What can a promoter do to ensure that all vendors see foot traffic?|
We all have experienced a \'bad spot\'. They vary by the show but can include: far end spots, spots up an embankment, spots w/ no shade or windbreaks, dark or otherwise dreary looking areas, spots with natures all natural gravity theory re-inforcers (tripping catalysts such as roots, holes, rocks, etc), spots downwind from smoky food preparation, spots next to noisy vendors (people selling CDs, squeaking toys, duck calls, popping toys, etc – place these folks away from others!), or even simply spots removed from the walkway by more then a foot (surprisingly most people will not even glance over to look, let alone venture off the path for a closer peak, compared to if it wasn\'t a trip to get to).
I did a show this weekend with a 5 block main drag, 1 of which was crafters on Sat. There was another block off this street with crafters lineing both sides. The Main St had a car show, rides, food, etc. We were the last stand on the side street, but still did OK. However, it was obvious that a large portion of folks starting to come down the street turned around long before reaching us. What can a Promoter do to help this situation? Please send me ideas to share! My thoughts, UNTESTED, are:
Place items of interest at the end of such streets. Porta-Potties, food, music, etc.
Have a continuous loop of crafters. Rather then only running them up the sides of the street, place some in the middle of the road connecting the 2 sides, so people are more inclined to walk the circuit. Use vendors that have very easy/fast setup and packup so they do no bock the road when vehicles need to pass. Anyone try this? Crafters experience it?
Under no condition have one side of stands longer then the other.
Choose the side street based on ample parking at the end of it. (If everyone parks in a certain area for your show, use the streets on the way to the parking)
Double line the street. If you have crafters running up and down each curbside and a line running down the middle of the street, 2 wide if possible, then the isle width goes down substantially, maybe too much for your show, but it acts like a herding shoot and people will usually walk all the way to the end, up one isle, and then come down the other. With a wide open street, people are more likely to not walk past the end spots. Think of all the stores that force your path through the store, so often winding through every section, with little choice in patch left to the consumer. I guess I\'m suggesting the same thing?? One last thing to mention, the show this weekend, they had a parade and much less crafters on Sun, so they had the 2 day main drag crafters set up on the sidewalk, most setup all the way back against the buildings, leaving room for lawn chairs of parade watchers. The 1 day\'ers were in the street, down the middle, 2 thick. We were on the side st the 1st day, so this is hearsay from a few crafters we ended up next to on Sun when we moved to the main st, but most customers on Sat just walked the street and looked at the crafters there. They did not, for the most part, come up onto the sidewalk to look at those crafters. This was a long, 5-6 block, show, so maybe folks were just too tired and lazy. I\'m not sure of a solution other then letting the crafters move close to the road or on it for Sat and make them move for Sun.
So what is a \'good spot\'? Corners are liked by many for their doubled frontage. Wall spots in a room with multiple islands are sought after, the crowd dispersal theory thought being that people will always circle the perimeter wall, but may miss some islands. Spots along a walkway people are forced to use: entrance/exit, to bathrooms, to food, etc. If this means hallway, space needs to be considered as these spots are typically shallow. Proper lighting is a huge concern, be sure to warn vendors to bring lighting if necessary. Even, level ground is necessary for a proper setup, and is essential to some. Most vendors can use shims, blocks, etc to correct table height but this is harder w/ racks and shelves. Warn vendors ahead of time if their spot deserves it\'s own relief map, so they can prepare at least.