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ACC Sarasota


#1

Well, friends,

My name has risen to the top of the wait-list for ACC Sarasota. I’ve
done one ACC show so far, in Chicago this year, and it was a big
expensive bust, and I didn’t have to travel for it. So I’m having
trouble deciding whether to go to Sarasota. I have a free place to
stay, but it’s all the way in Tampa (where I grew up, a while back).
I would appreciate any comments or suggestions you care to make.
Thanks!

–Noel


#2

I don’t mean to be a pain, folks, but-- nobody has any knowledge or
opinions about ACC Sarasota? I guess I’ve gotten spoiled by
depending on you great folks for advice. Geez, you’re not going to
leave me to make up my mind on my own, are you?

–Noel


#3

I haven’t done it although many friends have. This is the last year
that the show will be. Chicago is no more. Those two things should
probably have some bearing on your decision. Good luck!


#4

Noel, Sorry for not following up. I just got back from a show in NYC
where I had to drive back the entire way (NY to NC from 9pm til 7am)
nonstop due to the power outages in VA. No room in any of the inns
from Deleware south! Anyway, I just didn’t feel up to posting. On
the upside, it was my best show ever, so I really have no
complaints.

About Sarasota: I have gone twice. The first was 2000 and then
2001. I didn’t go in 2002 because of a conflict with another show
in NYC but this year I have no conflict but decided not to go
anyway. The facilities are not optimal. The majority of the
exhibitors have to show in large tents that tend to leak and, until
2001, was not air conditioned. For this reason they have decided to
make 2003 the final show there until better facilities are built.

I never did well in Sarasota. I made about the same dollars there
as Chicago. I know a lot of jewelers did well, but their product
was not as high end or as contemporary as mine. The majority of
people visiting my booth during public days complained about how
expensive everything was. It seemed a different clientele came to
the opening night gala, though. From that angle it was rather like
two shows. The people who came on opening night obviously had
money. Still, I could never make a sale on opening night. I could
never shake the feeling that, judging by the comments made to me,
the average shopper going through the show on the public days
thought they were coming to a flea market and were shocked when they
got off the tour bus. But, there were always lots of people waiting
at the doors to get in the day of the show and there was always lots
of traffic, so I did at least find a couple of customers. My first
show there I made $950 the next weekend in Charlotte I did almost
$5,000. I doubled my sales the next year in Sarasota (Charlotte
went down quite a bit that year), but it still wasn’t worthwhile
since I had to spend so much time out of the shop at one of the
busiest times of year.

There was a very messy outcome in 2003 as it rained terribly and
some of the areas were partially flooded. I believe this is why
they have canceled until better facilities come available. So, I
canceled this year. However, every show is a crap shoot. Even a
show that you have done very well at can turn on you nowadays and a
show you have never done before can be your best ever.

It seems to me that there are three criteria when deciding to do a
show. 1) Is it your market? Will your product do well here in a
craft show venue? More needs to be discussed in this area, it is
more complex then I have time to go into. 2) Do you have the money
and time to spend even if you make no sales? 3) Is this a market
you are committed to doing consistently? If you are committed to
selling in this market, then even if you make no sales this year,
perhaps you can plant a seed that next year or so will grow into a
sale.

I hope this helps you a little. Every show is different for every
artist. This is my experience and my advice. Take it for what it’s
worth.

Larry