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In Retrospect...

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In Retrospect...

Post by Kristal on Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:19 am

Thought I'd see if anyone else has those moments of "oh bunk. Should have done that" that they were willing to share...

Not a huge deal, but it's bugging me a bit. I'm at a trade show this weekend (ugh) and so far Thursday barely covered my parking and gas, and today was a 9 hour day - the first half of which was virtually all seniors, and therefore not seeing the need to buy a balloon or get a face painting (it took me about 2.5 - or was it 3.5? hours to sell ANYTHING). I'm reminding myself that this weekend is more about marketing than making a profit - and thank goodness I worked out a deal with the show manager and don't have to pay for a booth space!

At any rate, things mildly picked up towards the end of the day (with balloons. I painted one face all day! Although I can't say I blame them - at 7:30pm who's going to get their 5 year old's face painted?) but I'd done a lot of smiling, and made some cool, bigger items (jet packs with flames!) as giveaways to entice other people to come buy things, and I was at the point of feeling like I all I was doing were freebies (and constantly having people walk away when they realised I wasn't free).

ANYWAY, at about 8pm (It went until 9) a family I'd done a party for a couple of months ago showed up, and we had a nice chat - the girls asked to get painted and mom said no; it crossed my mind to give them a couple of balloon bracelets, but I felt like I was at such a loss already that I didn't, and we said a cheery goodbye, and they went on their way.

...and I have a tiny, niggling feeling that a rocket balloon or bracelet or something would have made a world of difference, and maybe secured the next birthday. I know it's too late, and I know I'm running a business and I can't just give things away, but I also know that for the sake of 3 somethings, it could have made all the difference. Then again, a couple more people getting painted would have made a difference to me, too, so maybe I'm just being softhearted. (Although closing the line at an hourly event and having a child cry won't make me change my mind, so what does that mean?)

So it wouldn't have necessarily been the best thing to do business wise, but I kind of wish I'd have followed through with giving them something, because it could have come back tenfold. I think I feel this way because they're clients - strangers I don't feel I *owe* - although I know I don't *owe* clients either - they pay me to do a service and I do it. The difference is I now know them. I'm also tired and really distracted by what a busy day tomorrow is going to be, so maybe I'm all in a fluster in general.

Sad
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by Metina on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:55 am

Bummer! I am so sorry the tradeshow didn't work out for you. I wouldn't beat yourself up about not giving them something. They hired you before and will again. If you REALLY feel like you need to do something, pull their address from their contract and send them a nice note in the mail. They will love that you remembered that their child's birthday is coming up.

To this end, I hope we are all mailing out little notes to our past customers about 2-3 months prior to the last date they hired us. Keep in mind that they may not still have our contact info.

-Metina

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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by Psalmbook on Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:06 pm

What a bummer. Even a bad event is a lesson learned.
I did an "Art Show" last year, outside in drizzling, freezing(for Florida) weather & only painted the kid in the booth next to me. No one & I mean no one came. Paid only $30 for the booth, but learned many valuable lessons(over hot coco as I defrosted).
I now ask the event coordinator how old the event is, the amount of traffic expected & if they're geared towards kids or an older crowd. I always negotiate a lower price, no price or have the event pay for me. I'm still more keen on corporate events & parties as it's sure $ w/o variables. If an event doesn't pan out push the marketing & act like you're ecstatic to be there(older people have grand-kids). You never know, but that "wasted" day may be your next big client.
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by tanyamaldo119 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:17 pm

Don't feel bad. What's done is done. As long as you were friendly and held good conversation, it's better than being flakey and acting like their being there is a bother. If they hired you before and liked the way you work then it doesn't matter whether you gave them a freebie or not. I agree with Metina, sending them a nice note and letting them know that you remembered the childs birthday coming up will definitely make them happy and increase your chances of getting hired again. Sometimes you will have a few bad days to fully appreciate the good ones.
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by Judy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:35 am

I would suggest to do some freebies to get people walking around the tradeshow. They will be your best advertisers. Grab some kids walking around and say hey do you want a free face design??

Also, if you don't have anyone waiting, extend your design so it takes longer and really looks like a 'wow'. People are attracted to line ups. Some people may take longer to make up their mind what to get painted but are intimidated by the booth person looking at them. Just watch the other booths... the ones that have people at them are the ones giving demonstrations. Tradeshows profit typically from impulse buyers (I can say that 'cause I am one!! lol)

Have a free draw for free face painting at a birthday party. You'll get lots of names/addresses/and birthday dates.

Paint the people at the booth next to you and maybe you can do some kind of marketing swapping with their product.

Just some thoughts.
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by Kristal on Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:55 am

All right. Am breathing again Smile Haha.

So 2 days of trade show and 1 day of rest later, and it's okay. Saturday was a short day (I had a movie screening in the morning, and was MC-ing the Miss Pole Dance Canada competition at night!), but in 3 hours at the Trade Show I'd made $26 more than I did in 9 hours on the Friday. Sunday was decently steady (had an adorable girl come back who'd stopped by on Saturday, and her mom said everyone was complimenting her), and today I booked a 2 hour birthday party for the first weekend in October!

I have gotten some really good contacts from this Show in the past, and so I know (deep down?!) that even if it's not a good money event up front, it can pay off, and I am there to market myself. It's the 3rd show I've done with them, and my lesson learned is to stick with weekends only, haha. That's what I did the first time. The second we added in Friday afternoon, which was a bust, and I said no more Fridays - but this year she'd upped the ante, and said she wanted me there for the opening night party, and gave me a booth, 10 more tickets than last year, and 2 signs instead of 1, and so away I went. Now I will stick to what I said before - no weekdays.

