(I'll warn you right now, this isn't my usual kind of post...oh, and there's not a picture to capture my feelings)
This past weekend was a fabulous learning experience. I learned that we are on the right track with a lot of our ideas. Great products, creative vendors, and marketing every way we could on the shoestring budget we were tied to really pays off.
I also learned from our mistakes. Always, always, go with your gut, like sticking with a single price for booth spaces to turning down a vendor that swears they have have wonderful vintage items and a knack for display, but were unable to produce photos to back the statement. Even more importantly, get everything, every thing, in writing. If you have a verbal agreement, things tend to somehow be...shall we say, forgotten?
The Tumbleweed Cotillion was a success from virtually all accounts, except for the event location. Just let me say this; if you plan on having an event at this venue- a wedding, a party, whatever- be prepared to make your own parking signs for their property and provide your own trash receptacles. Then be prepared to haul off the trash afterwards (you know, your wedding guests' plastic cups and paper napkins and such...) because you'll be expected to. We were.
Also, plan on having the property's owner parade in and out of the barn repeatedly during your party to get items from the closet conveniently (at least apparently for him) located in the middle of a vendor's booth space in the main room (hey, they wanted some ice cream from the fridge in there, and it's their place, right?) This was our experience.
Take my advice people, and think twice before booking any event at this place (of course, hind site is 20/20 and I had no less than 3 people at the fair tell me they were surprised and a bit concerned when we first announced where the event would be held because they had heard of problems in the past...I wish I'd heard this sooner)
An example? Here's a small but terribly aggravating story: I was informed no one else could sell bath or body products because the owner sold them. OK, no problem. I see her point, sort of. (I personally welcome multiple vendors- I sell painted furniture and I am secure enough with my product to be thrilled to have other furniture vendors there too) We then bring on one of my favorite restaurants on board to sell food and drinks, only to have people complain to me that if you went upstairs to the deck outside the lavender shop, she had water for sale for next to nothing, undercutting the restaurant booth by a substantial amount and making the shoppers that bought water down stairs feel totally ripped off. The list goes on and on, but I am tired of even thinking about it.
Yes, I know this is not my usual sort of happy post that I am far more comfortable doing, but darn it, the fact of the matter is that these folks caused us all (each and every vendor) to lose time and money due to some of these shenanigans and that makes me mad. It put a damper on things and it caused me to have to spend valuable time smoothing things over with vendors and shoppers alike, when I could have been working my booth and greeting guests. So unnecessary. As a Mom that helped with three weddings in one year, I'd never want to tangle with a business venue run this way on a day as important as a wedding.
It's so sad to me when I come across someone so miserable themselves that they cannot seem to bear seeing anyone else happy or successful.
*sigh* And I though lavender was supposed to be so soothing.