Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spring Fling Expo

Saturday was our very first show! I will start with a quick introduction. I am Michelle and my husband, Adam and I run The Crazy Elephant handmade children's boutique. We had a lot of fun at our first show. It was the first annual Spring Fling Expo and was held at bethel church in Rochester. There were a lot of really great vendors there, mostly home businesses, but there were a few handmade jewelers and a woman that makes flax cookies and cakes (SO good) and of course us! We put up our display the night before and I must say it was a good feeling knowing that we had made enough to fill an entire table.

Well, the show turned out to be very slow. At least half of the customers walking around were the vendors themselves. While some of the vendors spent the 4 hour day sulking at thier tables, the rest of us decided to make lemonade with our proverbial lemons. Here is a list of ways to turn a slow day into a nice day...

1. Customer Face Time I work in retail and I can tell you that any store that is busy does not get the time to really talk with their customers. A slow day gives you the opportunity to really answer questions and talk about your product in a way that you just can't on a really busy day. We made a lot of really great customer connections and turned many non buyers into prospects for the future, especially when they found out they could get custom items done (i.e. hats made in any size).

2. Networking We got plenty of time to talk to other vendors and learn from them. It is a great time to swap cards and share what you do. We actually found out that many of the vendors were really interested in what The Crazy Elephant was (from the flyer) and were quite impressed with us and that is always wonderful to hear. This kind of time is still really important when you are a seasoned shower too because there is probably someone dying to listed to your words of wisdom.
3. Research We learned a lot about our product. When you can watch every customer you have the opportunity to keep track of which items they are interested and which they don't really care for. Some of the items that we were thinking of getting rid of were actually the most popular durring our show and some we loved were less than a hit.
We did end up making a few sales over the course of the day as did the booths around us. We are very excited for our next show and are already planning for it. Another benefit of our slow show is that I will not have to spend so much time socking up on the thing I already have. We now have the opportunity to work on new products and designs.