need more. I won’t quote you, I’ll use your words, but you won’t get credit (unless you want me to quote you and give you credit) so don’t be afraid. I want to hear all about whether or not you like them, hate them, tips to make them easier, booth photos, and anecdotes (oh I love a good story!) Send them to beadwhisperer at gmail dot com.