Thursday, May 3, 2012

Those days are gone. Get over it.

Yesterday, the organizers of the Creativ Festival did a very brave thing. They asked their customers to provide feedback about the recent show on facebook. I read them with disappointment. I was wondering if I was in fact at the same show.

The Creativ Festival is a top-notch consumer show. The vendors and activities are a reflection of current market trends in the world of arts and crafts. If it's not the same as 10 years ago, there's a good reason. The world has changed. Look around you. The glory days are gone. Probably for good. Be grateful for all those vendors and experts who made the effort to be there to teach, exhibit and sell their wares. It's not easy and it's a big risk. For a $15 admission fee you received outstanding value if you were open to learning something new or just taking in the sights.

Freebies. Free patterns. Free handouts. Several people said that vendors should be giving out more freebies. Back in the day, vendors used to be given free products by the manufacturers to distribute and encourage more sales. That doesn't happen any more. Handouts. Hmmmm. Printing costs have gone through the roof. Printing even small quantities costs $100 of dollars. And they often end up in the recycling bin. So no. Freebies and handouts aren't the answer because the truth is, they don't generate more sales--or even enough sales to cover the vendor's costs. They generate waste and satisfy people who want handouts, not people who are looking for value.

A $14 needlework pattern? Is that too much to ask if it gives you hours of enjoyment? Is that too much to ask if the artist spent weeks designing, perfecting and testing it? Is that too much if the exhibitor has to sell a 100 of them to cover the cost of their booth for that day? I don't think so.

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