Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ACen Report

Short form:
We survived. Still recovering. Pretty sure we'll be getting 2 booths for next year.

The main setup started Thursday at noon. You know when I said that I had deduced that the truck and trailer should go to a marshaling yard to be dispatched in an orderly manner to the actual Exhibit Hall? Wrong. Traffic control within the hall, was, as far as we saw, non-existant. But that was after the hilarity of first finding the yard, then figuring out where to actually go. 

Due to that hilarity, Xap beat us to the hall, picked up our badges, and found our space. We are a bit perturbed that she was not asked for ID to confirm she was who she claimed to be. 

More hilarity ensued when we discovered that our 10' x 10' space . . . was not. So our layout predicated on 10' of width was not going to work. We came up with an alternate one. We later deduced that the 10' was measured from the corner of a pillar, but the base plate to the pipe and drape meant lost space. 

Once we got everything out of the trailer and the truck, Ron was dispatched home, and Xap, Wash, Marmaduke, and I worked on setup. For extra fun, most of our front opening was blocked out for a couple/few hours by the neighbors' large truck, which bothered Wash. Four people trying to work in a space of about 5' x 9' leads to a certain amount of flail. There was much flailing. Eventually the tables and belts were arranged, and we decided to wait until Friday morning to deal with the gridwall, especially the sections facing out (in consideration of things like trucks driving down the aisle). 

So we did that. 

Friday sales just about made it to what I hoped for, which was a bit past covering our booth cost. At that point we were planning on two booths next year.  We sold 9 of our 19 tails Friday.

Saturday we had, surprisingly, somewhat less sales than Saturday. For a while we were waffling toward one booth next year, but things did pick up in the afternoon. If we'd had more tails we'd have had more sales. We sold 6 tails Saturday.  That left us 4, all of which were boring brown - the pretty black, blue, and white ones, plus big floofy ones, sold first.

Sunday was less yet, which was not so much of a surprise. Down to 3 tails by the end of the day.

Total was enough to cover our booth this year and two for next year.  Average sale was $25.

Lots of people admired the hanging pouches, but many bought regular belt pouches instead. Many people looked at quivers, but we didn't sell any. We did sell the map case, and a wrist-rocket (bracer with loops to hold dummy rounds), without the dummy rounds. 

Hats. Ron got two, Xap and Wash each got one, we found one for Robin, and on Sunday I succumbed and one followed me home.  Probably more natter about that on the personal blog.

We didn't think to ask any of the neighbors where to park trucks/trailers, so Ron didn't come down with the trailer (and Robin - who I asked thinking that not-quite-so-tired help would be useful) until after closing time Sunday. Packing up in one small booth was a little slow, with hilarity when Xap was attacked by The Grinch, but not too bad. 

More Ruminations:
Although our little booth was tight, people didn't seem too reluctant to come in. Some places getting people to step in has been a losing fight.

Wash is pretty good at schmoozing the customers. And has developed a relationship with the stuffed otter. Given the number of people carrying around plush things, by the end of Sunday I felt like we need more stuffed otters, so everybody working can have one.

The receipt printer is a Good Thing. I'm very happy we got it. We didn't quite need the spare battery, but we're glad we got it. 

Not being able to get to the bathroom sink to wash my hands because of people putting on makeup, especially the one painting her forearm, was really annoying. I came very close to invoking the Mom Voice.

ACen needs to work on communications. I will be composing e-mail to them, with input from Ron and Xap, on where work is needed.

I stayed home yesterday, as my brain was pretty much mush. 

We have ideas and plans for next year, but I think this has gone on long enough. 

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