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Author Topic: Fair Recap from Fair Staff  (Read 7443 times)

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Offline Sugarberry

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2016, 05:29:31 PM »
My extras sold overall, but it was primarily the stuff from overseas that sold.  No one wanted G3.  I didn't go home with any extra money.  We walked out with roughly $300.00 less than we started with, three bins less of extras, and a bunch of new stuff for my collection... and my husband and I both had a marvelous time and are very happy.

A few observations...

The US market is saturated online, at yard sales and most collectors have reached the point where they are not really looking for 95% of G3.  The same can probably be said of G4, and even G1.  My husband ranks collectors of any item into tiers.  Many collectors that come to the show- Roogna, Clipper, Ivy - just to name a very few as examples, don't even really need upgrades of US ponies anymore. If dealers are coming with 87354875324 regular US ponies and hoping to make $3-10 off each, it's just not gonna happen.  This year, I had a load of requests for Fizzy... can't imagine whyyyyyy!  If Katie hadn't been there, Fizzy would have sat.  What is of interest, and what did sell this year, were the non-US items and ponies. 
 
The table cost is high.  It is.  It's not as high as E2, but then the audience isn't big like that either.  To add on admission tickets to the table is admittedly very expensive.  Add on another for a booth helper and it's a bit of a pocket ouch.

I hear a lot of whining every year, so I can only imagine what the staff must hear.  It's not feedback, it's whining.  There is nothing that will kill fun more than whining. Dr. Who magazine even had a whole article on the matter of fans killing the thing they love the most- a bit like squeezing a favorite pet to death.  As difficult as it is, try not to let whining get you all down.

I think only a couple vendors were there strictly for sales.  May I suggest a couple things to perhaps help as you guys look toward going forward-

1)Take into account the folks that have been regular yearly vendors for the fair.  Their past loyalty should allow them an extra table or so, with the understanding that sales are not going to necessarily be the best in future fairs.  I think... probably... there are only a tiny handful of individuals that hit *every* fair that have multiple tables like that. 
(I'm not one of them for those who may wonder.  Finances and family mean this is only my third or fourth fair.)

2)Limit most vendors or new vendors to one table, but allow for a bigger room.  Rummaging is gonna happen, especially when a booth is decorated up for the contests.  Decorations mean less space. 

3) Maybe promote some trading as well as sales.  Maybe throw a baggie of little cards or tokens in the totes... something that a happy attendee can give a vendor to say "hey thanks for making it fun for me"... let the vendors trade the little cards in for something small- a pencil, pin, poster, stickers... anything like that.

4) The scavenger idea was a fun one!  I wish I'd seen more on that before hand. Repeat please!   ^.^

 
As markets do, there will eventually be a swing in interests again.  G3 was so massive as a line, in 4,5 more years there will be more folks looking for them, but the QUANTITY of them that were made and saved will mean they never will reach levels like the G1 stuff.  Vendors need to understand this on some level.  Additionally, many (most) collectors really aren't going to a fair to buy customs or fan-art.  If you choose to limit the attendees, the customs/fan arts sales will probably dwindle.  There are always going to be downs to the ups. 

Try not to fret over complaints.  Go back, look at what vendors were selling and how much they were asking.  For example- someone had a water-filled Cadance there and was asking $40-45.00.  I needed one, but could buy it off ebay for $18.00 including mailing.  Just because a vendor paid $300.00 for a Columbian pony on Ebay and suddenly wants to sell it at fair, does not mean they'll get even $200.00 for it on the show room floor.  Every item is only worth what someone will *pay* for it.  So yes, some of their sales take a hit.  I sold a Muffins brushable for half of what the ebay price was (and exactly what I paid for her) so a little girl could be happy. It just can't be all about profit.  This was a wonderful fair, and the staff did a marvelous job as always.   :biggrin:

:lovey:  Hakuna Matata.    Thank you guys again!


 


 
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Offline Roogna

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2016, 05:47:41 PM »
please don't assume :P ;) my *active* wishlist that I used at this year's fair had at least 2 dozen US ponies on it I still need and that doesn't count upgrades or accessories. And I was able to find a couple this year!  (yay!)
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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2016, 06:00:40 PM »
please don't assume :P ;) my *active* wishlist that I used at this year's fair had at least 2 dozen US ponies on it I still need and that doesn't count upgrades or accessories. And I was able to find a couple this year!  (yay!)

