What to Know Before You Go to Your First Show
by Teri Griffith.
(Davie, Florida USA)
I really should have done a better job researching my first jewelry show. JMJ no doubt has all of this info available. Here is a little insight so you can have your own successful first show.
A friend asked me to be a share a booth at a Mothers Day luncheon. We happily planned how we wanted our booth to look, a large white tent, crisp white linens, table lamps, a chandelier and cute bags to carry home their purchases. So-far-so good .
Since it was my first show, I didn’t want to invest in expensive displays. I used what I had, a vintage Samsonite make up case, two tiered wire racks, and a small shelf I found.
I carefully packed all of my jewels and brought two 6 foot folding table to hold all of my vintage designs. Rule number one. Check your gear before you hit the road. A brace on one of the tables was severely bent, leading to rule number two. Bring a toolbox with items like duct tape, bungee cords, pliers etc.
I had to share a table; it made my items hard to view. The power cord kept tripping the circuit on the electrical outlet, so no table lamps.
Rule number two; check the weather. There were strong gusty winds, the chandelier had to be abandoned; the tent needed to be zip tied to the railing. My easel boards all blew down. My fresh flowers tipped over making my tablecloths soggy.
My mirror fell down and cracked. I had to buffer the wind throwing my table design out the window. This leads to rule number three. Bring a cooler. Due to holding down the fort literally, it was hard to get a drink of water so be prepared for everything.
There was a raffle so I assembled an adorable basket with goodies from my booth and a note card saying to come visit my table… The winner was in a wheel chair making it difficult for her. Rule number four. Follow up to make sure the customer was thrilled.
It was fun to see what the ladies were drawn to. I love copper but I sold mostly silver jewelry, so rule number five. Have equal offerings of all metals. Many ladies were secretly buying gifts for each other; I had the joy of seeing them hug and laugh. When it was appropriate, I would tell a few details about the piece.
The event ended with numerous ladies coming back to my booth for special orders. Rule number six. Make it personal so they are happy they found you. All of this made me hungry for my next show. I want another shot at conquering all of my obstacles and enjoying the event with one or two less hick-ups.
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