The Shows

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Blog series by Monte Pittman updated 08-26-2014 01:01 AM 26 parts 50969 reads 344 comments total

Part 1: Stock Show day -2

01-23-2013 05:31 PM by Monte Pittman | 16 comments »

As I mentioned in blogs before I do two 10 day shows each year. Friday is arguably the most important of the two. Yes it’s a Stock Show & Rodeo. However, for this particular show, the vendor area is truly one of the main attractions. An estimated 200,000 people will pass through in 10 days. Of course it’s been total chaos try to have enough products on hand to sell or show. Of course on top of this, i am in the process of becoming single again. Never easy, but something tha...

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Part 2: Day 1, Who put me in charge?

01-25-2013 05:46 PM by Monte Pittman | 20 comments »

So you plan everything, check to make sure it’s all loaded. Then you get to the site and Murphy’s Law kicks in. First you get there to set up only to find they put me in a single booth instead of a double. Now they seemed surprised that I wanted a double booth. Well, I paid for a double booth so silly me thought that’s what I would get. No chance of a bigger one, so now just deal with it. Then the realization that the person that loaded the truck (me) didn’t load...

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Part 3: start day 3

01-27-2013 02:11 PM by Monte Pittman | 13 comments »

Two days in and I am hoarse. Although part of it I believe is the air handling system and how low humility is in building. Others have complained about that also. Of course I have been known to talk a lot also :-) Sales are decent, certainly not record setting. I have gone through probably 150 business cards. A couple other noteworthy offers from a couple store owners to buy bulk to resale. We’ll be negotiating as the week goes on. As you can see I have one of Andy’s bo...

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Part 4: Day 4 - a little slow

01-28-2013 11:51 PM by Monte Pittman | 8 comments »

“Will the person that left their prescriptions in the food court please come to the main office to claim them”. Really, some peop[le amaze me. Including the lady with the lime green hair. I thought it would be rude to go up and take her picture. Overall it was a good weekend. Suppossedly the second weekend is the biggest. Should be interesting. Not much to report today, not much happening.

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Part 5: Day 5

01-30-2013 06:31 AM by Monte Pittman | 8 comments »

Although today actually brought a couple really good sales, you can feel cabin fever starting to creep in on many of the vendors. Sales pitches and promo speaches are starting to sound tiring. I am stuck in town tonight because there was no travel advised between here and home due to blizzard conditions. This isn’t good as I need to keep trying to add a few things. But if I don’t I guess I will know to be better prepared next time. This is my first time at this show. They say t...

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Part 6: Beginning Day 7

01-31-2013 02:57 PM by Monte Pittman | 8 comments »

Yesterday was an excersize in futility. Decent crowd. Spend the day sketching numerous items for people without a single order being taken. That doesn’t mean that there is no chance of any of th sketch ups coming through, it just didn’t happen yesterday. From here on, large crowds are expected. Things should be good for the remainder of the week. I was stuck here in town again last night due to weather at my house. 30 mph winds, 1-3 inches of snow and a wonderful -1 (F) for tem...

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Part 7: Day 8

02-01-2013 04:19 PM by Monte Pittman | 15 comments »

Is the anticipation from hoping there are big crowds or because it’s almost over? Although we haven’t had banner crowds, I am perfectly satisfied with how my week has gone. I will leave with a comfortable profit and will have learned even more about how to do this. Had to rearrange this morning due to shelf units leaving booth. A guy that does reclaimed lumber work shows with in the summer. He brought in stuff to fill the void. I haven’t talked him into joining LJ’s y...

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Part 8: Big day

02-02-2013 04:48 PM by Monte Pittman | 9 comments »

Big day for 2 reasons, it’s supposed to be the biggest crowd of the week and at 7:30 tonight it’s over. The crowd is already in hallway. Yesterday was decent. I have a couple orders that will be real fun builds. Have a great day to all!

