Nov 30, 2009

Recent Shows

Saturday November 21st was an interesting day spent at the Orchard Villa Christmas Bazaar on Valley Farm Road in Pickering. Unfortunately the appearance turned out to be a "Value Draining Process". This event is one that I attended three years ago -- when crowds were sizable and the quantity & quality of vendors in attendance was noteworthy. But things have changed considerably (perhaps due to economic downturn but I'm more inclined to view poor attendance as a sign that this event was not advertised properly and it's date is an issue as other desireable crafty bazaars take place on this weekend). Either way, serious changes need to occur before this venue becomes a viable exhibitor opportunity once again.

On the bright side, David helped me and almost everything on display at our booth is now priced. I'm also pleased that I took the time to develop this fresh new assortment of jewelry pieces. None of the items currently offered in my online shops are offered at this year's booth, and this approach will make things so much easier to account for.

This past weekend we appeared at the Brooks P.S. Bake Sale and Craft Show on November 28th.  Sadly this event attracted almost no traffic but we took the opportunity to network there. Sales were few and far between but we took a few orders for custom work so the day wasn't a total loss. We also met some local area artisans who shared their insights on the craft scene and economic conditions here in the Greater Toronto Area.

I view all shows, exhibits and personal appearances as being a worthy investment in my business. Even if the unspeakable were to happen - if we didn't even recuperate the table fee, I'd still focus on the positives.  Every time there's an oppportunity to get out in the community and demonstrate my version of fine handmade goods I'm building my brands. 

The odd slow show should be viewed as a cost of doing business.  Similar to enrolment fees for trade groups and affiliations, show fees are a valid cost of getting your name out there.  These sunk costs can't be avoided. 

So if sales are slow and we're attracting no interest at our booth, we stand in the aisle and hand out business cards or brochures.   Promotion is all about getting Your Name out there and making a good impression.  Doing live shows increases your overall credibility. 

Furthermore, all appearances create a grand opportunity to publish your activities via a blog and site too - thereby establishing an online record of your bona fide artist status.

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