I had been anticipating this past weekend's craft show for a couple months now excited for the possible sales, connections, and seeing other crafts available for sale. My friend asked me a couple months ago if I would be interested in sharing a table with her and without looking into it said 'yes'. We shared the entry fee and she sent our information in. I tried Googling the event and nothing turned up. I assumed it was just early and more information would be available later. Though two months out isn't exactly "early" when marketing for an event.
The night before the show I tried Googling the event again and nothing turned up. No google search, not on the city's parks and rec section of their website, no Facebook post, NOTHING. My friend Jamie texted the event coordinator saying we couldn't find anything and asked for the address again, the woman texted back a mock up Word document with NO information other than the date, address, and hours.
This all should have been a big warning sign that we as vendors who knew about it couldn't find any advertising on it.
The day of the show:
We set up our booth and excitedly take pictures. We sit down and notice we're only one of roughly 20 vendors. The show was supposed to start at 1pm. 1pm came and no customers. 1:30 - no customers. 2pm - still nobody walked through the door.
Now I'm not saying "no customers" as in people were browsing and left. I'm talking in the literal sense that there was NOBODY walking through those doors.
The woman across from us said, "Where did you advertise this?" in such a normal tone voice that the ENTIRE room was able to hear and turned to look at the coordinator. The coordinator threw her arms up and said, "I did everything I could!"
Did you do a Facebook page?
Did you put an ad in the paper?
Where was the section on the city's website advertising this?
The coordinator just shrugged and wandered around. She came up to us and said, "Are you guys tweeting and Facebooking where you are?"
No. Not my job.
3pm. 3:30pm. Still not a single person walked in the doors. The woman across from us packed her stuff up and left. Jamie and I looked at each other and said 'screw this' and started packing. Other vendors around us wanted to leave as well and were just waiting until someone else had the balls to up and leave as well. One gal came up to us and said she was paying a sitter to watch her kids while she was sitting here making no money, another took the day off work, another drove over an hour and a half one way to be there.
The coordinator came up to us as we were packing and said she'd "begin to let people leave at 6 if we still don't get anyone in." Nope. We were done. We continued packing and the coordinator began making the rounds asking people to stay. For what???
That vendor fee is nothing new to me as we book and work NUMEROUS events as vendors in craft shows, concerts, state fairs, car shows, outdoor festivals, everything you name it.
The fee goes towards things like:
- The rental of the space to be there
- A portion of the coordinator's pay (if applicable)
The woman didn't refund anyone. She didn't market. She didn't do HER JOB. Lesson Learned. We later found out there wasn't even a rental fee for the site so she took home 100% profit of all those vendors' fees.
In trying to look on the bright side of things Jamie and I were finally able to hang out together without our kids or husbands and have some much needed us time. We went to lunch and grabbed some drinks catching up.
Before we had some drinks I pumped quick and asked the server for a glass of ice water. You know you're a mom when this is on your table: