Hello Again! Today I attended an event in a nearby town, it was a good event, it seemed to me to be very well thought out. The organisers were friendly and helpful and had covered every aspect of the vendors needs. The event had been well advertised and there was a large attendance by the public. Today was a good day. Sadly that is not always the case.
Over the years that I have been self employed and producing handcrafted items I have attended many fairs. I have experienced the Portaloo on the hill, try sitting on one of those at a peculiar angle! The marquee of very dubious age that had more patches than original canvas with holes in the roof through which the rain dripped onto my head! Oh and the smell it gave off was most peculiar. The fairs where the organisers ask you to move your car off site and then vaguely wave in the direction of the village and say "find somewhere to park". The tables provided that bow in the middle and wobble dangerously when touched. The lack of advertising, a two line advert in the small print of the local paper a week before the event. The best one being where money was taken up front for events that were never booked or mysteriously cancelled days before. That one resulted in legal action being taken by many of my acquaintances. The one where we were all placed in animal pens in a shed at a local market, open on one side to the elements and still covered in animal excrement in December! I could go on, but I wont.
Its certainly been an experience so it is such a relief when you can attend an event that is well thought out and considerate of the sellers' needs. Yes we need to park our cars close to the site of our stall to be able to load and unload easily so that it isn't necessary to have to, in my case, carry heavy boxes of glass items over a long distance, or upstairs. To make sure that toilet facilities are available, not easy when you have to cross your legs all day or just not drink so as not to have to find a bathroom. To provide shelter, today we were all given a free gazebo which gave us shelter from the sun and wind, that was a real boon. To be offered free teas and coffees is also brilliant, that was also on offer today. To have the organisers come and ask if you have everything you need, if you have had a good day, to obtain feedback. Too often your money is taken and you are left to fend for yourselves. To ensure that a good footfall is guaranteed and that advertising has taken place is another bonus.
All of this must make you wonder why I continue to attend fairs on a regular basis. Well to be honest there are some I would never attend again. However, there are some very good ones out there that I will go back to on a regular basis. These are not always large events, some are quite small but because they are well organised its worth returning. I also get a thrill from meeting customers face to face. A lot of my sales are made online and that is great but there is nothing like being able to interact with people and to talk about my work and why I love doing what I do. Its also a great way to obtain feedback on products. Despite the aching legs, dry throat, crossed legs, freezing cold, damp, smelly marquees and dodgy toilets and strange parking arrangements there is nothing like coming home with a cash in your money tin and putting your feet up to look back over the events of the day.
Until the next time.