Today I had my second experience with a craft show not going so well. Luckily, I am always eager for the opportunity to put a positive spin on a tough situation! The world is just a better place when you're willing to believe it is (I know, it's such a simple concept that it sounds stupid to write. Let's be honest though, a minority of people live by this fact).
So here's a short snippet of what I've chosen to get out of a bad show ~
Don't feel like there's any buyers?
Then take advantage of this perfect trial-and-run time that has been given to you. If they aren't going to buy anyway, then there's no harm in experimenting with different sales approaches!
I really enjoyed giving myself the liberty to practice being a more 'aggressive' sales person. I tend to worry about how much conversation I throw at a stranger, but I actually had some pretty great conversations because of it! Plus, the more I engage strangers in conversation about my work, the more comfortable I'll get doing it.
Want to make sure you don't choose another awful show like the one you're stuck in? (1)
Network with your fellow vendors! Ask them about their previous experiences with certain shows, as well as the future shows they're already signed up for!
I did a show that was supposedly fantastic in April, but horrible in May (when I was there, of course). I was too weary to give the show another shot for June, so instead I had a fellow crafter agree to tell me how it goes.
Want to make sure you don't choose another awful show like the one you're stuck in? (2)
Do yourself a favor and be aware of every little reason you think the show went poorly.
I know we all complain, but that doesn't necessarily mean we take the time to really analyze the problems and come up with potential solutions. Also, you've been told this for at least 13 years worth of school: write notes, because your memory won't last long enough.
Are you wasting your time? Stop it!
Sitting at a booth for 8 hours doesn't have to be the horrific waste of a day that so many people make it into. Textile artists know this well, proven by the fact that they can be found knitting just about anywhere they want, whenever they want. If your time is wasted, you only have yourself to blame.
Personally, I fill my extra time with putting together necklace chains. Once that drives me insane, or I'm all out of materials, I just read a book. I thought a lot of people would be put off by it, but as far as I know, it actually engaged some people more. Or, maybe I had so far given up that I was just more approachable since I wasn't expecting a sale. Who knows. I think there must be some subconscious positive relations to seeing books, or people reading? Clearly I wasn't being judged the way someone on their electronic device is judged - and let me tell you, at One Of A Kind I wouldn't give a second glance to a booth operator that was glued to their phone.
So there you have it, the four things that keep me a happy camper, even when I'm technically losing money!
Be happy, be experimental, be social, be attentive, and be productive!
Am I insane and would you just pack up and leave?