A local promoter invited me to participate in a vendor event on Black Friday at an area winery. These things can be hit or miss, and no one really seems to know how to predict outcome. We speculate and refer to past experience, but there is no real way to know. Sometimes, it turns out that you bring too little of something, your table is in the ‘bad’ spot or people just aren’t buying. In this case, all of the right elements seemed in place. The event had been promoted, the hook was there ( wine tasting with food ), the weather was beyond perfect, the venue and parking were great, and a beautiful room was prepared for us to show our wares. We were all feeling good!
In spite of these advantages, the event was a dud. Ten women fired up and ready to go, ready to give it their best shot…and you could hear crickets chirping. An hour into the 6 hour event, we started the positivity chitchat. ‘People are sleeping in’. ‘ People don’t go to wine events until later in the day’. ‘ Let’s put our positive energy together and will people to come’. Three hours in and the seasoned ones among us knew it was a bust. No one came, and the few who did simply were not in the holiday spirit. Perhaps it was too warm, perhaps they had been at Big Box stores all night and only wanted to enjoy a glass of wine. So, we did what women do. We talked, we laughed at ourselves, we traded contact information and promised to remain in touch. I met a few women I especially liked, caught up with a woman I know and had not had the chance to visit in ages, and got added to the Preferred Vendor list at the winery.
One woman had brought her hubby along, and he photographed my things and sent them on the spot to a potential client. I lost money, I felt a little discouraged as I do when these things happened, as I packed up the boxes I had unpacked just hours ago. This fabulous group, however, had bonded and reminded me of the real reason we shlep, trudge, carry, pack, unpack and throw ourselves out there…it is to belong, to help others, to mentor, to share, and sometimes just to see what the day will bring. Sometimes we just have to wait and see what the bigger purpose is, and I feel good that it will offer something greater than any instant reward could do.