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Another "my first show" thread (sorry)


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#1 Mesi

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:43 AM

So I had my public ceramics debut this weekend at my local farm and craft market!

I was far from selling out, but that's not terribly surprising. I had no idea how large my body of work was until I laid it all out on my deck to price it last week. (if I never had to decide prices for things again, it would be too soon. I HATE pricing).

The public received my work well, and I was invited to several more local venues, and I even met some local potters and scheduled some clay play dates Posted Image.

I have a feeling this whole show/fair/ farmer's market thing is going to be quite the learning experience. I already know a few pricing changes I'm going to make, and I'm going to arrange my booth differently next weekend. I put some of my flashier stuff out toward the front, but I feel like it sticker-shocked people and prevented them from coming in where I had all my little impulse buys. Will swap the arrangement for next time. I also had my tables in sort of an L-shaped arrangement, which prevented people from seeing a large portion of my work when just passing by, because it was blocked by other things. Not sure what to do about that though, due to space constraints.

I think the final change I would make, is to make space for myself INSIDE my booth. I thought, oh, the market is shady, I'll be fine without sunblock. Well, I am one crispy critter now!

Anyway, I just wanted to post, because I am very proud that I had the guts to get out there and actually do this, it was very empowering.

#2 GEP

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:55 AM

Congratulations... and it sounds like you did a great job!


but I feel like it sticker-shocked people and prevented them from coming in where I had all my little impulse buys. Will swap the arrangement for next time.


I don't think you should assume this, unless you heard specific comments (or saw specific body language) that the fancy pieces were too pricy. Anyways, it's still a good idea to swap the arrangement for next time, just to see what happens. Also, make some time to tour the entire fair and see if your prices seem reasonable compared to everything else there, before you decide your prices were intimidating.

Again, congratulations for surviving the first one!

Mea
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#3 Mesi

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 10:16 AM

Congratulations... and it sounds like you did a great job!



but I feel like it sticker-shocked people and prevented them from coming in where I had all my little impulse buys. Will swap the arrangement for next time.


I don't think you should assume this, unless you heard specific comments (or saw specific body language) that the fancy pieces were too pricy. Anyways, it's still a good idea to swap the arrangement for next time, just to see what happens. Also, make some time to tour the entire fair and see if your prices seem reasonable compared to everything else there, before you decide your prices were intimidating.

Again, congratulations for surviving the first one!

Mea


Thanks Mea! It's hard to compare apples to oranges, as pottery isn't very common at this particular market. I think most things I had priced fairly, but on my brown sugar savers, body language was telling me that people were tempted, but it was a little high. I was selling them for $8, and I think if I went down to $6 I would have sold a lot more, and not really taken too big of a hit to my profit.

Flower pots were another thing that I'm having trouble pricing. Half have floral designs in wax resist, the other half half have hand sculpted whimsical faces. They're one of a kind, and priced anywhere from $15 to $40 for a big one. I think that the perceived value of flower pots is lower, because you can buy them for $5 at the hardware store. I could be wrong on this, and maybe people just aren't thinking of flowers yet. Or maybe my pots are crap ;) .

#4 Chris Campbell

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 10:20 AM

Good for you! No need to apologize for the thread as summer is coming up and many will be heading off to their first shows and could use input.

Yes to opening up your entryway so people can wander in .... Yes to rotating your stock to discover best placement each week.
You being outside of the booth will also help with people coming in so buy a hat and sunblock! The only reason to be in there is to take payment and wrap things.

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#5 Mesi

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:08 AM

Good for you! No need to apologize for the thread as summer is coming up and many will be heading off to their first shows and could use input.

Yes to opening up your entryway so people can wander in .... Yes to rotating your stock to discover best placement each week.
You being outside of the booth will also help with people coming in so buy a hat and sunblock! The only reason to be in there is to take payment and wrap things.


My one table is placed at the far back of my 10x10 tent, and I was standing behind it. I have another table extending in front of it to form an L. Do you think scooching the back table forward a foot or 18" will detract too much from the arrangement? It just eats up some of the dead interior space of my booth, and since there are no sides to it, I don't think it'll be too crowded. I will totally slather up and wear my dorky sunhat though (and I have a pretty phenomenally dorky sunhat ;) ) if you guys think it would be a bad move to eat up my booth interior. Thoughts?

#6 GEP

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:34 AM


Good for you! No need to apologize for the thread as summer is coming up and many will be heading off to their first shows and could use input.

