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My First Show... (Read 5,809 times)
 
John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #30 - Nov 11th, 2015 at 1:16pm
 
Frank...Sounds like you and I are in the same position.  Good luck to you in your show.  I've been heartened by all the great advice and positive vibes of the other responses.
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Frank Wilda
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #31 - Nov 12th, 2015 at 8:58am
 
Hey John,

It sounds like we are.  My wife promised to give me a hand so I've got that going for me.  I'm hoping we can do a practice table setup sometime in the next week.
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #32 - Nov 12th, 2015 at 9:21am
 
Frank...Same here, I'm doing a 'mock' set-up this weekend, making my place cards for the my pieces, and finishing up several more last minute ones.  Then I'll start praying for good weather...
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Steve Doerr
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #33 - Nov 12th, 2015 at 9:38am
 
John and Frank,  doing a mock set-up is an excellent idea.  I do that all of the time.  Once you have everything set-up the way you want it, be sure and take a picture of it on your smartphone.  That way, when you are setting up at the show, you can look at the picture on your phone and know where everything goes.  It really saves a lot of time and frustration when you are trying to get everything set-up.
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #34 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 9:57pm
 
For anyone still following this thread I have finally arrived on the eve of my first show.  All the labels have been made for both inventory and bags.  All wood has been either freshly oiled, waxed, or both as appropriate.  Tables, set-up pieces, and table cloths are packed.  A pocketful of fives and tens are set aside for change and my new 'Square' has been programmed and confirmed to work.  Best of all...the weather is slated to cooperate.  You've all been a tremendous help in both suggestions and encouragement, wish me luck!
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John Cepko
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #35 - Nov 21st, 2015 at 1:10am
 
Good lock John. Happy sales.
Let us know how you do.
Also, let us know what you did right, and what you will do differently next time.
I am not there yet, ready for a show...but soon, and I don't want to have to reinvent the wheel, if I don't have to.
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Len Layman
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #36 - Nov 21st, 2015 at 2:22pm
 
Good luck John and don't forget to have fun.
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JimQuarles
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #37 - Nov 21st, 2015 at 4:27pm
 
Now tell us how you did.   Cool Cool
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #38 - Nov 21st, 2015 at 5:25pm
 
What an interesting experience...it was 37 degrees at set-up so a little chilly and I didn't sell my first piece until just after 9:00 this morning.  All told, however, I sold $540 or so worth of bowls and platters with requests for sooooo much more.  After costs for the market and some set-up material costs I cleared just over $400.  Needless to say...while I'm sure I'll be thrilled with that result next week right now I'm simply relieved it wasn't a disaster.  Some things I learned:  1) As many of you suggested, having the Square or other 'like' device was invaluable and easily doubled my sales.  I did have some connection problems and reading problems but it worked more than it didn't.  2) Next time/year I'll need to pay more attention my display...what looked good in my garage appeared haphazard when compared to the others around me.  3) While it was very useful that I offered pen and paper for e-mails...I really should have made up a bunch of business cards.  BTW...Avery labels offers any number of things I used for labeling my bags and 'tent cards' for my pieces and you can readily download the templates from their web site for ease of use.  One thing that resonated with many was I put a short paragraph on the back of each tent card describing something about the pieces such as where I harvested the wood, etc.  4) While I brought just turnings...I was inundated with requests for cutting boards and lazy susans...could have easily sold two to four of each.  5) Relative to size and cost ratios...I sold almost everything I had between six and ten inches with an emphasis on costs between $40 and $70.  6)  At first I thought I didn't have enough merchandise at 30-pieces, then felt comfortable with that amount, and then ended-up wishing I had more of the 'hot sellers' and fewer of the exotics I'd brought.

The number of people who wanted to discuss woods was fantastic and I entertained queries with respects to furniture repair as well as a woman who asked if I'd come to her property, harvest some fallen trunk wood, and then turn her something as a keep-sake from the property.

So yes...it was a great experience, I'm very glad I did it, and will be ready for the next year's event.  I had probably two dozen folks ask me if I'd be back later still this year but probably won't have enough materials to warrant it...that said, tomorrow I'm starting up my Facebook page in an attempt to sell what didn't and as a means to keep ideas in front of people.
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JimQuarles
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #39 - Nov 21st, 2015 at 8:36pm
 
Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
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Just Turnin' Around!  Glendale, AZ  Cool Cool

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I think I've forgotten this before." - Steven Wright
 
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Bert Delisle
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #40 - Nov 21st, 2015 at 10:24pm
 
John Grace wrote on Nov 21st, 2015 at 5:25pm:
What an interesting experience...

The number of people who wanted to discuss woods was fantastic

So yes...it was a great experience, I'm very glad I did it, and will be ready for the next year's event.

Well done, the vortex rules, resistance is futile, especially when there is a $$ potential.
.
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Steve Doerr
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #41 - Nov 21st, 2015 at 10:32pm
 
Sounds like you can mark your first show up as a success.  Keep up the good work.  You're now a pro  Smiley Thumbs Up
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #42 - Nov 22nd, 2015 at 10:13am
 
Now, remember... as you mentioned, you sold almost everything you had between 6 and 10 inches. What that  tells me is that you should bump your prices in that group by $10 +/- and see how they sell at the next show.
Odds are great that they will still sell.

Not to be greedy but there is no sense leaving money on the table when people are willing to give it to you.   

If, at the next show, you are having a hard time getting people to pay those new pieces, (which I doubt will happen)  you can always drop them a bit.

Congrats on your first show!! Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
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Bill Neff
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #43 - Nov 22nd, 2015 at 11:05am
 
As far as business cards go to vistaprint.com  You can get 500 cards for $9.99.  You can design your own cards or use one of their designs. I've ordered from them twice and they arrived within a week.
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #44 - Nov 22nd, 2015 at 1:03pm
 
Ralph...I did indeed wrestle with the 'price point' on several of my more popular sellers.  My problem (see concern) was that moving those prices 'north' would have put those pieces in direct competition with some exotics I had.  Oddly...NONE of the exotics sold even though they were only $20 more and just as functional (i.e. they were more utility bowls as opposed to art-esque pieces).  Yes...I have now declared the attempt a success not only for what was sold but for garnering enough feedback to make my next show even more of a success.

One other note I failed to mention in my previous description.  I was the only woodworker at the entire market...'turner' or otherwise.  So in that regard I had the market cornered for at least a few hours.  I found my 'reception' by the other vendors/marketers equally interesting.  Several came by and offered very kind and sincere compliments on my materials and great suggestions to the 'newbie'.  That said, one other vendor came over and at first asked, 'so are those bowls and platters you're selling?'  After responding in the affirmative...she, in a somewhat 'passive aggressive manner', proclaimed to me that the farmer's market was restricted to items hand-made locally'.  I chose the high road and merely suggested that I'm guessing my garage workshop three miles from here constituted being made locally.  To that, her tone quickly changed and we got along wonderfully the rest of the show.
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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