Trade Days was a success in my opinion. It was great to be out there with people selling, networking and checking out the competition.
This is what I learned from doing this show - the first show I've done in over 5 years.
#1 - People are starting to know who Bradley's Pottery is. Yeah! My marketing and networking methods are finally starting to pay off.
#2 - People visiting my booth, loved to hear a good story to go along with their new pottery.
#3 - People enjoyed digging around in my bargain basket looking for buried treasures. It was a great way to clean out my odds and ends and increase my cash flow at the same time.
#4 - By relaxing and enjoying myself, I was able to really interact with my customers which will help in future designing and selling. How did I relax myself? By focusing on learning not selling.
#5 - Everything does not have to be perfect!
#6 - Everything has a 3 year cycle. 1st year - introduce, 2nd year - sell like crazy, 3rd year - on it's way out. This not only applies to your product or design, but with other things as well, such as booth design or selling outlet. Example - I went around and talked to other vendors. One in particular was complaining that her sales were down. This was her 3rd year there. The first year she did good and the 2nd really well. I was one of her regular customers over this 3 year period, and in looking around her booth, I noticed that she had the same items, designs and booth that she has always had. I was ready to see a change. Jan from potterybasics said that this was true of his bread bakers. First year good, 2nd year great, 3rd year ok. Since he said this, I have looked at other things using the 3 year rule and it seems to be a good rule of thumb for a lot of things.
#7 - Being consistent is important. Example: Another vendor said that his sales were down. He said he didn't do this show the last few months and he thinks it hurt him.
#8 - Make a lot of $20-25 red clay items. Every red clay item I had in this price range sold.
I also think that the turnout for Trade Days would be larger if they had more artistic vendors in the group, so I am campaigning to do this.