I woke up before my alarm this morning thinking about a new display for my next show, Emerald City Comicon. This year I’ll have an Artist Alley table (D-13) instead of a booth, so I’ve been trying to decide whether to do a smaller scale version of my booth or something new that maximizes the space. ECCC is my biggest show of the year, so I want to make the most of it.
I love selling at shows, but selling at shows doesn’t love my body so much. It’s usually 2-3 really long days (10-12+ hours each is normal) plus a few hours of set up the evening before it opens or the morning of the show. For a major convention like ECCC, it’s not unusual for me to work 40+ hours. I also work longer hours the week before and sometimes the week after too. It’s basically like fitting a month’s worth of work into a two week period, which can be hard on my health.
I currently need to rely on my husband’s help for shows more than I like. I’m able to do some of the loading and unloading of the car and much of the booth/table set up and break down. And, of course, how much I can do of each depends on my ever fluctuating health. My husband also drives me to and from the shows, because I do not have my license yet (but I’m working on it!). Someday, I hope to be strong enough to be able do my shows all on my own, with the exception of sales assistance at biggies like ECCC.
It’s a lot of work, but the majority of the time it’s worth it. Financially, shows are my primary source of cash flow. Online sales are growing, but it’s hard to beat an event like ECCC with 64,000 eager shoppers. Mostly I love them because I love talking with potential customers and helping them find exactly what they are looking for. There is nothing better than seeing the reaction on a customer’s face when something you make thrills them. Even though the hours are long and the work is hard, I usually come away energized and fulfilled and eager to do bigger and better things with my business moving forward. A good show gives me hope and reinforces that I can make it with my jewelry business if I just keep trying.
Do you sell at shows? What’s the experience like for you? I’d really love to hear your story, so please share in the comments below. 😀