This was a tough gig... It was another good learning experience, but disappointing is probably the most apt word I can find to describe yesterday's Family Fun Day event.
In short, I made possibly a few pounds profit, but really nowhere near as much as I had hoped. I was hoping for kids to want certain items - hairslides, pens, friendship bracelets - which were priced between 50p and £3.00 - and for their parents to say "go on then". This just didn't happen.... and it seemed to be universal for all stalls (which made me feel slightly better. At least it wasn't only me that took few sales). The event was well attended. The location was beautiful and the weather ideal and the organization excellent for the most part. The only problem... people were just not spending!
I totally understand this. Why should people spend? There was free entry, music and singing performances, food stalls and beer stand. There was an ice cream van parked outside (not part of the event, but seemingly the only place that had queues). Lots of families came along with picnic blankets and made themselves comfortable in the green space facing the stage and stayed for hours. The atmosphere and vibe was good; there were plenty of people milling about for hours on end. I sold 3 items in the first 20 mins and felt positive.
Two hours later and me and the lady next to me called Katie (sells Usborne books) were already finding it extremely slow despite it being lunchtime and peak attendance. Come 4pm a couple of stalls started packing up - never a good sign, especially as the event was meant to last until 8pm. I didn't blame those stallholders at all. 1 lady told me she had made £40 and she just wanted to go home. She said she did another event in the same area recently and that that was also unsuccessful in terms of sales. "I'm never doing an event in this area again!" were her parting words. The sad thing is, the event was in a nice part of Cardiff (Llandaff). Affluence (and dogs) abounded. Cost of living crisis, perhaps? People more conscious of saving their pennies as this winter will see soaring energy costs? Maybe.
By 6/6.30pm, the rest of us stallholders started packing up. A child (with sticky fingers) ran off with one of the hairbands on my stall and another child had to go and retrieve it. I'd "made friends" with a very extrovert 5 year old boy whose mum was a few stalls down. While I was packing up he kept picking up items on my table and running off with them! I got them back LOL. There were more stalls on the other side of the wall behind me; when I left at 6.45ish they had all already vacated. Another sad thing (or maybe another sign of tightening the belt) was that a lot of the stalls (mine included) had items for low prices, £3 or less. I'm lucky that I don't rely on this income to live; I wonder if other stallholders do and how on earth they manage. Thank God for tutoring and my beloved students!
I really appreciate your time, thank you, hope it's a good week.