First Show: Mixed Results

Our first show this year, as in the last two years, was Charlotte's Art & Soul of South End. It's an extremely well-run show: the staff does great pre-show communication, there's excellent volunteer assistance before, during and after the show, load-in and load-out are handled well, and the overall feeling is a positive, supportive one. The weather was great (hotter than we're used to in NC in April, but we didn't complain), and our booth looked great with the new shelves (more on that below). So why the 'mixed results' of the title? Because even with all of the above, attendance was significantly lower than in our two previous years, and sales were less than half of last year. There were also no prizes for artists as there had been in both previous years.

Despite all of this, we enjoyed the show and our returning customers. My postcard marketing program was the most successful it's ever been: 4 people either brought or mentioned their 20% discount postcard, and three of them made purchases. I now consistently have repeat business in Charlotte, which is great. My next marketing idea for these customers (who I'm going to call collectors from now on) is to have a special promotion targeted to them when I do my next show in Charlotte (stay tuned for details on that).
Here's how the booth looked with the new products and our newest addition: shelves which match our booth panel walls. We love the way they fill the space below the hanging items (an area which always bothered me before, since it was too low to hang most things and have them be easily seen), and being able to display both sizes of clock, the new 10x16 mirrors as well as mask wall hangings is just great.

So, all in all, it was an enjoyable if not particularly lucrative weekend; we were happy to have made some sales, given the state of the economy, and are hopeful about the rest of the show season. Our next show is in two weeks, in Virginia. Time to go create more product to get ready for it!

Comments

Jeanne Rhea said…
Your booth looks great! Your work shows so well. I don't think anyone could miss your booth. At least you have a lot of work done now for the next show. That is how I am looking at the slow economy. For once, I can get a little ahead.
Amy said…
Michelle, it looks terrific. Thanks for sharing about your postcard results. I always did well with that when I was doing bead shows.
Springfest in southern Pines was also not as well attended as in years past. I am sure there were many factors in this. I also noticed that those who did attend just wanted to keep moving to stay out of the heat. Good luck in Virginia!
Lucy said…
I missed this update Michelle--your booth looks fantastic, love the look of the shelves along the base of your walls, that was a fantastic idea. I hope this next one fared better for you, the artistic quality and beauty of your work is really breathtaking!
creativegoddess said…
You're doing a great job! Maintenance and innovation are key during these slow times.