Yes to opening up your entryway so people can wander in .... Yes to rotating your stock to discover best placement each week.
You being outside of the booth will also help with people coming in so buy a hat and sunblock! The only reason to be in there is to take payment and wrap things.


My one table is placed at the far back of my 10x10 tent, and I was standing behind it. I have another table extending in front of it to form an L. Do you think scooching the back table forward a foot or 18" will detract too much from the arrangement? It just eats up some of the dead interior space of my booth, and since there are no sides to it, I don't think it'll be too crowded. I will totally slather up and wear my dorky sunhat though (and I have a pretty phenomenally dorky sunhat ;)/>/> ) if you guys think it would be a bad move to eat up my booth interior. Thoughts?


Yes scooch the back table forward by a foot or two. This is a good idea on several fronts. Lookers can see it better from outside, and they don't need to walk as far to reach it. That might seem trivial but it works on me when I am a looker. I am trying to avoid walking into your booth, so you need to give me a reason to stop and turn in. Things at the very back of your booth are not visible. Also, parlay that extra space in the back into a closet for your empty boxes, backstock, lunch, jacket. Lots of shows do not give you any storage space outside of your 10x10.

I am of the opposite opinion as to where you should stand, I always position myself in the back corner of my display. Partly to protect myself from the weather, but also my job is to greet people and be present when they want to talk about it. I find I sell a lot more this way compared to standing outside and letting people look by themselves. But then again, there are no hard and fast rules to salesmanship, you have figure out what works for you.
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#7 Chris Campbell

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:41 PM

The lessons in selling from a booth are very obvious at any professional convention ( the vendors floor at NCECA is a great example )

The pros have several things they never do ... they never sit down, they never stay still, they never stand around waiting for you to say Hi first, they never occupy the back of the booth as their spaces are almost all designed so there is no back to the booth!!

You could adapt this in your area by having your tables along the sides ... people HATE the idea they could get stuck in back trying to avoid you.

Things pros always do ... smile, engage, encourage, smile, move around, smile, ask questions about you, re-arrange something, smile some more ..... if you do your booth right you are exhausted at closing time.

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#8 AtomicAxe

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:39 PM

I had no idea how large my body of work was until I laid it all out on my deck to price it last week. (if I never had to decide prices for things again, it would be too soon. I HATE pricing).


I hate pricing as well, which now that I know all my costs and what my profits are on almost everything ... i just put color stickers on things that indicate price. It's easier to have a little cheat sheet you can either memorize or consult than having to individually price everything. Only bigger pieces I do get individual prices ... they also get a nice card with all that info.

But it sounds like you had fun and put a good foot forward to future events. Congrats.

#9 Pugaboo

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:15 AM

Don't put all of any one price level out front put an assortment of items so people looking for inexpensive items can see something to interest them and someone looking for a special item can see something to draw them in you don't want anyone assuming you only have one type of item. As for standing out front that is a good way to engage people BUT you might scare away some people afraid of getting "grabbed" by you and made to feel like they have to purchase something. So be there but kind of look like you are busy but friendly rather than waiting to pounce. It's kind of hard to explain but you'll get the hang of being friendly but not intimidating or pushy as you do more shows.

I would also bring your table forward a bit and like others have said give yourself space to store packaging, bags, extra stock etc since a lot of shows don't allow you to go outside your 10x10 space. Im not sure on the width of your tables but you you might even consider a T-shaped layout with the table going up the center of the both thereby giving you 2 sides to display from and allowing people to see more ware up close and not having to reach over other pieces to see the ones further back on the table. I did art festivals for 15 years, not with pottery, high end fine art instead, and you learn to put yourself out there every time you set up your tent and you also learn not every venue is alike you will learn to read the crowd and know what type salesmanship will work with each kind.

Pricing is ALWAYS hard but don't under price your stuff either if people perceive it as too cheap they might think its not worth buying if they feel that you don't feel it's worth pricing higher. Not sure I am explaining that well. Basically when I started out many eons ago my lowest priced item was $20 sold okay but not great, raised my lowest price to $40 and suddenly people started paying attention to what now because of the price they perceived as worthy art. Pricing also will vary according to venue somewhat as well, something thought of as too expensive at a farmers market will be dirt cheap at a formal art festival so you kind of have to decide where and how you plan to sell and price accordingly so clients will get to know you, your product and your prices and what to expect if they see you at a variety of locations. Don't shock them by selling something for $10 one weekend and the next weekend asking $30 for the same item, that will shock and possibly insult them sending them away feeling like they can't trust the prices in your tent. You want to develop repeat buyers, especially locally that is where your money is at, someone that buys a small item the first time they see you but decides they like it so much that the next time they add to their collection another piece and then another and another and you'll have a following. I had people buy stuff every year at a festival they knew I would be at for 15 years. Another good idea is to have a sheet for people to put their email address down so as you do more you can send them an email letting them know where you will be. Depending on the show I would even have a line in the SIMPLE email about if they brought the email to the show with them they would get something like 10 percent off their purchase. Some venues don't allow "coupons" but I found it a good way to see if anyone out there was reading the emails and always got a goodly amount of them used when I offered them.

There's tons more but you have time to figure it out just be kind to yourself. Schlepping a ton of equipment around every weekend for 15 years can take a toll on your body. I had to stop festivals when I fractured my back and had 2 back surgeries to try and stabilize it, now can't lift, carry, stand all day etc. that was kind of a down note so I'll end with.... Have fun it's exciting to have people look at your art and want to talk to you about your work and to know your creations are going out into the world to live the life they were meant to.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#10 Pres

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 09:19 AM

The lessons in selling from a booth are very obvious at any professional convention ( the vendors floor at NCECA is a great example )

The pros have several things they never do ... they never sit down, they never stay still, they never stand around waiting for you to say Hi first, they never occupy the back of the booth as their spaces are almost all designed so there is no back to the booth!!

You could adapt this in your area by having your tables along the sides ... people HATE the idea they could get stuck in back trying to avoid you.

Things pros always do ... smile, engage, encourage, smile, move around, smile, ask questions about you, re-arrange something, smile some more ..... if you do your booth right you are exhausted at closing time.


Great thoughts here from Chris. Brings back memories. I used to also cut the back of my booth off about 2 ft with a back drop-this allowed me to hide boxes of pots, bags, my hand truck and other essentials like lunch and water!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#11 Mesi

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 09:26 AM

Don't put all of any one price level out front put an assortment of items so people looking for inexpensive items can see something to interest them and someone looking for a special item can see something to draw them in you don't want anyone assuming you only have one type of item. As for standing out front that is a good way to engage people BUT you might scare away some people afraid of getting "grabbed" by you and made to feel like they have to purchase something. So be there but kind of look like you are busy but friendly rather than waiting to pounce. It's kind of hard to explain but you'll get the hang of being friendly but not intimidating or pushy as you do more shows.

I would also bring your table forward a bit and like others have said give yourself space to store packaging, bags, extra stock etc since a lot of shows don't allow you to go outside your 10x10 space. Im not sure on the width of your tables but you you might even consider a T-shaped layout with the table going up the center of the both thereby giving you 2 sides to display from and allowing people to see more ware up close and not having to reach over other pieces to see the ones further back on the table. I did art festivals for 15 years, not with pottery, high end fine art instead, and you learn to put yourself out there every time you set up your tent and you also learn not every venue is alike you will learn to read the crowd and know what type salesmanship will work with each kind.

Pricing is ALWAYS hard but don't under price your stuff either if people perceive it as too cheap they might think its not worth buying if they feel that you don't feel it's worth pricing higher. Not sure I am explaining that well. Basically when I started out many eons ago my lowest priced item was $20 sold okay but not great, raised my lowest price to $40 and suddenly people started paying attention to what now because of the price they perceived as worthy art. Pricing also will vary according to venue somewhat as well, something thought of as too expensive at a farmers market will be dirt cheap at a formal art festival so you kind of have to decide where and how you plan to sell and price accordingly so clients will get to know you, your product and your prices and what to expect if they see you at a variety of locations. Don't shock them by selling something for $10 one weekend and the next weekend asking $30 for the same item, that will shock and possibly insult them sending them away feeling like they can't trust the prices in your tent. You want to develop repeat buyers, especially locally that is where your money is at, someone that buys a small item the first time they see you but decides they like it so much that the next time they add to their collection another piece and then another and another and you'll have a following. I had people buy stuff every year at a festival they knew I would be at for 15 years. Another good idea is to have a sheet for people to put their email address down so as you do more you can send them an email letting them know where you will be. Depending on the show I would even have a line in the SIMPLE email about if they brought the email to the show with them they would get something like 10 percent off their purchase. Some venues don't allow "coupons" but I found it a good way to see if anyone out there was reading the emails and always got a goodly amount of them used when I offered them.

