Well I did my very first show at Alscot Park in Stratford-upon-Avon and it was great. Here is a run down of how it went. As soon as I arrived I was given a pack and told where I could unpack. Straight away a lady next to me was doing the same and started chatting. I said straight away it was my first show so a nervous wreck and she was like, don’t worry I’ll look after you. Coincidentally her stand was bang next to mine. I had a pal!
Here is Jackie with her lovely bags:
My worst fears were realised when the tablecloth didn’t fit the table. Sweat pouring, slightly panicking, kicking myself for not being prepared, I was thinking google ‘dunelm Stratford Upon Avon’. Incidentally it was the hottest day of the year so far and not that pleasant in the marquee. Luckily the lovely Jackie came to my rescue with a white sheet which covered the table perfectly, I could deal with white edges.
Sitting on the floor unpacking them a lady (Wendy) from a stand opposite started chatting. She seemed really nice and her bathroom stand was gorgeous. Talking to her I started to relax. Happy days, couple of friends already, Sorted!
When done I looked and thought the table looked good so was quite happy. (see above) When you walked around the corner of where my stand was I noticed you could see right behind (my mess basically). So I found a little table to put on the corner, you can see it in the pic above. I thought that was better than nothing and maybe I would get another tablecloth and fill it with stuff in the morning. I went for a wonder and it soon became clear that everyone’s stands looked much better than mine! I hadn’t thought about the wall behind the table. People had furniture, were painting walls, drilling shelves, and really going all out. I expected my stand to look like a newbie so I wasn’t too bothered, plus I couldn’t of fit another thing in my car. However I was chuffed when I spotted another stand that was just a table with nothing on the wall, I wasn’t alone. I enjoyed looking at the other stands getting inspiration for the next time. I love how this stand is with the slate:
I like the white plinths with the glass:
I felt proud but nervous when I spotted the demo tent, I would be up there at 4pm each day, gulp.. not quite my intimate table at Coalport China Musuem!
The stand had to be up by 4pm and ready for the preview evening. By about three I was ready to check into my hotel so went off to find it. I stayed at this place http://www.huntersmoonguesthouse.com and it was faultless. A small room, but that’s all I needed.
The charity preview evening went off fine, lots of very well to do sort of folk wandered past. I got some smiles and odd looking faces as people. My flower people are a bit like marmite, you either love them or hate them. A few looked and then picked up a card. My little table which I put to hide my mess was soon being used as a dropping point for empty champagne glasses! I was definitely going to put more flower people on there. I didn’t sell anything but a lot of people didn’t either. According to seasoned exhibitors this was normal for a preview evening.
The next day it was quiet all morning and I got out more stuff for the little table, nobody was using it as a dumping ground today. I didn’t make a sale until about 2 in the afternoon which was a candle holder and some roses. Chuffed. Everyone else sold just one or nothing so again I wasn’t alone. One stand that had them flocking was the CoolCrafting stand next to the bath store opposite run by Sarah and hubby, another friendly nice lady:
The next day I was feeling a bit miffed so about 11am I prayed to my dad to get in someone’s head and make them buy one. Lol. Well bugger me, 5 mins later a lady bought two flower people. Happy days, I was made up. I think I sold some more roses but that was about it. I did my first demo at 4pm in the tent. It was so hot I could feel sweat just running down my face. I had a head phone thing on and it just kept slipping down, but I just got on with it. I managed to make one ok in the time and also a couple of flowers and a quick tall one. I left thinking I would do better the next day.
Saturday the heavens opened so thankfully was cooler. I sold one of my best ones for £110. Well happy, it was slowly totting up. By the end of Sunday I had sold 11 items. So not loads considering I took around 90! I recon I could of sold more if I knocked the prices down but I was stubborn there.
Another lady I met Trisha taught me lots. She was smart. She sold candles and before the show checked out the other exhibitors and hired furniture of one. Clever eh. She just turns up with stock, and her furniture gets delivered for her:
So what have I learned:
I need to think about the whole space more
I don’t need to take 90 pieces
I need to try more arty and ceramic exhibitions
For home and garden shows, I need more affordable items
I need to make more functional items like candle holders, ring holders, I have a great idea for a lamp
When knocking prices down cross out with red pen and put new cost, not change the tag completely
Have spare blankets or tablecloths
Take a chair
Check out other exhibitors before the show for furture to hire
More pics from the event: