Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I promised an update

So, I bet you're all wondering how the vendor booth thing went on Saturday, aren't you? Ah, I know you forgot all about it, it's ok. :)
Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 5:00. Ok, it was early, but there was nothing bright about it! I got myself all gussied up and finished loading the car before setting off to my friends house. We met up, and things were going great. We had everything we needed and we were a little ahead of schedule so we stopped at a coffee shop to grab a morning pick-me-up, make mine decaf. When we got to the venue, things were up and going and they were ready for us to check in.
They took us to our vendor spot, where I had to stand and scratch my head for a minute. My friend had taken care of all of the getting and going and had really invited me along to fill out her booth a little more. She had purchased two spots, each spot was supposed to be for an 8 foot table, so we brought two eight foot tables. The lady told us at that time that the additional spot which was purchased at the same price as the original was only supposed to be a 6 foot table, "but they'd let it slide". OOOkayyy. Then we couldn't for the life of us figure out the configuration they wanted our tables in. We were squeezed in behind two other vendor booths, and they explained that the shoppers were to come into our little "U" shape, except the top of the U was over half covered by another table. Yes, we were hidden in the back of this stupid little place.
Well, we set up, and unfortunately, I forgot my camera. Fortunately, the booth turned out kind of cute. We had muslin draped to the floor and the tops of the tables were covered in a purple velvet. I had one half of a table, and I hung my necklaces from branches stuck in two banana leaf vases and arranged my earrings on a wooden lazy susan. It was very organic looking.
The conference started and the organizers came to chase us out of our booths to "participate". I'm sorry, but I came to sell jewelry and I wasn't very comfortable leaving a table full of merchandise behind. They insisted that there was security and that we needed to leave our booth, so we did. We didn't go participate either.
Let me explain about not participating. This was a women's conference based on sharing Christian faith and growing in that faith. I'm cool with that. It's just that I am of the slightly more conservative Lutheran flavor, and this conference was of the Southern Baptist/Pentecostal/charismatic flavor. I have nothing against different flavors of religion, but I'd rather not participate in things that I might not necessarily agree with or feel comfortable doing.
So my booth partner and I went outside and talked, and then went inside and found an inconspicuous place to stand and talk and watch our booth. Then the vendors were fed lunch, a lunch which we were required to buy for $10. A lunch that consisted of a mayo-pasta-chicken salad and a roll. It was like purchasing food at the airport.
The conference broke for lunch and the ladies were given 45 minutes to lunch and shop. I think two people came by during the lunch break. One bought a cell phone charm from my booth partner. Another asked for my business card.
After lunch we looked at the program and saw that the conference lasted two more hours then ended with "shopping" again at the very end. Some vendors started breaking down right away, but our booth was too complicated to break down without disturbing the conference, so my booth partner and I went to Goodwill for a half hour.
We came back as the conference was wrapping up and I fervently held out the hope that someone would come by the booth at the end of the conference. HA!
Lesson learned. We won't be participating in that conference again, but we did figure out a really cute booth set-up and I have a bunch more inventory now that I can add to my etsy shop. It wasn't a total bust. (At least that's what I keep telling myself.)

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