*lol*  I know what you mean.  Technically, I have all the ponies I need. But I'm pickier about condition now so it's all about upgrading to near mint condition and finding variations and possibly expanding to other countries.  There's no end to the collecting!

Offline ponyqueen

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2016, 06:04:28 PM »
As a seller- I surprised myself with the volume of prints and originals I had this year- shocked that it spread over three tables- but I didn't want to disappoint art fans by not having enough, like last year when I ran out of a lot of things. Considering the attendance was half of last year's, I did fairly well with sales- covered most of my printing costs, and everything else I earned was turning around and getting spend in the vendor hall.

As a shopper- I spent almost exactly the same amount in the vendor hall as last year. I came home with one art, four custom ponies, and a bunch of ponies and merch. I had a marvelous time, even though the aisles were crowded.

(Also THANK YOU to everyone who went home with my art! I :heart: you all!)

Looking forward to next year!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 07:30:57 PM by ponyqueen »
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Offline lunar_scythe

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2016, 06:27:39 PM »
*shrugs* I wasn't at this years fair, but I have been at several of them as a vendor.  Something for sellers to keep in mind is the fact that unless you have something pretty rare or handmade items, at least 4 other sellers have the same exact items.

 If you really want to sell them, you have to catch peoples attention, give them a reason to buy it from *you* instead of the other sellers.  Either lower prices, decorations, raffles, something to catch peoples attention. I noticed last year a lot of people had priced their ponies at mint prices even if the ponies had marks or rubs, so I passed on quite a few I wanted.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 06:32:45 PM by lunar_scythe »
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Offline Rosette

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2016, 06:53:21 PM »
Thanks to the Fair Staff and Volunteers for another fun Fair!  This year I vended, missing out on the panels and contests and awards, but what I heard about them was that they were all top-notch, creative, and informative.  I look forward to next year!

My one concern, as a vendor, was simply the number of tables in the space provided.  (I blame the hotel for overpromising what could reasonably fit.)  We had one collector in a wheel chair, a few younger ones in strollers, and they effectively blocked the aisle they were shopping at any time.  I'm certain that room didn't meet fire code standards for occupancy or aisle width.  Whether future years see a larger room or fewer vendor tables available, I hope that will be fixed.   :)

I'm a facts-and-information person, so I was tracking my inventory and sales closely this past weekend.  (If you are also a facts-and-info person, you might be curious to read on!   :lol:)  I sold 56% of what I brought.  A majority of that comprised of low-price and steeply reduced items--35% of the items I sold were bait/tlc quality g1 ponies and 21% of the items were older G4 boxed items that I reduced to half off starting mid-day Saturday. (For example, a European exclusive MIB Rarity's Carriage with Starswirl figure sold for $37 and first wave brushables MOC for $5 each.)  The rest were loose G1s and non-pony 80s vintage toys and collectibles.  I certainly felt the impact of a much reduced attendance in sales.  Knowing that next year will also be more of a large Pony Meet than the huge Fair we've had the past couple years, I wouldn't bother bringing any generations but G1 and I'd try to focus more on ponies in demand by established collectors--Nirvanas, UK exclusives, custom-bait, etc.  Knowing the intention and attendance cap for next year, in advance, can help me to be smarter with what I choose to transport as a vendor.

My sales were certainly down from past years and other events, but the money I did make was walked up and down the aisles and dropped into the hands of other collectors vending.   :lol:  I came home with some nice additions to my collection and a bit of space freed up by selling my doubles to display them.  That's not bad!   

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2016, 07:22:53 PM »
Regarding the room size and lay out, we actually removed 2-3 tables from each row from the original layout provided by the hotel to create a center isle and more space at either end of the room. If we had gone with the number of tables they showed the room could accommodate, mobility would have been much more difficult.

The information we had to work with, and the actual space once inside the room where definitely not in sync.

Offline octocorn

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2016, 08:44:14 PM »
I had a great time at this years fair. It was my third one.  I spent every penny I'd set aside for the fair, and still ended up at the ATM!  I bought ponies, art, shirts... I felt like last year was crazy, this year was good, but a little overwhelming with the aisle issue, and Nashville was perfect.  My only complaint this year was when attending ponyqueen's watercolor demo the room was so loud it was hard to hear her.  One person entering a piece into the art competition even walked right in front of the screen while Sarah was talking!  I'd love to see panels given a separate room just for them if possible, but if not, come on people! We can do better!  We can all tell when something is going on, and when it's time to hush!  All in all though, I had another awesome time with all of you, and I look forward to next year!

