So I am returned from my first arts and crafts show, Fiesta in the Park, at Lake Eola in Orlando, FL. My last post said I was going on hiatus to prepare for the show. I claimed that 'hiatus' was from the Latin for 'saving my ass' since that is what I hoped the show would do...from an economic viewpoint anyway. In other words, I hoped I would make some money selling photographs to the unsuspecting public. The unsuspecting public was not nearly as indiscriminate as I had hoped.
Here is an accounting in round numbers and estimates. It is too depressing to report with any accuracy. I spent well over a thousand dollars on the show. This includes over $300 for a vendor tent with some optional side walls and sand bags, a little less than $200 for gasoline for two cars, $72 to kennel the dogs, $100 in fees, $136 in ink, $200 in paper and card stock, and an easy $100 in display paraphernalia. It adds up way faster after the fact than it seems to be when you are spending the money.
Admittedly, a lot of the total went into things that I will be able to use again like the tent, display items, and inventory of prints that I made. It's not like I didn't get some lasting utility for my money, but it is sunk cost that I'll have to get back out of future sales.
This is the disturbing part. Future sales are usually predicted from past sales. My grand total of sales of sales of all items from this show: $2.00. Yes you read that right. Two measly dollars return on a thousand dollar investment! In spite of this dismal fiscal failure, I don't count the show as a total loss. I had some fun, made new friends among the neighboring vendors, and saw a ton of pretty girls. All these reside comfortably in the plus column for someone who has only been outdoors in the past few months to walk the dogs and take out the trash.
Still, any fool in his right mind would cut his losses and try something else. Not me though. I want to try again - ever the optimist, in spite of years of evidence to the contrary. I feel like I learned a lot from this show about what to do to improve the results next time...and what not to do to avoid the seemingly inevitable downward spiral into living in a refrigerator box under a bridge somewhere. Fortunately I have plenty of inventory left over for repeated attempts. I'll run out of spirit way before I run out of inventory.