My First Market Experience Dec 2012

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So I found out about this thing called Holiday Market Too from the Chattanooga Convention Center website and jumped on board to be a vendor.

I had an unbelievably great time!

Crowd turnout was disappointing but people really loved my balloons and I had the best vending neighborhood ever!

I made wonderful new friends and just loved the milieu!

I got my first banner from Vistaprint, I got a great deal of half off, I think I paid 20 dollars for it. I also had some picture books i made through Walgreens so people could see what I am capable of and help show my range. People really love looking through my books and I love hearing what people like best and what suggestions or requests they come up with as a result.

I got to set up my bright sun shiny tent and be my silly self. People really enjoyed seeing things they had never seen before and I love how the balloons made people instantly happy and perk up and hearing oohs and ahhs, man there is not a more mellifluous sound in the world than that!

Here are pictures from the event. I was a vendor for three weekends, Sat and Sun for first two weekends and Fri, Sat and Sun the last weekend. I had a huge vending fee and after paying for babysitting and ballooning expenses and because of low turn out made only like 97 dollars after all was said and done. That will go towards replenishing my balloon stock so I really broke even.

I sold well considering the people traffic and people took my business cards so we will see what happens!

I had never been to the Chattanooga Market before, they rented the space from the Convention Center and hosted the event. It was the Market’s first year at that location. I know now to be more inquisitive about such matters. How many years have you been doing this, if they can’t give you a strong idea of how many people come to the event that is a bad sign, and how long has it been at this location as they could have switched locations.

I found out that The Holiday Market Too was a special Christmas oriented market that had started last year but found out that this was their first year at a new location. When I asked how many people come to this I did not have a strong response and it was very vague. I had the option of paying for being there for seven days or as few as one and from now on I think it wiser to go for one day at something I have never done before to check it out and see if it is worth my time.

I still had a blast and it was a great learning opportunity on so many accounts.

I was really impressed with the vendors that participated and know now where to buy cool stuff locally that won’t break my wallet!

Below are pictures from the event.

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2 responses »

  1. I’m really proud of you. These events are surely a learning experience, and I was fortunate enough to be “picked up” by the woman I currently work with as her balloon artist because she’s been doing events and such for a few years now. I would not have had a clue where to start myself, and she only got good at working different events through trial and error. Your stand looks incredible, and I know first-hand how much work you must have put into each balloon you made. I’m glad you have a great attitude, but the right location is definitely key. I’ve found that if you are not making the balloons in front of people they have a difficult time grasping how much work goes into it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to hear comments like “Oh, those balloons are a waste of money” told by parents to their kids if they do not see me making them before their eyes. (Sure, right after they just bought themselves an ice cream for 4 dollars that is not only unhealthy but gone in 5 minutes.) Of course, MOST comments are quite flattering appreciative and impressed remarks. I love making balloons and I know you do too, and since you learned a lot about the business and had fun that is what matters this time around. Keep it up, I can tell you first-hand you can make many hundreds of dollars profit in a day once you hit the right events. Keep that star of yours shining brightly, and Happy New Year! -Sage

    • Thank you! And you bring up an excellent point. I have always found it peculiar that people will pay huge money for flowers which will only last a week or so and yet balloons are looked at in a different vein and also seem to be something people categorize in their head as “just for children”.

      My balloons last at least a week and it has been reported to me that they have lasted even longer.

      I find these perceptions so odd.

      Also consider things like cards, if given the choice I would much rather have a cool balloon than a cool card, and those cards can be pretty dang expensive.

      I also think about how grocery stores will sell really expensive mylar balloons, and they must sell them or it wouldn’t be an option there, so some people see a big value in balloons. Maybe the floating aspect puts that in a different realm.

      Even so, I want to be a part of a movement where balloon sculptures can stand in place beside flowers in social status and customary gift.

      You are never too old for balloons and I think they make a new and more exciting way to decorate and add some pizazz.

      It makes people instantly happy and that is worth something! If I came across a balloon top hat I would buy it because I am all about making memories anyway.

      There are many who get it, who have the balloon appreciation and spirit and find the wow they get from looking at it as worth something, and those people are like Stan Lee would say of his readers, true believers, lololololol.

      Congrats to you on coming across what sounds to me like a party planner. I need to find me one, lololololol.

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