There's tons more but you have time to figure it out just be kind to yourself. Schlepping a ton of equipment around every weekend for 15 years can take a toll on your body. I had to stop festivals when I fractured my back and had 2 back surgeries to try and stabilize it, now can't lift, carry, stand all day etc. that was kind of a down note so I'll end with.... Have fun it's exciting to have people look at your art and want to talk to you about your work and to know your creations are going out into the world to live the life they were meant to.


Lots to think about Posted Image, but good advice. I never considered a T shape, that's something I'll definitely try too.

As for pricing, since last weekend was my first show, maybe I'll keep the pricing static this weekend (same venue) and I think next weekend too (different art and farmer's market the next town over, slightly deeper pockets in that crowd). If people are still hesitant about things maybe I'll reconsider how my prices are set. That way I'll at least get a larger sampling of reactions. There's another potter in the area who way undercharges for her work, and she sells her stuff like hotcakes, so I guess I'm a little insecure about that. We sell very different work, so I'm not worried about "competing" per say, but if the crowd I'm selling to is used to very low priced ceramics, I'm afraid of putting them off. I guess we'll see. Most expensive item in my booth is $40 (14" Flower pot with a sculpted gargoyle face), so its not like I'm asking astronomical amounts. Most of my stuff is around $20-25.

#12 oldlady

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:00 PM

congrats on your first show. stepping out in front of a crowd of any kind takes guts. be glad you got 'em.

you only mention tables as your showcase. i hope you have some things to raise part of your display so that everything is not flat on the same plane. you do not mention cloth, like a large tablecloth to hide your boxes, etc from view. hope you have one or two. a good substitute is a canvas dropcloth from home depot because they are wide and long enough to do the job on those "banquet" tables some folks have. any cloth should reach almost the ground at least in front.

display stands that hold plate like items make a huge difference. you want to look interesting and a change of level goes a long way toward that. here, height helps.

have some of your planters got plants in them? it helps to mark them clearly so people do not assume they get both pot and plant for your marked price.

have fun next time, too. talk to people, tell someone wearing something unusual that you would like to know more about it. colorful shirts, interesting jewelry all make conversations start. folks like to see that the artist is a real person and they become more comfortable with you. in a small town you will see them often.

ask opinions of anyone you think might be receptive. they know you are new at this. "could you tell me if i am on the right track with this color glaze?" is a good one. suggest to buyers that you will hold purchases while they enjoy the rest of the event and they can pick their items up as they leave. carrying around pottery is a pain.
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#13 Pugaboo

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:40 PM

Old lady- good suggestions

Only thing I would add ito offering to hold their purchase is its very nice but just make sure you mark the bags with their name AND phone number. Not doing so could be a disaster; I speak from experience. I had a woman purchase 2 large 30x40 framed pieces and of course did not want to carry them around while she did the rest of the show. I told her no problem I would package them up and hold them for her. I stapled a copy of her credit card receipt to the package and set them aside. The day came and went and at closing she did not come back, I waited as long as I could then closed for the night, the next day came and went still no return. All I had was her name and paid cc receipt. Show ended I returned home and about a week later I get a call from her she left my tent bought some vendor food got FOOD POISONING and left the show in an ambulance! She had tracked me down through the show director by describing my work and approximate location to come up with my name since she had lost the business card I had given her. Happily we made arrangements to ship the pieces but it cost her quite a bit and cost me a lot in worry and time to package it all up. I learned after that to Gladly hold packages for people but to also get their phone number as well as their name so if they did not show up I could at least contact them. It never did happen again but it was a lesson learned and never forgotten.

It's also nice if you have a helper to offer to carry a package for someone to their car for them especially if they are elderly. Just make sure they understand its straight to their car and back. A sculptor next to me at one show did this but disappeared for like 2 hours. When he got back he said she did the rest of the show with me trailing along behind her carrying that big piece! He said he felt it would have been rude to insist she go straight to her car. Lol live and learn.

Fabric to cover is nice but make sure it's not all wrinkled that detracts from the work. I also agree with oldlady and different heights are important to showcase the work as well as adding plants to a few of your pots. Once you get known you might be able to make an arrangement with a florist at the farmers market to showcase their plants in a few of your pots maybe do a trade or some kind of arrangement like that. Just a idea. Good luck keep us posted on how things go.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#14 Mesi

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:16 PM

No fabric yet, I definitely have to get some, but that's gonna wait til next week. This week sort of got away from me. I have three banquet tables, and two 2ft wide tabletop shelves which sit on top of them to add height. I want to get some more of those, because they worked really well. I also have hanging pots and wind chimes hanging form the edges of my booth, so there is a lot of visual interest.

