At first we weren't sure whether we could get a show/vendor space at the event. We were told it was full; Then, we learned, the organizers were able to find space for us and several other vendors. Part of the dining area adjacent to the main show area was being re-purposed, using dining tables as vendor’s show platforms. We’re REALLY glad they did, and here's a big Thank You to John Keaton, who made sign-up and set-up a breeze.
We brought a white tablecloth with us, thinking it would be best for showing the slides. The black table cloths supplied by the venue were fine for guitars, amps and other accessories. But glass loves the light, and we thought the white tablecloth background would help show off their color.
The doors opened for vendor load-in and setup at 8:30. We rolled in at about 9:00. It wasn't long before we had the table dressed and most of our two hundred slides unloaded and on display.
New business cards were printed for the event and we put them in two cardholders near where visitors would stand. Also, with thanks and a tip 'o the hat to Cecily G. Willis for her 1974 creative illustration of Gregg Allman playing a slide, we had two colorful displays announcing our new custom slides. Back in ‘74, only clear Pyrex-type glass was available, so we revised the art to draw attention to the colored glass we're using today; the slide on Gregg's pinky is now amber...
Here's how our table looked just before the doors opened to the public:
The show doors opened at 10 AM to the public. There was no rush of a crowd, just a fairly steady stream of very curious people, slowly making their way though the booths. Our table was at the 'back' of the main hall and on the other side of the entry aisle. It took time for folks to find their way around to where we were. By 10:30, with very few people filtering through, I had the thought, " Oh, man, what if nobody finds us... (shudder)"
My fears were short lived. Our first sale was for 3 slides, at 10:48 AM. Like magic, as the transaction went forward, other interested players moved up and listened to us talk. Our next sale was just a few minutes later, and the same thing happened! People not only liked the slides, they wanted to hear our story too! YAAY!
It was like that for most of the rest of the show/day. When someone was buying, others were watching, trying on slides, waiting for their turn. Most of the day we had from 2-5 people at our table and many bought a slide either for themselves or for a friend.
With the understanding that our slides have a one year warranty, and that we will exchange any purchased slide for another (in the same size range) for a $5 fee, fears of buying for a friend are pretty well addressed, even if their exact ring size is just a guess. People were excited to learn that each color has a different weight too, imparting to slides of the same length (in a different color) a noticeable variation on their sound (timbre).
Some of the customers told great stories; some knew famous slide players; one guy said he had two expensive hobbies: Guns and Guitars:
"If I can't afford to buy an expensive gun...", he said and paused.
"Then you look to your guitars for comfort?" I asked.
"No," he said, " I usually buy a knife instead."
That stopped me. "Oh...", was all I could think of to say.
He broke the silence. "Like with the guitars! When I can't afford an expensive guitar, I buy strings, or nuts... or guitar slides..."
And he broke into a big smile. "I'll take two.", he said, reaching for his wallet.
So it was a really great experience for us, this first time around, trying our wings directly with customers for about six hours. We sold lots more slides than we thought we might. We had a great time talking to customers, and we look forward to our next event!
Speaking of next time, we'll take a felt pen and blank paper for making fast signs, and some bright LED flood lights to properly display the glass/bling of the slides, some tape, and we'll offer discounts for customers showing off their new slide(s) in a photo, as well as a discount for liking our Facebook page or posting during the event.
Our Facebook name is colorglassslides, and our Instagram I.D. is rockybutte_guitarslides. Come and see us, look around, like, love and share, and comment as you see fit. When you're ready to have one of your own, made just for you, order it at Rocky Butte Slides!
Thanks to everyone for a great time! Music rules!
Custom: The New Standard - Better because they fit.