Monday, June 23, 2008

Next show only slightly better

I had another show this week. This time it was the Northville Art in the Sun show. The gist of it is, I did a bit better...made a small profit, but still nothing to get excited about.

Setting Up

This was attempt number 2 at setting up my new booth. Unfortunately, this show only had a morning setup (no option to setup the night before). On top of that, my wife ended up having to work at the last minute, so I was doing things on my own. And on top of that, I only had about 4 hours of sleep.

Then on my drive in, I literally missed hitting a deer by about 2 feet (the driver next to me hit the second deer). In fact, I would have hit the deer I missed had I not mistakenly thought the lane I was in was ending and thus cut over 1 lane. The scariest part was that I didn't even see the deer coming. When I realized I shouldn't have cut over 1 lane, I looked in my passenger mirror to make sure the lane was clear, and as soon as I looked back forward, the deer was already in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and she just barely got out of the way. As I'm trying to stop, the deer carcass from the other car is sliding down the hiway at the same speed as me, spinning in circles as it slides. I was just hoping it wouldn't slide into my lane before I stopped.

Well, despite being alone, and then very freaked out, it didn't work out so bad. I put a few parts on backwards, and a few other mistakes, but I got everything together fine.

The show

Traffic was a LOT better than Livonia. Not even any comparison. There were a few dull spots, but mostly it was good. The slow periods mostly corresponded to the rain. A medium rain came in about 1 hour before the end of day 1. Then there was lightening about 15 miles away and reports of hail at another nearby city. Some strong gusts of wind came in. An artist a few booths down selling wooden bowls was in the middle of securing her canopy side walls when the wind grabbed it, hit her display, and destroyed $700 worth of work. Everybody started packing up. After being one of the few holdout artists, I decided enough was enough and closed up 30 minutes early (the first time I've ever done that at a show).

Day 2 was very similar. Similar traffic (perhaps slightly better). Similar gusts of wind, and threats of rain, but nothing much came of it. Happily, since no rain came, my tent was able to dry out, which means I now don't have to unpack it at home to let it dry out.

The sales

Well, it was better than last time. At least I made a profit (though remarkably tiny, after deducting booth/app fee, materials, and gas). I figured I worked 22 hours this weekend for about $3 an hour.

I wasn't the only one doing poorly. Everyone else had similar complaints. I saw very little artwork in patron hands. The number of people I saw walk past carrying photos from other photographers...well, I didn't need 2 hands to count them. The market just wasn't there


A slight turnaround, but still disappointing. But it was a fun experience. At least now I know I can setup the whole display (9 foot trimline included) all by myself (with just a tiny bit of help putting on the legs). I figured out some cool new ideas for my setup. I've got 5 weeks until my next show and a number of ideas to consider implementing before then. Hopefully then things will turn around a bit.

No comments: