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My First Show... (Read 5,812 times)
 
Don Stephan
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Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #15 - Nov 8th, 2015 at 10:05am
 
Visit as many such shows as you can between now and the 21st.  Look at booth setups, item presentation, and how visitors can flow and interact with items for sale and the vendor.  Even dissimilar types of events such as true farmer's markets will let you study booth layout and shopper flow and interaction.

Look at relative pricing versus skill involved and quality of work.  A friend a couple years ago priced hand carved ornaments low at a church craft show and sold a few.  Same result at a friend's studio.  He left a few at the studio and the friend tripled the prices.  Sold more for the same number of shoppers.  There is a theory that if an item is priced less than a shopper thinks it is worth, there will be a perception that there must be something wrong with the item or that it is not what it seems to be.

Give some thought to how you want to present yourself and your efforts.  Some sales people are very successful talking about how skilled they are, others fail doing the same; some downplay themselves and sell out, others just the opposite.  Find an approach you are comfortable with, and don't be afraid to practice greeting people and offering your sales pitch.

Although it can be intimidating, the worst that can happen is that you don't make your exhibit costs, don't sell much, but meet some new people and have some nice conversations.
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Bill Neff
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #16 - Nov 8th, 2015 at 10:30am
 
One thing I've discovered is treat everyone that visits your booth the same.  Friendly, open and welcoming.  Sometimes the people who look like they don't have the funds for "art" provide a big sale.  Or the "I can't decide" person who'll spend 20 minutes going back and forth between 2 pieces, then leave without buying either only to come back an hour later to buy one or both.
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Some people are like slinkies... totally worthless but it puts a smile on your face when you push them down the stairs.
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JimQuarles
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #17 - Nov 8th, 2015 at 5:03pm
 
Bill Neff wrote on Nov 8th, 2015 at 10:30am:
Sometimes the people who look like they don't have the funds for "art" provide a big sale.

Big point.  30 years ago when I was on the road while still driving semi, I went into a big chain jewelry store at a mall and asked about the price of a bracelet for my wife's birthday.  The salesman replied, "If you have to ask, you can't afford it."  Sure, I looked like a blue collar worker, but I had American Express, Visa, Mastercard, & Discover cards, plus over $2000 in my wallet for fuel.  I spent about $300 at a different jewelry store in the mall.
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"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.
I think I've forgotten this before." - Steven Wright
 
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John Grace
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #18 - Nov 8th, 2015 at 6:25pm
 
Your comments and suggestions have been nothing short of fantastic...thank you all so very much.  Two weeks and counting... Thumbs Up
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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JimQuarles
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Glendale, AZ, Arizona, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #19 - Nov 8th, 2015 at 6:30pm
 
Have you ordered your Square yet???
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Mentor Basics, Pens, small stuff, Acrylics, EasyRougher.
Just Turnin' Around!  Glendale, AZ  Cool Cool

"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.
I think I've forgotten this before." - Steven Wright
 
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Steve Doerr
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #20 - Nov 9th, 2015 at 12:35am
 
My base price for my turnings are: bowls and platters-$12/inch of diameter; HF $15/in of diameter plus height.  As I said, this is my base price.  Depending on the wood--cost, figure, etc--I add an additional cost.

HTH
Steve
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John Grace
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #21 - Nov 9th, 2015 at 6:44am
 
Jim...Not yet, still debating between the Square and another device.  A co-worker is bringing in her PayPal device this week for me to look at and compare.
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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Bert Delisle
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #22 - Nov 9th, 2015 at 10:37am
 
++ on the square, it is very simple, effective and makes sales easy.
One thing you may want to consider, how do folks carry your products once they leave your table. After watching and attending several shows I have adopted the practice of providing a small recyclable bag for product. It may sound weird but plastic bags although cheap and prolific does not do justice to a wood turned piece. I have found a source of small bags for 0.35 each and I feel that a $35.00- $50.00 deserves to be presented this way. The same for big bowls cost was a little higher but hey a $200.00 bowl commands royal treatment, PLUS I get to put an avery label with my name and contact info on it. That gets your name exposed to every other table and folks as they wander around. JMNSHO
Good luck and remember to have fun. 
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« Last Edit: Nov 9th, 2015 at 10:39am by Bert Delisle »  
 
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #23 - Nov 9th, 2015 at 10:41am
 
Bert...WOW, those are great thoughts, thank you for sharing.  I'm guessing, I'll be there an hour or two and have numerous 'should haves' and 'next times' on my list.
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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Buck Nemitt
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #24 - Nov 9th, 2015 at 3:02pm
 
From the participation on this thread toward answers it has turned out to be quite interesting.  Great job indeed--
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What the heck,Give it a try---
 
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #25 - Nov 10th, 2015 at 6:42pm
 
And yet another question.  How do you label your bowls with prices and wood types?  I was going to use Avery brand removable labels but wasn't sure if they'd stick well to my pieces, or worse yet, not come off.  I finish my bowls with a combination of walnut oil and carnuba wax.  THANKS...
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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Don Stephan
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #26 - Nov 10th, 2015 at 7:29pm
 
For labelling, I use a Detailer woodburner to note the type of wood, finish, my name, and the year and sequence number of that bowl in the year.  So each bowl has a unique number.  In a spreadsheet I calculate the price of each bowl based on the usual factors.  A label is printed with the bowl basics and price, but if lost I can always refer to the spreadsheet for the correct price.
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JimQuarles
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #27 - Nov 10th, 2015 at 10:50pm
 
You can print a full description; name, wood, source(if significant), date, on a card and place it under the bowl with the ID number.
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Mentor Basics, Pens, small stuff, Acrylics, EasyRougher.
Just Turnin' Around!  Glendale, AZ  Cool Cool

"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.
I think I've forgotten this before." - Steven Wright
 
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Steve Doerr
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #28 - Nov 10th, 2015 at 11:16pm
 
Similar to Don, I use an archival pen and write wood type, my name, bowl number and date (month/year) on the bottom.  For shows and galleries I have a 3X5 card that I use to tell a little about the turning (see attachment).  On the back of the card I attach a regular sized mailing label and put turning number, type of wood, my name and price.  I attach the 3x5 to the bottom of the turning with an 1/8" wide black ribbon with scotch tape.
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Frank Wilda
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HADLEY, Massachusetts, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #29 - Nov 11th, 2015 at 12:34pm
 
John,

I too am going to my first vendor fair the same Saturday as you. I'm looking forward to it, but on the other hand I just don't know if I'll have nearly enough product.  Then again, maybe I have too much and nothing will sell anyway.  I'm looking at the fair as a learning experience and I hope it goes well enough and I learn enough to consider other fairs/craft shows.

I have to add, Square has been a helpful addition to my sales tools. I have primarily been selling items at work around the Holidays and to family and friends.  Square has helped me in situations where someone says, "Oh, I don't have any cash right now...".  It's quick, easy to use and doesn't cost a lot.

Another advantage of using Square is their free, on-line store front.  The last two years I had a number of people ask, "Do you have a web site?" and I would have to answer, "No".  After spending an hour one night setting up my Square store front I had a dozen products listed and even attached pictures and enabled inventory tracking.  I don't see a lot of action on my web site but I can at least point folks to it when they ask.

I suggest ordering the free Square swipe reader as soon as possible even if you don't have it for the show. My first official swipe was significant and I know I would have lost the sale if I didn't have it.

Good luck at your show.  I hope it goes well for you and you have fun too.
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"We find in life exactly what we put into it." -Emerson
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