We were at The Spirit of Christmas Fair in Bluewater last week.
This was a new show on the back of the long running Spirit of Christmas at Olympia. This event is usually a paid for event, and that is how they expected the Bluewater Fair to be, and people would pay £12 a ticket.
What they forgot was they this was in the new event halls within the BIGGEST shopping centre, where there is probably nothing you can't find, so why would you pay to go and see more shops.
The 1st day of the show was awful and I only sold 11 bags! a meeting was called by the stall holders to sort the issues out.
The next day the doors were then open to the general public and they could walk in FREE.
This made a big difference to me and we got to talk to people about our bags and sales were good.
Many of the other stall holders were still not happy and instead of concentrating on selling and customer service they were huddled in corners working out how they can get money back from the organisers and are bringing the atmosphere of the event down.
I can't tell you the amount of letters that came round from different stall holders moaning and trying to get some vigilante going, there was even someone trying to profit by acting on our behalf of a collective to try to get compensation for a 10% success fee!
Yes it wasn't the event that everyone expected, and we all know it had been a tough year, but instead of working out ways to get more money back, maybe they should have been looking at ways to increase sales.
The organisers had already said that they will compensate after the event, so why not do the following...
- Give some great offers to the customers to encourage them to buy
- Talk to people
Most of these people have been in business a long time, they have seen the good times, but we are in the middle of a big recession, customers have to think about how they spend their money, and are looking for bargains.
As for Mia Tui, we have spoken to so many people about our bags and have had such fantastic feedback. I have even had people coming back a day later to buy more bags.
It's about getting the brand out there, and letting people know why Mia Tui is unique. I even saw someone who had brought my bag from another show, she told me how much she loved it, I don't think she realised how happy it made me feel.
We are heading to the end of the year, a year that had seen so many changes for me. I feel in a good place, I think we have a business that can work.
It was a long 6 days and I missed seeing my girls, it is hard on everyone, my Mum & Dad have been amazing and helped out when we are away. Mum is not well at the moment, and looking after a 5&6 year olds is not easy.