Friday, April 08, 2011

The Show Application Mystery, part 3

So, you found the RIGHT show, and you got your application RIGHT and now you are there, ready to set up your booth.

How are you going to behave? Remember, if you don't act RIGHT you may just be asked to leave before the show even begins.

What?! Really, it happens.

If you are really heinous you just might be blacklisted from a show. None of the show promoters or artists I spoke with would confirm that they have blacklists, or have seen such lists, but we all know at least one really difficult artist who can never seem to get into the same show two years in a row. She's rude, she's a Diva, she's loud and annoying and somehow...she never repeats a show. Don't let that be you. 

Act RIGHT:
Bring the merch you said you'd bring
This was the number one comment from the various show-operators I spoke with. Artists who jury in with belts and wallets and show up with monogrammed pet bowls. Artists who try to sneak in their friend's work. Artists who try to sneak in stuff they bought, and did not make. Any of these can and probably will have you boxing your stuff right back up before the show even opens.

Follow all the show rules
No foolin'. If it says 'no recorded music' don't bring your boom box and Eminem mix CD.
If you are supposed to drape your table to the ground, well, drape that table!
If you are not supposed to protrude out into the aisle then don't. No mannequin holding your handmade aprons, no funny blow-up dog wearing a hand-woven dog collar. No.

Be nice to customers
This should go without saying but somehow it does not. Leave your attitude and crabby voice at the door. Be cheerful. Be friendly. Be happy to see the customers.

Be nice to other vendors
No rude commentary on your neighbor's monogrammed toilet paper holders. No complaints about their customers standing in front of your booth. No stealing their office supplies OR their merchandise.

Be nice to the show promoters OR Don't be a Diva
If there is a problem, be nice in complaining about it and understand that the promoter really does want you to have a good show. They are selling the show space; you are their customer.  Complaining loudly and rudely if your electricity does not work won't get it fixed faster and just might get you 'black-listed' from the show.  And don't talk bad about the other vendors or the promoters to ANYONE! Really, if you think the show is a podunk show, why did you apply? If those customers walking the aisles are dressed badly or have weird haircuts you don't need to tweet that.

Be a professional
For me this includes NOT sitting in your booth, NOT eating in your booth and NOT talking on the phone/tweeting/texting all day. It means greeting everyone, keeping social visits to a minimum and dressing nicely. Yeah, I know I"m old fashioned and yeah, I know it is hard to stand all day in a show booth but really, you can do it. Your customers will move on down the aisle if they stop by and you are munching on a big sub sandwich, chatting with a friend on the phone and painting your nails. If you tweet negative commentary about the customers SOMEONE will read it.

Clean up after yourself and don't leave trash behind
This should also be obvious. Your booth rental fee + a slow show does not = the right to leave a crazy mess in the space. Be neat.

 Write a thank you-publicly!
A few positive tweets about the show, and a nice facebook or blog post, will remind the show promoters that you were a decent human being...it never hurts to be polite!

So, that wraps up the series...any tips you want to share?