Walking The Show

“Walking” the show is a fun privilege of being a boat show vendor. You get set up early, walk, and take a gander to see who is there and what new treasures are on sale. This way, you get to do it before ticket purchasing visitors, who frenetically crowd the very booths that most interest you.
Before the crowds are when you will check out what interests or amuses you, it’s an excellent chance to made trades- that carving for those tools – great deal!

The average show I worked was a three-day show – set up on Thursday, and sell on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. As can be expected, the weather has some effects. I’ve had some shows where hurricanes or their tail ends were whipping through with torrential rains. Fog can have a quieting impact on sales too.

When the customer traffic dies due to weather, there is an increase in “walkers.” Their booths are vacant, and the show appears empty. If it’s a Sunday afternoon especially, it’s let’s make deal time.
You wander towards the booths of those who’ve been over to see yours; if they have something that interests you, the deal-making starts. These are not taxable transactions, so Caesar receives no tribute in sales tax. Everyone is happy.
Why so happy when sales were stilled due to the afternoon cloudburst? Because while there is always a lot of talk about large deposits and mega-colossal sales at these shows, few whip out a wad of Franklins or display the checks for large orders. It may all be bluff. What’s not bluff is that some buyers take time to consider large purchases and commissions.

It’s a joyous Monday when you arrive at the shop and find ten messages on the answering machine, “Hello Lou? I spoke to you Saturday about a billet heat for my sloop Samantha?”

2 Replies to “Walking The Show”

  1. My husband and I did arts and crafts shows for thirteen years. I well remember those shows where the crowds were not necessarily buying but it was made up for on the last day when artists swarmed each others booths for swaps. I remember one Xmas show in particular where we got a lot of our Xmas shopping done for free!!!

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