- Work Box (Thank you Barb Lieberman for pointing out this one)
It's a good idea to keep some type of work box, or in my case a work bag. In this bag includes all necessary equipment for repairs. This will vary depending on what you make and sell. This can include needle and thread, pliers, jump rings, glue, etc. This also includes all necessary equipment for making the sale, such as receipt book, pen, calculate, anything that goes with a sale (such as the instructions for how to take care of your fairy garden). I also include yarn, tape, scissors, extra pens, my folder with everything from more business cards to tags to stickers for my bags to important paperwork regarding the event I am attending. Your sellers permit or business license is another good thing to include in there just in case you need it. And if you are anything like me, keeping a first aid kit on hand will be very wise. The more experience you have with events, the more you know what to bring to be prepared for the next event. Barb from Seeds of Inspiration advises making a list of items you know you need while first packing your tool box and then just keeping everything in that particular container so you know you always have everything you need.
- Dress comfortably
At the Steampunk Expo, one day I dressed in my Robin Hood costume in an attempt to dress the part. I added gears to it and I had these boots which were rather comfortable. The costume as a whole, while cute and somewhat fitting with the theme, was not. My skirt was short and because of this I am not too comfortable bending over in it. This makes it difficult when dealing with customers and trying to grab bags or bins to restock from under the table. In short, pun not intended, not my best idea.
For Whiskey Flat Days, I was considering a longer skirt, one I can bend over in and move around as need be, and that also fits the theme. However, the first day of Whiskey Flats we have to set up. Personally, I have yet to master how to set up tables in a skirt. I decided to stick with jeans this first day. They offer comfort and I can find other ways to dress the part and match the theme, such as my cowboy hat, customized to be specifically Acorn Tops with the help of The Delightful Bee's acorn felt hair clip! It also works well to avoid the inevitable sun burn that comes with warm days in the desert/mountains.
The skirt will be reserved for tomorrow and Sunday, the busier days.
On the fourth day, when we will have to tear down and pack up, I'll return to the long skirt.
- Use the bathrooms first thing in the morning, especially if they are port-a-potties.
This is a good rule to apply to most events. First, mornings, especially during set up, when it is not as busy, is a good time to slip away from the booth without worrying about missing a sale. Second, the bathrooms will not be as crowded. Third, there will be plenty of toilet paper, especially when dealing with port-a-potties. Nearing the end of the day, they tend to run low on those much needed essentials. And fourth, near the end of the day, the port-a-potties stink. Outside of stuffing a Seeds of Inspiration's dash sach up your nose, you can very possibly pass out from the green fumes rising out of that particular restroom. Save yourself the trouble, limit your liquid intake and go first thing in the morning.
On a similar note, you will want to have some hand sanitizer on hand. Occasionally, they will have hand washing stations, but expect and plan for them to not.
- The First Day Phenomenon
The first day of expos and multi-day events will be shorter and slower. There is always less traffic on the first day. It's the look-and-see day, the day customers make mental notes of which booth they want to come back to. Jess and I saw this at the Steampunk Expo and many vendors who have done Whiskey Flat Days in previous years told us the busiest days, the days 40,000 people descend upon this small town, are Saturday and Sunday, the second and third day of this four day event.
I suggest using this day to work on your product in the booth. (Normally I do this every day at every event because it's a good way to draw people's attention and explain product, but tomorrow I'm planning on being so busy, I'll be unable to carve at all.) This way, you won't feel a whole day is wasted sitting around with very few sales and there will be less frustration at the many people who will not dish out their wallet for reasons stated previously.
- Bring a variety of work
If you bring things to work on in the booth for the whole event, make sure to bring a nice variety to work on if you can. By the third day of the Steampunk expo, I got a lot of ornaments carved, but I was so tired and bored of it, I had to put it away. (As stated above, this will not be a problem for me with this event. However, still a good thing to keep in mind.)
A few tips and tricks I have forgotten and some new ones after this first day at Whiskey Flat Days!
About a month ago, my awesome friend and equally fantastic local artist, Jessica from Jessie J Inspiration's invited me to include some of my items in her booth at Her Royal Majesty Steampunk Expo at the Queen Mary. It was a three day event and from that experience we learned a few tricks and tips.
This weekend she and I are booth buddies once more at Whiskey Flat Days in Kernville (and there really is no better person to share with than Jess) While this is not exactly an Expo, it is a multi-day event with a clear theme, so many of these tips and tricks apply. Two weeks following, her and I will be at the Long Beach Comic Expo, and maybe I'll blog about a few more things we learn along the way.
But for now, here is what we learned and will be applying to our upcoming events:
On Fairy Wings and Acorn Hats
The magic behind it all!