One of these things is not like the other…
Hey everyone! I had my second author booth this past weekend and it was very different than the first. Now, going into it, I knew there were going to be some key differences.
- The first venue was inside a hotel. The second venue was on county fairgrounds.
- The first venue had around 40 vendors. The second had over 65.
- The first event was at a smaller city and the second event was at a larger city.
All things considered, I thought the second booth was going to be much bigger than the first. In terms of traffic, I wasn’t wrong. The first event has less than 200 shoppers and the second had over 500. However, what I didn’t expect was I made half the sales at the second one as I did at the first.
Part of this might be because the first event was my first event ever. I feel like it’s common to sell more fresh out of the gates than as a returning guest. This is slightly supported by knowing there were a few shoppers who went to both events and that makes sense because the locations were close-ish in proximity.
Honestly, though, I think the problem was my banner. I have a banner with Legacy’s portal on it and under the portal, it has our tagline, “To whom do you belong?” This seemed to not sit well with a majority of the shoppers.
From the second shopper onward, I kept getting comments about people’s commitment to their own faith. They delivered those messages in a tone that indicated it was the main reason they had no interest in talking to me. I fully understand that having a book with representations from Egyptian Mythology to Hinduism, and lots of other belief systems in between, is not going to be everyone’s jam. That’s expected and totally fine. I’m more than happy to navigate those waters. What I did not expect is a picture of a portal and our tagline to flag us as someone who is instantly challenging other’s religions. So, lesson learned. I’ll certainly spend some more time thinking about how people can interpret our various marketing tools and try to have more open language on our products.
I won’t have the time to change the banner and have it delivered before this season of events is over, but it’s certainly something we’re considering as a team. We’re also going to take away our Instagram sign and add in a sign about free author signings. I’ll have that before booth #3. A super nice vendor also gave me the idea of using magnets to hold up the banner which will be used going forward and is a fantastic addition. I look forward to experimenting with those this weekend and learning more there.
Overall, I’m glad I went. I think it was good for me to practice receiving negative feedback in person. It was much easier to navigate once I identified the culprit. The event provided me with hours of brainstorming and experience using different techniques to defuse awkward/negative situations. I believe I’m stronger for it, though I do hope booth 3 is more like the first than the second.