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2016, 09:35:47 PM »
I had a great time at this years fair. It was my third one.  I spent every penny I'd set aside for the fair, and still ended up at the ATM!  I bought ponies, art, shirts... I felt like last year was crazy, this year was good, but a little overwhelming with the aisle issue, and Nashville was perfect.  My only complaint this year was when attending ponyqueen's watercolor demo the room was so loud it was hard to hear her.  One person entering a piece into the art competition even walked right in front of the screen while Sarah was talking!  I'd love to see panels given a separate room just for them if possible, but if not, come on people! We can do better!  We can all tell when something is going on, and when it's time to hush!  All in all though, I had another awesome time with all of you, and I look forward to next year!

I have to agree with this because during the MLP Merchandise panel the same thing happened with people being too loud and being disrespectful.
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Offline enchantress41580

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2016, 09:58:25 PM »
First and most importantly THANK-YOU Summer and staff!!!

Will just throw my two cents in here-

Honestly the majority of vendors I talked to (with the exception of a small few) didn't make out so well. No where near last year or Nashville. I wish they had offered tickets at the door and groupon coupons to draw in public like they did the last two years. The fair staff are amazing but it felt like everything was really cramped and small this year. Not to mention everything in Chicago is super expensive. I enjoyed Nashville the most out of all the venues. I've been vending the past four years, selling doll hair (I'm Retro Dolls US)- in that time I've gotten to know a good majority of other vendors and I don't know of anyone (including myself) who was there only for profits. I'm a collector, usually when sales are going well, I also like to go around and add to my collection (I also collect other 80's toys as well), I had a list of "must have" ponies, but was just unable to purchase them this year due to sales being down and the ones I'm looking for are on the pricier side. Munchy I WILL have you someday!!  :P

 If I had to rate the last four years in terms of sales it would be Chicago '15 (being the best), Nashville '14, Chicago '16 (this year), and Indy '13. I think a lot of the sales being down was due to the cramped spaces and hot room. If the show was larger, I'd be willing to pay a bit more for my booth. Being that I rely on my sales to help pay for my vacation and also to get more inventory for my store so that customizers have more options to choose from, it adds up and I wasn't prepared for the smaller crowd. I had prepared for a size like last year's and felt a bit surprised. However, I did break even, made some great contacts and came away with a decent profit and some goodies, so overall, I am ok. I did feel for other vendors who weren't as successful because like me, I know they were hoping to make money for extra shopping themselves.

  I'd be willing to volunteer each day for an hour or so to help out to make it easier on staff, and plan on volunteering next year.  I also really missed seeing the parade of costumes- I really look forward to that each year- as a vendor, I really don't get much of a chance to look around much and seeing everyone in costume is one of my highlights. Hopefully they take all this feedback from everyone and use it to make next year awesome.

Another thing that made it a bit difficult was the one elevator leading downstairs to set up and pack up- I had knee surgery about a month before the fair and by the time I got home on Monday morning, I could barely walk/move. I'm still recouping.


I also heard a lot of talk about how it was great not having bronies at the fair due to bronycon. What people fail to realize is that bronies will also look for g1/2/3 versions of show characters, there are plenty of G4 items in the show as well that they'd purchase- for me? They customize their oc's and make brushable "show accurate" ponies with the hair I sell. They also love customs which a good chunk of vendors had customs this year. They love to dress up which draws an interest of outsiders who might consider going to the fair and spending some money. Not all bronies are obnoxious and not all regular collectors are sweet as pie. You get jerks in every crowd. While I can relate to old school collectors more (as I am one)- we shouldn't exclude the new generation, because maybe they'll come to the fair and fall in love with the older generations just as much as we did. The groupons brought in families who may not be collectors, but their kids loved my customs and my LPS customs flew off the table last year (not literally but you know what I mean, lol), and I think made some new pony fans in the process.

With all that being said, I feel some positive things need to be addressed about the fair-
I enjoyed seeing everyone participating in the scavenger hunt, I LOVED meeting new people as well as finally being able to meet some dear online friends....this was the big thing for me. Yes, I love the sales (who doesn't like getting money?!) but being with my friends was the MOST important aspect for me. And to be with friends AND be surrounded by ponies? Awesome.

 I really enjoyed doing my panel on the types of doll hair and how to work with them- thank-you everyone who came and for being patient with me for being a little bit late due to my knee. I'm super shy in person, so I wasn't sure how it would go, but you guys were amazing and asked such wonderful questions. I hope you had as much fun as I did and learned something in the process!!!