Metina - good point. I know. She did tell her older daughter "maybe we'll have Kristal at Abby's birthday" so I know I'm still a possibility. I'm thinking of popping some balloon bracelets (they're uninflated, will post pics soon) in the mail for them though. Doesn't hurt, eh?

Linda - the 'problem' I find with the seniors being there, sans grand kids, is that they just walk on by. I had a table right by the end of my booth with cards, some info, an extra mirror, and an 8X10 photo of a birthday cake balloon that says "YES we do birthday parties!" but many still walk right on by. And I know when I go to trade shows, I hate being bombarded by people when I'm not interested, so I always smile at everyone, but I wait until they've stopped to take a look at my display etc for at least a couple of seconds before saying hi. Many stay on the outside carpet - heaven forbid they look like they're interested - I might talk to them!

I did talk to some about grand kids and some did take cards to pass on - one grandma bought her absent grandchildren some balloon bracelets - but many just walk on by. Although that's better than treating it like a joke, which some adults did - my brother said he overheard a woman say, "I don't even know WHY they have face painting at a HOME show" as she walked by - although I bet she didn't question why the chocolate or jewelry stands were there!

Tanya - thanks. We did have a good chat (although it took me a few seconds to remember I knew them! That's the thing with seeing so many children and so many families - some stick out and you couldn't forget them, and others you've got to wrack your brain a little more), and that's a good point: if there was no bad, how would you know about good?

Judy - I did give out freebies! Generally at the beginning, though, and not when there's only a little time left. My brother ran around with a giant balloon jet pack on, and we'd made one for the housing guy across the lane as well - which everyone thought was great, but no one came to buy. A PF client stopped by and she got a balloon bracelet to wear around - ditto when my sister and her boyfriend came. I painted up my cousin and my aunt said everyone loved his face, and everyone who came by and got a fp or balloon got a "Created by Kristal at Faceaballoonza!" sticker, most of which got put straight on to their shirts. I think by that time on the Friday, I was just A)tired of giving out freebies with no return B)slightly stressed for Saturday, as I'd gotten my Host Notes on Wednesday and hadn't had time to write them out yet and C)sore (I don't like sitting when I'm trying to promote myself and think it looks better when I stand - and standing a lot isn't great for my knee. Vicious cycle.)

Haha, I totally take my time when I don't have a line. A girl on Sunday asked for a yellow and green butterfly. Cool. Took my time, added detail, etc. After they left, my brother told me it took a really long time...but I was trying to stretch it out on purpose! I had no children in booths next to me, and some adults are really funny about being painted. They all commented that they liked mine on myself, and were amazed I could even paint myself.

The one other thing this weekend that irked me to no end was this random guy who came up and asked me how the makeup would stay if they were to go dancing. This was more or less our conversation:

Me: Well, it would depend on each person and how much they sweat - "

Him: When people dance, they get hot and sweat.

Me: Yes, but everyone's different. I do have something called LiquiSet though - that will help with the staying power.

Him: Is it safe?

Me: Yep. All the makeup is FDA-compliant, and the LiquiSet it -

Him: I just want to know if it's safe.

Me: It's by Ben Nye, which is a very reputable -

Him: I don't care if it's reputable. Everyone says they're reputable. No one says they're not, do they? Are there chemicals in it?

Me: I don't have the ingredients with me, but you're welcome to look them up.

Him: I want to make sure using this stuff isn't going to cause cancer or anything.

Me: You know, some people say microwaves cause cancer.

Him: I don't use those things. I call them Death Ovens. I mean, who's to say that we won't go out and get hit by a truck or something?

And he went on and on about that...I said I could write the name down and he could look it up but I'm not a Ben Nye employee - at which point he interrupted me again and asked what company I am - and he had my card in his hand. If he's so concerned about chemicals, why not mention something to his lady friend, who's hair is dyed orange? THAT wasn't done naturally! It took all my will power not to smash a bar stool over his head.

You can bet that any date they call about (if they do...ugh), I will be busy.
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by facefantasy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:38 am

OMG......some people are just ridiculous!!! I'm thinking I woul dhave opted for the barstool over the head too!!!
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by Psalmbook on Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:50 am

LOL! Some people are very strange....
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by maurs on Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:59 am

Sometimes in the middle of those kind of conversations one has to say...

'Are we talking about cosmetics, Death or the meaning of life??'

Anyway, when folk get a bit daft and 'over precious' in their conversation you have to bring it down to earth

'Mister, it's cosmetics. Billions of women and transvestites all over the world have been wearing cosmetics for all of their adult life, every day. It'll be fine. If you want a chemists opinion ask a chemist. I wouldn't give a child cancer knowingly.' Rolling Eyes
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by Psalmbook on Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:23 am

LOL! lol!
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by tanyamaldo119 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:32 am

maurs wrote:Sometimes in the middle of those kind of conversations one has to say...

'Are we talking about cosmetics, Death or the meaning of life??'

Anyway, when folk get a bit daft and 'over precious' in their conversation you have to bring it down to earth

'Mister, it's cosmetics. Billions of women and transvestites all over the world have been wearing cosmetics for all of their adult life, every day. It'll be fine. If you want a chemists opinion ask a chemist. I wouldn't give a child cancer knowingly.' Rolling Eyes


Hahahahaha! Funny but so true.
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Re: In Retrospect...

Post by Judy on Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:23 am

OK.... My ideas didn't work.... mmmmmm, I know. How about coordinate the Pole Dancing competition with the trade show!!! That should attract some attention to your booth and I bet you won't have any dingbats giving you the 3rd degree about your supplies either!! lol (On second thought, maybe the guy was trying to hit on you and make his 'friend' jealous)! lol
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Re: In Retrospect...

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