Sturgis Motorcycle Rally #6: Wrap up

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 08-09-2014 09:47 PM 3016 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Start of day 7 Part 6 of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally series no next part

If you have been following along with this, you know that I didn’t get rich this past week. Of course going into a show you have delusions of everyone there leaving with one of your products and you go home with part of their money. Reality says that it is never that easy. I achieved covering the first cost level of the show. What it cost for the booth, expenses to put on the show, etc (this is where you include hired help). The second cost level is the cost of replacing the products that you sold and paying yourself for the time at the show. This is the part that most people at craft shows fail at. I probably made enough to replace my product, but I in no way made enough to pay myself to be there. Craft show folks pay $100 to get into a 2 day show. If they make $150 they say they made a $50 profit for the show. They consider this their break even point. Not really. It would cost them most of the $50 to replace the products they sold. Then they probably have 16 hours of their time in the show. Even at $10 please per hour, that’s $160 for your time that you didn’t get. All that just gets you to what I consider the “real” break even point. The 3rd level is what I consider the true profit level. I got nowhere near this.

The reality about my booth this year is, it was an experiment. The things I made going into the rally were more aimed at the show that starts next Friday. The Central States Fair has always been one of my 2 big shows. The other being the Black Hills Stock Show in February. So with that in mind, I really wanted profits, but I needed to learn first hand what works best at the rally so that next year when probably record crowds come for the 75th annual rally. They expect one million people. I gained a lot of knowledge and made many contacts to talk to for next year. So that part was a huge success. Now I have a year to be really ready for next year.

So I will leave you with the last group of pictures

Bagpipe player in the field of honor

And bikes

And always a few other things

And a wedding that I watched

One final view

Thanks for reading, on to the next show.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

23 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30609 posts in 3390 days

#1 posted 08-09-2014 09:49 PM

Yes, I know a couple pictures are sideways, but I am not editing now.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4355 days

#2 posted 08-09-2014 09:57 PM

well i hope the next show is as good as you want, and i hope this years knowledge will help you be ready for next year, have you decided for sure if your going to do it, how did your mugs do, and what about the chests you made, can you tell us a bit about that…good luck for the next show

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3242 days

#3 posted 08-09-2014 10:03 PM

thanks for all the great pic’s of this years show.hope your next show goes great and next years sturgis show even better.thanks for sharing.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3059 days

#4 posted 08-09-2014 10:11 PM

If I were to only get one question… it would come from all the way back at your first post about this rally.

Did you sell out of the mugs??? :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4360 days

#5 posted 08-09-2014 10:42 PM

Can’t win all the time…but hopefully the results for the long haul will make it worth while. Great that we don’t have to go work for someone else

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3856 days

#6 posted 08-09-2014 10:51 PM

I know you still had a gr8 time. You’ll be hearing all those fine Harley Davidsons in your head for a few days or so.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View CFrye's profile


11213 posts in 2892 days

#7 posted 08-09-2014 11:34 PM

Monte, I think your experiment was successful. Congratulations! I know you will take what you’ve learned and use it to your advantage in the future. I think there’s a whole lotta folks kicking their own behinds for not getting a mug and saying I WILL get one next year! (Or even contacting you and having it shipped)!

-- God bless, Candy

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30609 posts in 3390 days

#8 posted 08-10-2014 12:03 AM

I did not sell out of mugs. However, they were my main seller and paid for the booth. Of all the trunks I built the Maple I felt was the least attractive. It’s also the only one sold and is being shipped to Washington state. Signs were so-so. The poker table probably would have sold if it had red felt. 2 people said they would have bought it with red felt.

Note, red felt was delivered today. :-)

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3727 days

#9 posted 08-10-2014 12:35 AM

First off…. Thanks, for sharing your experience with us!!!

Glad you didn’t really come out behind on this venture. Some things, like knowledge and experience, are far more valuable in the long run. But you knew that already. Here’s to the Central States Fair and the Black Hills Stock Show in February getting you the sales you deserve. That and next year’s 75th Sturgis booth grants you the sales you can retire on. Oh wait, you’ll never retire!!!

Again, thanks for taking us on the (motorcycle) ride with you!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View DocSavage45's profile


9043 posts in 3895 days

#10 posted 08-10-2014 12:48 AM

Great planning. Excellent assessment of costing and earnings. You will only know in time how well you did. Didyou get some alligator meat? I’m looking forward to your “Really Big Show” Thanks for keeping your fans in the loop.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4355 days

#11 posted 08-10-2014 01:04 AM

thanks monte for telling us the ins and outs of this show, and so many pictures, they were great, i do have to say that i think one of the last bikes you took a picture of was my favorite , sam elliott on the fender, you cant beat that…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3613 days

#12 posted 08-10-2014 01:08 AM


I hope we all learn from your experience and I know for sure lots of venders would have like to even break even.

Now on the motorcycles

What is up with the Low rider tires. They seem kind of Odd

The CarBike was kind of cool looking

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3666 days

#13 posted 08-10-2014 01:13 AM

Monte you didnt go in the hole and learned a lot for the next go round so alls not lost and had a good time some of it , think the red velt would look good on that awesome poker table,

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3742 days

#14 posted 08-10-2014 01:22 AM

Monte, Sorry it wasn’t a more profitable show for you. I wouldn’t work that hard and spend that much time to break even (unless you had a REALLY good time).

I’d probably stay home and work on all the commissions. But that’s me. You are MUCH more adventurous.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2596 days

#15 posted 08-10-2014 02:24 AM

Monte, I would have loved to have been there with you! I loved your pics!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

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