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Brandee Ross

How do you handle a show disaster...

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So you're at a show having a great time when the wind picks up for the millionth time of the afternoon, blowing your neighbor's wooden shelving display onto your table of pottery and ruining hundreds of dollars of work. What do you do?

 

She said she was sorry, but I feel as though she should have offered compensation. My husband thinks I should have MADE her pay for the damage. She basically said she was sorry and packed up and left in about 15 minutes flat. How do you handle this kind of situation?

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Obviously neither of you had any insurance.

 

Use this as a learning experience. I say restore what you can, give them a prominent display area in your home especially that ‘blue plate’ make it look a little older and Voila! Instant antique!

 

Break up what you can’t salvage and make mosaic tiles. You can always donate them to a school.

 

If you are going to be doing more shows like this, now is the time to research event insurance, and figure out ways to make your display safer from ‘wind’ damages. Keep a record of the loss for your taxes, keep the photo, and make a list of the items lost with the prices and also date and place of occurrence.

 

And lastly, forgive the artist breaking your ware it was not done intentionally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I just looked at several event insurance companies online, and I see a lot of things like "Please note this policy designed to cover only your General Liability while at the show, Product and Completed Operations are specifically excluded." Does that mean a home business policy would be more suitable for covering damages?

 

My display is wind-proof, but not giant-wooden-panels-crashing-into-me-from-my-neighbor-proof. rolleyes.gif Any advice on how to prevent other people's displaying from ruining your day?

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Yes, you should look into a business insurance policy, not one of those online event insurance policies. I once asked my homeowner's insurance company (State Farm) to give me a quote for this. They quoted me for a policy that would cover all of my studio equipment and all of my inventory, even for damage that occurs at art festivals. It was only about $200/year. I haven't bought the policy yet, but after hearing your story, I'll think about it again.

 

I would not be so forgiving of your neighbor. Even though it was not intentional, it was her responsibility to provide a safe display. I don't think you could have forced her to pay you, but I would have said "I'd like you to pay for the damages." At least make her say "no" and don't let her avoid the idea that she should pay you. And if she refused, you can rest assured that she'll have to coexist with her questionable morals and bad karma.

 

Mea

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Have you notified the 'Runners' of the show about the incident? You can say that the displays were not properly checked for construction and stability. You can show the pictures and request reimbursement of your participation fees. Ask the runners if they have insurance for the show that covers the participants. And try to get compensation from the artist by taking her to small claims court. In all of this, Goodluck!

If all of this fails I suggest you let it go, you are in for a fight for something that was 'an act of God' in insurance talk. Check with an insurance agent.

Also the next time you do a show you can request to see the planning of the spaces; so that you can determine the best and safest location for your display. And about Karma, it is a strange thing.

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She said she was sorry, but I feel as though she should have offered compensation. My husband thinks I should have MADE her pay for the damage. She basically said she was sorry and packed up and left in about 15 minutes flat. How do you handle this kind of situation?

 

At the next show, take more pottery than you think you will sell.

 

I would not attempt to make the other artist pay for the broken pottery. Since she didn't offer to pay, she probably can't afford to.

 

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

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When you applied for the show, you probably signed away your rights to hold the show liable for anything. And it wasn't the show's fault anyways, so you should not ask the show to repay your losses. But you can still engage the show about this ... write an email to the person in charge (calm and professional), explain what happened and request that the neighbor artist be excluded from future events. Even if she hadn't damaged your work, the fact that she left early is grounds to exclude her. It's possible that the show doesn't know what happened, and they would really appreciate the report. It's also possible that they won't care, or they won't remember when they are jurying their future shows, but that's out of your control. (I can think of some show people who wouldn't care or know how to handle it, and I can think of others who would move earth to help you.) Just know that you did the right thing, and handled yourself respectfully, then go back to worrying about things you can control.

 

Mea

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So you're at a show having a great time when the wind picks up for the millionth time of the afternoon, blowing your neighbor's wooden shelving display onto your table of pottery and ruining hundreds of dollars of work. What do you do?

 

She said she was sorry, but I feel as though she should have offered compensation. My husband thinks I should have MADE her pay for the damage. She basically said she was sorry and packed up and left in about 15 minutes flat. How do you handle this kind of situation?

 

 

First of all, I'm very sorry that happened to you. I think you should have asked the woman to pay something (maybe half the listed price) for the damage. But, we all think of things we wish we had done at the moment and didn't. What you can still do is make a very strong complaint to the organizers of the show and ask them to make a claim with their insurance so they can compensate you or help you collect something from the woman with the defective display. It may get you nowhere but at least you know you tried and it may cause the organizers to inspect displays in future shows.