You have to really hand it to Summer and the other staff members- I have noticed that hardly anyone volunteers to help, and that IS a lot to handle, even the smaller crowd we had this year. I think if more people stepped up and said, hey- is there anything I can do to help you out, to make things go more smoothly, then I think we'd notice a huge difference. Simple fact is, they don't HAVE to have a fair at all. They volunteer for free because they love it, and I love them for it. Because of this fair, I've made lifelong friendships that I cherish dearly. They work hard each year to make this possible for us. So thank-you guys again.

Would I vend again, absolutely! Would I do my panel again? Yes! I've already discussed it for Summer and I have plans on how to make it better and have a video to show as well.

I love the tote bag they offer for part of the ticket sales, I think they're well designed and super adorable.

I also think it's great that they are able to get Bonnie and other Hasbro people and voice actors/artists, etc.

I don't think anything will ever go smoothly without a hitch, but I'm happy we have our community and the fair, I'm excited to go each year and I hope to go many more years down the road. I hope that other attendees and vendors step up a little and give a hand helping out as well.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 10:04:18 PM by enchantress41580 »

Offline LovelyLittlePony

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2016, 11:20:13 PM »
I had such a lovely time at the fair this year ! I spent all the money I brought and got a majority of the ponies that were on my list  :) Met some lovely people, seen some amazing artwork/customs, won a couple contests, had a great time Pokemon hunting, and had an overall fantastic time !

I realize there were a few hiccups in the organization of the fair this year and that’s why we were stuck with such a cramp room for vending and lost some other activities that we had last year which is such a bummer  :(

But here are a few things I’d like to mention about the fair this year:

1. Not sure if I really need to mention it, as others already have and everyone is already aware of it, but gosh that vending room was cramped ! Though I understand that it was the best they could do and we just had to deal with it.

I definitely would have bought more ponies if I had been able to successfully dig through the bins under the tables. But after constantly having to move out of the way for people to pass by and being in the way of other people, I just gave up and stopped looking in any bin under the tables. Which sucks because I bought quite a few out of those bins and would have gotten more I’m sure  :cry: Vendors probably would have made more money if there had been more space for other people to dig through bins too. But with not enough space to look through them many other people gave up looking through them as well.

It was also VERY hot in there with it being so cramped; I had to take breaks during the fair just to get some fresh air lol. There were also times where I was literally stuck in one place for at least 6 minutes just waiting to get through an aisle because of all the people shopping. Though that was mostly on Saturday, Sunday was a lot less cramped !

2. Many of the prices that I found on ponies were extremely over priced. I researched all of the prices for the ponies on my list before going to the fair based on recently sold ponies and many of the ponies I found at the fair were 2-3x those prices ! While I did find many of the ponies on my list for around the prices I also had on my list, it was still disappointing that many of the ponies I was after had such high prices  :cry:

On a high note, I did manage to find quite a few deals as well so yay ! And quite a few ponies that I wanted that some people had priced high, I was able to find at another table for a cheaper price in the same condition  :P

3. I really missed the game room that we had last year ! I had so much fun there and won so many cool prizes and it was a great way to waste some time in between other activities. I think there may have been a small game room this year? But every time I looked into that room all I seen were crafting activities and only seen small children in there so I thought maybe that was just a room for kiddies to play in and not really a game room. Correct me if I’m wrong though  :P

4. I felt absolutely terrible for ponyqueen at the fair  :( She, as well as the other panels, should have definitely had a separate room. While other people and myself were entering things for the contests, poor ponyqueen was doing an art demonstration and I felt so awful that everyone else was being so noisy ! Though I guess that’s to be expected when you have people setting up entries for the contests, people viewing entries/other artwork, other people taking pictures/videos, and everyone voting; all of which can’t really be done quietly  :P They definitely should have been in separate rooms, but maybe that wasn’t an option. Hopefully it will be set up better next year though  :)

5. This is just my opinion (but I think others will agree with me), I really don’t like the raffles at the awards ceremony. Not that I don’t like the raffles, I love them ! I just don’t care to see the same people winning 90% of the items that are raffled off. Not trying to be mean or hateful or jealous or anything, but many of the people who entered the raffles (especially kiddies!) were seriously disappointed to see the same people keep winning and winning and winning over and over and over again lol. Of course they bought their tickets just like the rest of us and deserve to win just like the rest of us, but it sure is irritating to see lol.

