Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Shows, Economy Woes & New Sea Glass Necklaces

I was hoping for a great show this past Saturday at OM Baby in Pt. Pleasant. The weather report was for mostly cloudy skies and no rain. (two days before the show) The day before, the weather called for partly cloudy skies... the day of the show was... sun, sun and more sun. Not a cloud to found in the sky... and abundant sun in a beach town usually doesn't bode well for lots of traffic...except near the beach.

The traffic flow was resembled a leaky sink. People dripped in every once in awhile.... that doesn't mean it was an awful show... far from it. Doing a show with 20+ EtsyNJ vendors is always fun. I had not had the chance to talk face to face with some of the members before, so it was great to put a face/faces to the shop. There was quite a bit of future show info being shared, lots of show stories being shared, etc. It also helped that Kim, our show's organizer, brought in a jazz guitarist for a bit a flavor.

In the afternoon, the beach started clearing out and we did see a bit more traffic. Many tables did see a bit of customer action, a couple sales at the end of a show are usually a great way to end a show...no matter how well you've done during the day.

Some insight into buying habits at this show... It certainly appears that the slow economy is on people's minds. Disposable income seems very limited and in many cases non-existent. I watched several people walk away from a vendor's space empty-handed, even in spite of raving about a product that they loved. I also noticed that the vendors that accepted credit cards, were using their knucklebusters during the show. IMO, accepting credit cards is an absolute must when it comes to doing shows...at least at this point.

This show was the first where people seemed to be buying items for themselves, rather than buying items as future gifts. In all, I think I need to re-think what makes a show successful. For me, the benchmark for a good show used to be 8x-10x table fee. I think in this economy, that number needs adjusting. And marketing/promoting my shop with potential customers at shows needs to be paramount. Buyers have so many quality handmade items to choose from, so getting them to stop at one of my online shops after a show has become more important than ever.

My new silver order was delivered today, so I'll have several new items over the next few days. The images of my latest Etsy listings are above.

'til next time...


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