Plants I learned about pretty quick, and went a few booths down and bought some herbs to put in my pots. They sold faster after that. ;)

Something else I think I'm going to do for next week is make a banner with my studio name and "local handmade pottery" right on it. There were a shocking number of people who were really surprised that I actually made the stuff. :blink:src="http://ceramicartsda...ult/blink.gif"> From scratch. Out of clay. 2 blocks from the market. It ended up being a big conversation point last week. Anyhow, I'm gonna log off and catch some shut eye. Early morning and market: day 2 tomorrow!

#15 Mesi

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:36 PM

Market: Day 2

It's the middle of May in Michigan, so despite the fact that last weekend was 85 and sunny, and I left dehydrated and sunburned, I left this weekend wind-chapped and frozen. It snowed all morning. Welcome to the wild world of outdoor shows!

Due to the weather, the turnout was abysmal. Our biggest sellers (80% of the items we sold) were $3 tiny animals for fairy gardens. The runner up were brown sugar savers. I think they were pity buys because my ceramics partner and I were sitting there in parkas trying to smile through the blistering icy wind. lol. We had fun regardless.

Things learned:

-Our work is waaaayyy better out in the sunlight where people can see the glazes. besides, it's pottery. A little snow would not have hurt it.

-trying to keep ourselves and our work under the tent sabotaged the above. Save self from elements, forget the pottery.

-never align tables in a U shape. No one will ever enter the U for fear of getting stuck. Or having to talk to you. Or both.

-DO always put things that look like cute little animals out on the endmost table, sticking into the path of children, who will inevitably sucker their parents into buying a kazillion of them. Especially if aforementioned animals have little feet on the bottom. Ask me about the time I sold $150 worth of 1" hedgehogs. Ridiculous.

-a fabric back to one's tent COULD be a windbreak. OR it could act like a sail and try to fly you and your display away. (P.S. the second option is more likely). Thank god for way more cinder block weights than were probably necessary. We flew nowhere, but we were assaulted by a canvas tarp..... Better to wrap oneself in the tarp for warmth.

I'm still flip-flopping about my flowerpot prices, as I only sold 1. Given the weather though, I think I'll leave them until after next weekend (at a different market) and decide after that.

#16 Pugaboo

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:56 PM

Sounds like you had an adventure this weekend. Buy yourself a big bag of zip ties and on windy days zip tie every piece of fabric in place, there nothing like getting beaten to death by your own tent. You are learning thinking of traffic patterns and how your set up affects possible entrance and exit is a great start. Having items people will buy for their children or for the PET is always a good thing and you got the idea on getting their attention. Just make sure the "children's" items are a bit removed from say your most fragile expensive piece if you know what I mean.
I wouldn't change the flower pot prices until you have had a couple of really lovely warm weekends that get everybody thinking I should plant something pretty. After you have that and they are still not selling gradually walk the price down to see where the sweet spot is. You could also try a combo deal of buy 3 pots get one free, that might tell you people like them but are willing to spend more for several if it means they spend less for each one. I sold many pieces marked 30 in sets of 4 for a 100, they could pick any 4 $30 images and get them for just a $100. They loved saving $20 didn't seem to matter if they only started it wanting 2 or 3 once they realized they could get a FREE one the hunt was on for 4.

You are learning and sounds like you are having fun too which is always important to remember to do, when it come to your art if you end up hating to do it you might as well get paid more and be able to stay dry inside working for someone else in some "normal" job.

Good luck next weekend I'll hope for warm dry weather for you!

Terry
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#17 Mesi

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:35 PM

That's why I keep posting this. I don't figure most people aren't terribly interested, but for posterity sake, it's good to hear these things. I know I appreciate show wisdom from people.

This past weekend I did a larger market the next town over, and know what? I made out almost exactly the same as the weekend before when no one showed up and it snowed! (except, of course, that I paid 4 times as much to get in). Basically, I spent all day getting snubbed by a really big crowd instead of a small to moderate crowd. ;) The lesson? Definitely scope out a venue before committing to it. It was totally not my key demographic (who wears stilettos to a farmers market, honestly?!)

But the good news is that the next day when I went to grab some groceries at the farmers market I had been at previously, I was stopped by a bunch of people who recognized me and were disappointed I wasn't there with a booth. Maybe there is something to be said for just getting people used to seeing you.