 

Jim

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I would contact the organizers of the show, explain what happened and ask for some contact information for your neighbor. I would then write her, remind her of the damage she caused and ask her what action she plans on taking. Tell her exactly how much the broken wares were worth.

She will very likely do nothing, but you should let her know that just because you pack up and run does not mean you are not accountable. At the very least it might inspire her to stay out of shows until she gets better shelving. Worst case is she is currently packing up for this weekend's show where she will set up beside someone else!

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Wonderful, thoughtful responses as usual! There is a ton of great advice in this thread that I hope will help other people like me who are relatively new to the show circuit. I had not considered contacting the show organizers; thank you for helpful input on how to do that without sounding like a tattle-tale. I'm sure I won't be compensated, but it will be empowering to know I tried and hopefully prevented other art from being ruined. I am extremely non-confrontational so it's hard going outside of that comfort zone.

 

I work up today considering my good fortune: the breakage could have been much worse considering how many pieces I was displaying in that area, and [until yesterday] I've never had a single piece break at or on its way to a show. I think it's time to look into business insurance, regardless of whether or not this type of damage is covered... just seems like a logical step.

 

Thank you again!

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Definitely get some business insurance. I have--addendum to my household insurance--separate coverage for my studio, all equipment, supplies, and liability coverage for students and/or visitors to my studio. I don't do shows anymore, but I'd like to imagine that coverage would extend to any work while on the road or at a show.

 

I used to organize outdoor art shows for local art guilds, and there was one person designated to check that display booths were properly tied-down and the tie-down stakes were not placed in a foot-traffic lane. Show insurance purchased by the guild was only for liability.

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The truth about shows is... that most contracts clearly state that you should have

insurance for this type of disaster. We had a new glass artist who had sold 60k

in work (still on display) walk away from his booth during move-out... a pole fell

and he lost nearly everything he had sold (but hadn't shipped). It was horrible.

We did what we could, passed the hat, offered him space for the following year...

 

My definition of "disaster" is a little different... 3 feet of snow closing down the

entire northeast corridor and all the midwest and eastern airports for three days...

"snowmagedden" now that was a disaster! I remember one blizzard about ten

years ago... we had no food. I sent our advertising sales manager out to throw

snowballs up at the 2nd floor windows above the chinatown restaurants...

the baker sold us the whole store for $800. A little pizza shop made pizzas in

two small ovens... non stop all day. The chinese restauranteurs did open their

businesses and cook for us... we picked it all up and served it as best as we could

without any catering staff at the Pennsylvania convention center.... I remember

the Mayor calling me to see if I was okay. I told him... we're not okay, we're

starving! Buyers can't write on empty stomachs... don't call again until you

tell me you're bringing food!

 

Wendy Rosen

 

 

 

So you're at a show having a great time when the wind picks up for the millionth time of the afternoon, blowing your neighbor's wooden shelving display onto your table of pottery and ruining hundreds of dollars of work. What do you do?

 

She said she was sorry, but I feel as though she should have offered compensation. My husband thinks I should have MADE her pay for the damage. She basically said she was sorry and packed up and left in about 15 minutes flat. How do you handle this kind of situation?

 

 

 

 

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post-5824-131871352666_thumb.png

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Wonderful, thoughtful responses as usual! There is a ton of great advice in this thread that I hope will help other people like me who are relatively new to the show circuit. I had not considered contacting the show organizers; thank you for helpful input on how to do that without sounding like a tattle-tale. I'm sure I won't be compensated, but it will be empowering to know I tried and hopefully prevented other art from being ruined. I am extremely non-confrontational so it's hard going outside of that comfort zone.

 

I work up today considering my good fortune: the breakage could have been much worse considering how many pieces I was displaying in that area, and [until yesterday] I've never had a single piece break at or on its way to a show. I think it's time to look into business insurance, regardless of whether or not this type of damage is covered... just seems like a logical step.

 

Thank you again!

 

 

 

A couple of thoughts. The other vendor IS liable for your loss. You do have the small-claims court option to recover damages (that's why they call them damages) and another thing don't forget to take a casualty loss on your income taxes this year. Saying one is sorry does not absolve them of responsibility for damage they cause as a result of their poorly designed display.

 

Best regards,

Charles

 

PS: I am a licensee of the California Department of Insurance: a licensed insurance broker (another stream of income)

 

 

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