Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
So how do you deal with relatives that come to "visit" during a show. They want to stay say for three hours and talk??? We are really busy as we have sales usually every 10 minutes, and we also really talk with our customers. I demonstrate how I make the paper beads etc. I've tried to be tactful after several shows where we had several family members crowding in the back of the tent hanging out. I don't particularly want to go into a tent filled with family visiting.....
The last one I point blank said this is our "business" and we would love to visit after the show. This worked for this time. We have another show coming up in Florida in two weeks and a family member has already said they were coming to visit...aaaackkkk. Am I just being a bioche???
Can anyone else relate to this? I also do customizing to my earrings on the spot. Changing dangles or from silver to gold depending upon what they might want....Needless to say we work our butts off during a show. We average $100-$200 per hour and sometimes more. I quit my teaching job and now this is "my Job"----I love what I am doing! My husband is wonderful at sales and we love traveling and meeting so many neat people. We've thought about not family where we are going if the show is in their area...lol...
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I thought about saying that I wouldn't come to their job and sit around for three hours but don't think that would go over..........
You could just tell them that it would be nice to get together with them after show hours for dinner or whatever when you are not busy in your booth...a plain and simple statement anyone should understand... If this doesn't register you should just completely and politely tune them out whenever someone else comes into your booth and focus your entire attention on the potential customers.
If the relatives or friends cannot get the point from this then they are being inconsiderate.
They are my husband's grown children from his first marriage.....guess I'll just have to be a little more "forceful" and forget about being "nice"---We have 3 or 4 customers in with us - makes 6 and there really is not room for a family gathering....
Thanks for your input.
Can you make it a point to schedule a day before the show to visit with them?
I just decided that's what would probably work best - so I sent an email off letting them know we could come a day early or stay a day late in order to visit because we can't manage a visit during the show. Thanks! We will see if this works....
I have not had this happen but I am interested in what happens. Keep us updated.
If the show is over at 5, for example, ask them to come at 5. They can socialize while helping you to tear down. You get help and also they get to see what another aspect of your business is about: one many relatives don't get a feeling for when only seeing your booth fully set up. If they are adult children, they should be fully capable of helping at this time.
I am serious: I have seen other families do this. It can be a little distracting when you are used to packing up all on your own, but can potentially be valuable for them as well as you.
I also used to see a cousin when I visited her town once a year. I invited her family to visit my booth: without our coordinating anything, they showed up at 5, ready to work (maybe they thought it was the only way I'd get to their house in time for dinner, LOL).
Thanks, Linnea. My husband and I have a tear down that works efficiently - we can get everything down and ready to load in 35 minutes - that's without telling anyone else what to do. They did stand back and watch one time. I've sent them a message telling them we can come in a day early to visit with them. We will see what happens. We have the option of setting up at 10 to 12 at night which we won't do. We will go in at 7 Saturday morning. I'm always pooped by end of show Saturday evening. I suggested Friday to visit or Sunday after the show. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
Short visitation (5-10 minutes) is ok during the show but I just "excuse me, I need to get back to work with my clients" to extricate myself. Keep the gatherings out of the booth and in the center of the aisle to not block your entrance or that of neighbors. It is "work" and friends and relatives just need to be educated. Getting together after the show for dinner or relaxing in the hot tub with wine is fun too. Also, I have no qualms about asking non-relative/family reunions that develop in "my space" to move it along. In the Colorado resort areas it is usually good old boy realtors talking about deals they made in the past. "Hey guys, I need to check some inventory here" usually works as I insert my self between them.
Thanks, Richard. Oh I don't mind 5-10 minutes. On a trip to Memphis we had his daughter and son-in-law and a 10 year old and 4 year old trying to sit IN the tent......then we have more adult children in Florida where we are headed..... My husband was also dealing with blockage in one leg so I really wanted him to sit down whenever possible and his daughter sat in his chair. Normally we don't sit down unless no one is in the booth or I am working on an order. I even got up and told him to take may chair because she didn't take the hint when I asked how his leg was feeling....I guess some people don't have a clue. I'm really to the point of just telling it like it is - this is our job and we cant socialize during a show period...
I put them to work. There's always stuff that needs to be done. " Hey can you give be a bathroom break " " would you mind going to grab me a drink ". " would you mind wrapping this up for this lovely lady ". Or ask if they've looked around to what everybody else has. They now understand how hard I work most don't show up empty handed now and will ask " do you need a break" . If I'm within a hour of my brothers house doing a show he now shows up to help me pack up after seeing exactly how hard it is. They will get the picture and will understand if you tell them.