Rock & Shop in Review

by - December 19, 2011

My table

The Trotter Building

First off, I was so honored to get to participate in the Rock & Shop market this year. I skipped a year due to some baby raising, and I'd only been to the one in Raleigh. I was excessively nervous the night before thinking of having to set up my table without the help of Joe, and I must have ran through all the details several times over in my head during his work party. We'd made last minute display shelves which I didn't finish until the next morning - just in time to load up the Jeep!

I shouldn't have been worried because the Durham crowd was amazing! The doors opened at 12pm, and there was a steady stream of people until about 4:30 that slowly tapered off until 6pm. The atmosphere was more laid back than my previous (few) experiences, which could have been due to the presence of beer or perhaps it is just the atmosphere of Durham in general. Being the weekend before Christmas, people were there not just to check out the artists and designers but to shop.

Michelle Smith and her team ran a great event, and all the volunteers were super helpful. The advertising leading up the the event was top-notch and definitely made an impact. Not having a table or the space marked off when I showed up caught me a little off-guard, but that was all the fault of the rental company, and things were quickly fixed. I had a front seat to the fashion show, which was fun, but my table was essentially blocked off from customers for about 30 minutes. I did have one determined customer make a purchase right in the middle of the show! If anything, having that runway right in front of my table may have brought more folks by as they waited for it to begin.

Lessons learned:
1. People like sets of bowls - especially when displayed in a cute basket with a sign.
2. The increased vertical display was very helpful at creating more space on the table and highlighting those special pieces or groupings.
3. I really need to make more pieces in the $20-$30 range. I know I keep saying this, but the big bowls just don't sell.
4. One one large bowl should be displayed.
5. Large dinner plates don't sell. I should work on marketing those as a serving tray to go with a set of items like a small bowl for a dip.
6. I couldn't see anything from behind all my shelves. This forced me to get up and talk to people. Some like to be talked to (and talking into buying something), other are really uncomfortable with the hovering. I need to work on reading people. Maybe I should put out a bell that says, "Ring if you need me!" Just kidding, sort of.
7. I like checking out the other potters at these events. I think this weirds them out a little. They never visit my table. Hmmm.
8. Next event I should neither eat so much pizza nor drink two cans of soda.

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