Professional behavior at Craft Shows

14 June 2007

The Santa Monica show, is not a national show, it is a regional show. I mean that most of the exhibitors are from California or nearby. It is not as competitive to get in and so less seasoned exhibitors participate. Unfortunately this means that a few behaved unprofessionally.
Let me explain: on Friday morning the booth one removed from me was empty. This makes the show look bad. An empty booth is usually curtianed over by the show but this exhibitor was going to show up later on Fri. She did and set up while we were selling!
Walking the show later I came to a booth in the tents that was set up but had a piece of raggety plastic cliped over the front. Ugh! When I inquired as about the exhibitor, she was sick. She was having a negative impact on her neighbors, if nothing more than having to explain where she was. My neighbor had a bad day on Sunday: her car broke down before she got to the show. After attending to the car she took a taxi to a car rental place , left her cell phone in the taxi, did not have an adequate credit card in her wallet, had to go to the hotel….. Yet no customer knew there was a problem because she called a friend and fellow exhibitor who had 2 people in their booth and one came over and manned her booth until she got there. A much better solution.
The show closed at 6PM on Sunday and before closing some of my neighbors were bagging up their wares! I was still selling and my customers were being made to feel like they had over-stayed their welcome by this actvity.
The show promoter brings in some extra help for move out, if you sign up you can get help in the form of a man and a dolly for half and hour for $20. We signed up and when no one showed up I went to inquire. They used the PA system and told him to come to my booth. Nothing. I go back and say that no one showed up, and the show organizer tells me that one exhibitor yelled at the man (no info about yelling at the dolly) and he left! So there I was with ten large shipping boxes to move….
We exhibitors are all on the same team and benefit from cooperative good behavior. We pitch in to keep the show in good condition; we turn on lights we man other booths. Once in Boston there was a 27″ snow fall that started Friday evening and many local exhibitors who went home did not make it in on Sat. but the show looked open and all the booths were lighted and attended. The rules are pretty simple; be set up by opening, stay open during show hours and be nice to the help.


One Response to “Professional behavior at Craft Shows”

  1. glennis Says:

    Having done trade shows for 30 years now(since I was 19…can it be true?!!) I could repeat versions of this story for many of the shows I have participated in. There always is one (or more!) in the crowd. At the recent ACRE show I shared a curtained “wall” with a neighboring booth who started packing up 2 hours before the end of the show. Packing boxes,tape guns shrieking, tearing down their paper backdrop. When I politely asked her to wait to tear down her booth until the end of the show, she simply refused and let me know she was going to go right on packing. Fortunately, others had complained to management and they promptly arrived to handle the situation and the offending vendor will no longer be allowed in the show. A well managed show will do that. In fact, well managed shows have staff patrolling the isles to prevent just this sort of thing at the end of a show.
    Well behaved vendors know better. But as in life, not everyone behaves…. I’m sorry you had a bad experience but hope you had a good show despite the unprofessional behavior of some and that you were able to enjoy your visit to California. It’s always good to go home!


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