I sell my beads and jewelry in a variety of places:online, galleries, and shows. I really like doing shows as I like the one on one contact with my clients. You also learn about your beads and jewelry even from the people who do not purchase anything. I decided to stop doing outdoor art festivals last year. First I lost my helper (my daughter) when she moved. Then last year my tent self destructed; plus it is just too hard to do an outdoor show when you have to set up all by yourself. And you never know what Mother Nature has install for show day! So the shows I do now are bead shows and trunk shows. I don't do a ton of shows just 4 - 5 a year so it is important to choose the shows wisely.
I just returned from a show which made me realize how important it is to do you homework before trying a show. This show was in a new venue, so I really didn't have the option to go once before applying to be a vendor. But the location seemed good so I applied. Boy was I disappointed. The lighting in the room was awful - better suited for a romantic dinner out instead of selling glass beads. I did bring a few of my spotlights, but they are only effective given that there is adequate room lighting to begin with. To compond the issue there were electrical issues throughout the show causing the vendor lights to flicker and go on and off.... all day. Major migraine situation!
So what do you do in a situation like this? It made me realize that as vendors we really have no recourse except of course, not to go back. I complained to management of the show before it even opened, but they did nothing. Other vendors were complaining, but more to each other than to the show promoter. The clients were frustated. They wanted to buy, but couldn't see the products well. So bummer.. long trip....stress, disappoinment. But as always, the beaders I did meet are wonderful people as usual. I sold a few beads, and oh yeah.. I got to visit with my daughter.