Re: Product decisions for 1st show.

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Posted by Luann Udell on September 10, 2000 at 09:08:40:

In Reply to: Re: Product decisions for 1st show. posted by John Iverson on August 22, 2000 at 15:08:43:

: I think that showing up with a broad spectrum of your work in depth and with various price points is the way to get started. By the end of the show you will know what the market likes about your work, and -- just as importantly -- what doesn't sell at a given price.

I'm going to go out on a limb & disagree with John hear (yikes!) I used this strategy for my first few shows, and it bombed. A few reasons--a table with a "everything but the kitchen sink" smacks of a rank amateur. I didn't understand this until I started noticing my own reaction to such displays. My gut reaction is, "This person doesn't have focus or the teensiest idea of what they really want to do. They probably do a lot of different things, but none of them too well." I even had some customers *tell* me my display was too busy & overwhelming--they couldn't figure out what I did. Many of them tried to buy my display equipment! I think some ideas that might work better are: think about the ideas that really exite *you*, and focus on them. Or pick work that you feel you can create over and over again, without getting bored. My belief is that the passion comes first, and the success comes second (although I know that most people may not agree.) If you want to do market research, then try several small shows (if you're doing small local fairs, you're only talking a financial investment of $10-25 per table) and try a different focused range of products at each show. Think about which products will be the easiest to translate into higher production runs once your sales start to take off. It also doesn't hurt to think about which ones will be easiest to transport to and from a show! One big caveat, though--if you are starting out with unusual products at small local shows, you will get a skewedd response. I learned this the hard way, too. My work is very unusual and esoteric, and I bombed at small local shows. It's just not a suitable product for small fairs where people are looking for cute, bargain buys. That doesn't mean I won't be successful with my work, it means I have to identify my market better and be extremely discerning about the shows I do. So whether or not a product sells at local shows may not be a realistic indicator of your ultimate success. That's why I think it's better to sit down and spend some time focusing on what kind of work you really love doing. When it becomes successful (not if) you want to make sure you are willing to be there for the long haul.

I hope this message isn't too rambling--I hate this kind of message screen, because you can't see your entire post to reread & edit for clarity. Hope some of the insights help.

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