|Posted by Sabrina Robertson on July 7, 2015 at 3:45 PM|
How Trends Change Our Business
Every single event is different. Even the same event differs from year-to-year. EVERYTHING affects the events – weather, gate count, gate fee, local economy, other events the same weekend, musicians appearing at the event, a large event the weekend before, etc. All these variables combine to make or break a vendor’s success at an event. I think, also, the number of years an event has been going – it reaches a “saturation point” for the locals, especially true in smaller population centers. Unless you have something new and exciting to offer, of course.
CASE: Scotland County Highland Games (NC) 2009. These were their inaugural games. Kelsey and I began selling before the gates opened and DID NOT STOP running between customers and ringing up sales until WAY after they closed for the day! Luckily, we had a food-seller next to us or we would not have been able to eat. Even potty breaks were few and made on the run! It was also good that they were only one day, because we nearly sold out of product! We did almost $3,000 in sales that day which, for a vendor our size, is outstanding!
CASE: Another games event, which shall remain nameless, has been going in the same location for more than 30 years. It is well-attended … by Clan tents and groups. There are almost 100 Clan tents, alone! The dancing competitions are huge and the music is in the same large tent as those competitions. The Clan groups bring chairs and flow out the back of their Clan tents. They bring food to share with each other, cook out and visit all day. It is a fun time! I’ve done it myself, before I started vending. But – there’s not much traffic in the vendor area, and if it rains, the vendors run the risk of losing money! Very easy when you look at expenses.
Vendors spend a lot of money to be at events. Booth fees run $30-$300.00, depending on the event, fuel, lodging, food (seldom do we get “vendor discounts”, and many venues won’t let us bring in our own food, or sleep in our tents). If you want to plug in lights or chargers, there’s another $50 in fees. Liability insurance coverage of $1,000,000 is required at many venues, as well. We have not even provided product yet! I have spent as much as $800.00 to attend an event, so I need at LEAST that in sales to break even on expenses, NOT product! It is a challenge to come up with new designs, yet keep “traditional”.
Another thing I run up against is my source for either product or components for my jewelry "drying up". Either they stop carrying certain items, or the manufacturer retires, or some such. It can get a little frustrating. Sad when I have a customer asking for an item they saw me carrying at a previous event, and I cannot accomodate them.
Next Week: “Our Mentors and Advice”
Categories: Weekly Blog