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Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Mississauga Stampin' UP! fail...

So, back on the day of William and Catherine's wedding, I went to the Good Food Festival here in Mississauga at the International Centre. I usually go with my family, but this year they had a SAHM deal where you could get in two full hours before the show opened to the general public as well as get a goody bag!

In a brief moment of "brain-fart-itis", I somehow managed to "forget" that the opening day of the show was also wedding day, so in glee I hit submit and purchased my ticket for the Good Food Festival. About 2.8 seconds later, I realized just WHAT I had done and realized that there would indeed NOT be any napping post wedding (I was up at 3 a.m. EST!).

Resolving to make the most of it, after the wedding was over (and I had witnessed the balcony kiss), I dropped my youngest son off at school and made my way to the Good Food Festival. On my arrival, I went in search of COFFEE and then joined the other SAHM (and Canadian Living Subscribers - so much for EXCLUSIVE!) in line and waited till the scheduled opening at 10 a.m.

Well, I don't know what YOUR definition of "festival" is, but this certainly wasn't mine! In years past, this show was HUGE with many vendors, samples, demonstrations, etc. This year? I walked the show floor in under 20 minutes.  I kid you not.

On my second tour around (had to get my money's worth!), I stopped at an Epicure booth and started chatting with Patricia who was running the booth.  We chatted for a little bit about our experiences in the Direct Selling business and exchanged business cards. I bought a few dip mixes (YUM by the way!) and was on my way.

I did stick around for a little while to watch some demonstrations (at least the Canadian Living Kitchen was still there) and to take some pictures of Duff (of Charm City Cakes) for my daughter.

A few weeks later, Patricia emailed me and asked if I'd be interested in doing a fundraiser for a school. Of course, said I! Please forward the information!

So, in anticipation, I prepared samples (juried show) and dropped them off at the school (VERY upscale area) and waited. A few days later, I received notification that I had been "accepted" and went on a creating frenzy. I made covered notepads, portable post it notes, card sets, etc. I've done "juried" shows before (pre Stampin' UP!) and they were always filled with artisans and work of the highest quality.

On the afternoon of the event, I drove to the school to find the gym empty, tables not set up and chairs scattered everywhere. OH DEAR!

It seems this was the FIRST time the school had added a "marketplace" to the Fun Fair (outdoor games/activities to celebrate the end of the school year).

To make a long story short, every person that came to my table (and I had a PRIME spot!) mentioned that this was the FIRST time there had been a marketplace and that they hadn't been prepared to spend more money than what they had brought for food and games.

By the end of the evening, I hadn't even covered my table costs and the TWO sales I made were both to other vendors. Yeah. *sigh*

So, the LESSON in all of this?  Don't take the organizers word for it! She made it sound like a big deal and like they had been doing this for years, but the reality was FAR different than the image I had in my head.

Have you ever had a failed event? Have you gone on to try again? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I mean, everything HAS to have a happy ending, right? I started dating my husband because I felt sorry for him (work injury) and this August, we'll be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I must be doing SOMETHING right!

Meanwhile...I'm still loving what I do and sharing what I love.

Happy Stampin'!

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