Perhaps we can think about maybe changing how the raffle goes? Like maybe split the raffles into 2 parts: make one of the raffles a ‘you can win as many times as your ticket is picked’ kind of raffle and maybe the other raffle can be a ‘you can only win once’ kind of raffle? That way you’d still make money selling raffle tickets, and the people who enter have a better chance at winning something  :) Just my 2 cents about the raffles of course  :P

Other than those few things, I really enjoyed the fair ! Already looking forward to next year, can’t wait  :biggrin:

Offline Sugarberry

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2016, 03:03:33 AM »
please don't assume :P ;) my *active* wishlist that I used at this year's fair had at least 2 dozen US ponies on it I still need and that doesn't count upgrades or accessories. And I was able to find a couple this year!  (yay!)
I wasn't assuming.  I was on the phone with the jeep service department as I was typing and didn't type in the 'probably' that I meant to.  As in:
...just to name a very few as examples,probably don't even really need upgrades of US ponies anymore."
Apologies for the oversight.
(And those of you who were hoping for the best for my jeep, thank you.  Turns out the used vehicle warranty will cover the damage, so instead of the $2500 - 6k we were being quoted, it came back this afternoon that it's only going to be the $150.00 for diagnostic fee.)
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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2016, 05:21:20 AM »
5. This is just my opinion (but I think others will agree with me), I really don’t like the raffles at the awards ceremony. Not that I don’t like the raffles, I love them ! I just don’t care to see the same people winning 90% of the items that are raffled off. Not trying to be mean or hateful or jealous or anything, but many of the people who entered the raffles (especially kiddies!) were seriously disappointed to see the same people keep winning and winning and winning over and over and over again lol. Of course they bought their tickets just like the rest of us and deserve to win just like the rest of us, but it sure is irritating to see lol.

Perhaps we can think about maybe changing how the raffle goes? Like maybe split the raffles into 2 parts: make one of the raffles a ‘you can win as many times as your ticket is picked’ kind of raffle and maybe the other raffle can be a ‘you can only win once’ kind of raffle? That way you’d still make money selling raffle tickets, and the people who enter have a better chance at winning something  :) Just my 2 cents about the raffles of course  :P

Oh wow, the raffle... I'm sorry to the 5 winners, but gosh that raffle was disheartening. I feel really bad saying anything because obviously you guys won fair and square, but I probably won't buy any tickets next year.  And I think it's so awesome that you guys gave some of your prizes to kids that were there, that little girl that gave Drusilla the 'Surprise' painting warmed my heart!

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2016, 08:16:16 AM »
5. This is just my opinion (but I think others will agree with me), I really don’t like the raffles at the awards ceremony. Not that I don’t like the raffles, I love them ! I just don’t care to see the same people winning 90% of the items that are raffled off. Not trying to be mean or hateful or jealous or anything, but many of the people who entered the raffles (especially kiddies!) were seriously disappointed to see the same people keep winning and winning and winning over and over and over again lol. Of course they bought their tickets just like the rest of us and deserve to win just like the rest of us, but it sure is irritating to see lol.

Perhaps we can think about maybe changing how the raffle goes? Like maybe split the raffles into 2 parts: make one of the raffles a ‘you can win as many times as your ticket is picked’ kind of raffle and maybe the other raffle can be a ‘you can only win once’ kind of raffle? That way you’d still make money selling raffle tickets, and the people who enter have a better chance at winning something  :) Just my 2 cents about the raffles of course  :P

Oh wow, the raffle... I'm sorry to the 5 winners, but gosh that raffle was disheartening. I feel really bad saying anything because obviously you guys won fair and square, but I probably won't buy any tickets next year.  And I think it's so awesome that you guys gave some of your prizes to kids that were there, that little girl that gave Drusilla the 'Surprise' painting warmed my heart!

I spent $20 bucks on the raffle. I was really hopping to win and I did win at least once. It does get disappointing to see the same people win over and over. It would be awesome if everyone had a fairer chance to win something. We need a better system. :-P

At least we saw that awesome moment with Drusilla and the young girl :-)

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Re: Fair Recap from Fair Staff
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2016, 01:47:45 PM »
Maybe set up prize tiers?  When we ran sober grad, there were two big prizes that everyone got a single ticket to put in for one of the two, and if they won one of those, they forfeited any other winnings.  Those were drawn first, and the tickets were a different color.
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