My layout was better this time around though, I think I'll try this setup again. I put 2 6ft tables out in the very front of my tent half shelves on top of them and with my chairs behind. Inside the tent was just for me and my partner, and a third banquet table that we had setup with all of our packaging materials. I hung all my windchimes and hanging pots on the front of the tent too, and mostly just stood behind. I feel like it created enough separation between us and the marketgoers, so they didn't feel trapped, but we were present to answer questions. It also put all the shiny pretty glazes out in the light where they are best viewed.

So, lots learned once again. I've got a 2 week hiatus now before my next show, thank goodness. All the early mornings and loading, unloading, and setup are brutal.

#18 oldlady

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:44 PM

oh, you are having fun, aren't you? meeting folks and talking pots. and freezing. weather is always a problem. i have done the same show held on the same weekend each year and worn almost nothing once and bundled up in long johns, three wool sweaters and wool socks the next year.

as you gain experience you will find that you will work less by using the simplest, lightest packing and carrying materials. i have seen folks carrying those big, heavy, fully loaded rubbermade tubs. why? cardboard boxes are fine, don't weigh much and can be found easily. cut handles in the ends and separate items with cardboard dividers. boxes come in sizes to match your work and can be stacked easily.

for packing materials used plastic grocery bags cushion things pretty well. i keep them wrinkled and shake a little air into them as i pack. not to create balloons, just not folded flat. haven't had anything break since the 70s and that was because someone else packed one box. i have watched people carefully wrap their work in newspaper. filthy hands after a few minutes and it takes forever.

the absolute worst was the potter who set up using wooden apple crates. great because it was in apple country but can you imagine the weight of all that?

do you make anything that can be piled into a basket with lots of other things just like it? spoon rests come to mind. customers love looking through a basket of differently glazed items searching for just the right thing for a small gift. think teacher gifts for the end of school. tiny christmas items, stuff for tourists if you have them.

i could go on and on but nobody will read these long things.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#19 Mesi

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

oh, you are having fun, aren't you? meeting folks and talking pots. and freezing. weather is always a problem. i have done the same show held on the same weekend each year and worn almost nothing once and bundled up in long johns, three wool sweaters and wool socks the next year.

as you gain experience you will find that you will work less by using the simplest, lightest packing and carrying materials. i have seen folks carrying those big, heavy, fully loaded rubbermade tubs. why? cardboard boxes are fine, don't weigh much and can be found easily. cut handles in the ends and separate items with cardboard dividers. boxes come in sizes to match your work and can be stacked easily.

for packing materials used plastic grocery bags cushion things pretty well. i keep them wrinkled and shake a little air into them as i pack. not to create balloons, just not folded flat. haven't had anything break since the 70s and that was because someone else packed one box. i have watched people carefully wrap their work in newspaper. filthy hands after a few minutes and it takes forever.

the absolute worst was the potter who set up using wooden apple crates. great because it was in apple country but can you imagine the weight of all that?

do you make anything that can be piled into a basket with lots of other things just like it? spoon rests come to mind. customers love looking through a basket of differently glazed items searching for just the right thing for a small gift. think teacher gifts for the end of school. tiny christmas items, stuff for tourists if you have them.

i could go on and on but nobody will read these long things.


*raises hand* I'm reading!

Yeah, I am still having fun doing it, its a really interesting challenge for me. I do have some stuff in baskets, but I never thought about putting stuff like my spoon rests or egg separators in baskets. Might help de-clutter my display as well.

Also on my agenda? Get a tent that isn't cowprint. Posted Image It was free, and everyone laughs and says "well, at least it's eye catching!", but I'm beginning to suspect it's undermining my legitimacy as a craftsperson. lol

#20 clay lover

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:58 AM

Definitely drop the funky tent as soon as you can afford to . might not be able to afford NOT to. It will make you look cheezy, not a good sales approach. unless it is a funky market where you are, would have to visit before to know that.

How your booth looks is everything to getting people to look at your work. The work shoud be what they see, not the tent, or decorations.

I had good luck at outside shows with putting large, flat baskets of small things on the ground at the front corners of my booth. People pasing by would look in , see something that made them want to look through the basket, find a low priced piece that was easy to like and buy. To make the purchase, they would need to come into the booth and then see more that they wanted.
Baskets are a good way to group similar things and keep the shelves from being cluttered. Anything that keeps the booth from looking like a second hand pottery store. Pull colors together, use multiple plate stands, stack sames up,ect.
Carefull planning will boost your sales, if the work is good and the prices right .


Good luck.




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