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Part 9: Stock Show 2013 wrap up

02-03-2013 02:21 PM by Monte Pittman | 14 comments »

For my first run at this show, I would consider it a success. I have already signed up for next year. Of course there’s a learning curve, but that’s to be expected. She assured me I would get a larger booth next year. I made a decent profit on the show. Most of that will be spent on new tools and upgrades in the shop :-) 66 of 72 mugs sold, 11 of 12 boxes, a dozen dog food holders and assorted other small stuff. The small items pay for the booth. The big items are still w...

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Part 10: a blemish in the ending

02-04-2013 01:41 PM by Monte Pittman | 16 comments »

I went to pick up the items I had on display at the other building. It seems someone picked them up for me! Unfortunately no one knows who or where. .Got a lot of deer-in-the-headlights looks when I asked the staff there. Of course my insurance only covers me if someone sues me, not against theft. So today I get to go talk to bosses and see if they can do anything It was the coffee table and end tables I posted recently. I assumed that the area was watched and was safe. Once again assuming...

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Part 11: Resolution, sort of

02-06-2013 01:55 AM by Monte Pittman | 9 comments »

So the Stock Show has talked to their staff and searched the facility, no furniture found. They called me tonight to tell me that they will just pay me for it and write it off. I guess I am getting paid and should be happy. It still bothers me that somebody gets away with it with no penalty and system doesn’t seem to care.

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Part 12: Spearfish day 1 of 2

03-02-2013 05:26 PM by Monte Pittman | 11 comments »

As I sit in eager anticipation of the crowds flooding in. I have been anticipating it for about an hour now. This is my first go at a home show. However to push the furniture more, I think this is a better venue than Arts and crafts shows. Time will tell. For us, the weather is beautiful for this time of year. Hoping that helps bring folks out. Hope you are all enjoying your time this weekend.

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Part 13: Spearfish Home Show day 2of2

03-03-2013 06:16 PM by Monte Pittman | 9 comments »

I’m not saying it was slow yesterday, but there were a LOT of people somewhere other than here. On the other hand, I did do a couple quotes. Either of which would make it worth while. I will throw out a question, I am working on a drawing for a custom bar. How tall is the average whiskey/wine bottle?

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Part 14: Spearfish Home Show wrap up

03-04-2013 02:22 AM by Monte Pittman | 5 comments »

Well there’s 2 days of my life I can never get back. Vendors that have been there before said it was the slowest they had ever seen it. I guess I should be relieved that they didn’t consider it a big weekend. You never can predict how a show will go. I have had a few good ones in a row. So I probably was due a dud. I have plenty of work so I wasn’t desperate for more orders. But it’s preferred that the booth pays for itself. Live and learn.

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Part 15: It's been a year

08-17-2013 12:00 AM by Monte Pittman | 11 comments »

I am back to the Central States Fair here. The last couple years it has been my biggest sales event. Major anticipation going into this year. The area in general seems to be doing better economically. The weather is about as perfect as we could ever hope for. Expecting great crowds. I have quite a few new items and of course I will be building all of the time I am here. The grounds opened a few hours ago and I have been pleasantly surprised by the traffic through the booth. No big traumati...

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Part 16: plugging away

08-21-2013 12:10 AM by Monte Pittman | 12 comments »

Day 4. I have yet to have a funnel cake. Weather has been nearly perfect, but the crowd numbers are down. I have talked to lots of people and I think I will get some decent orders. I have been building while I am here. Hate to say it, but no real good fair stories yet.

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Part 17: Day Seven

08-23-2013 03:21 AM by Monte Pittman | 12 comments »

As we had hoped, the crowd and business picked up a lotfunnel cake. The rancher community showed up in mass today. For those who do these shows, let me reinforce the ability to take credit cards. 90% of my business has been from them. I was very happy today. After doing this show for 3 years, I am getting people coming here looking for me. At least to me it’s an accomplishment. Here’s a night view from my booth As a favor to Angie and Roger, i subjected myself to a f...

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Part 18: 2013 Fair windup

08-27-2013 01:44 AM by Monte Pittman | 15 comments »

10 days is a long time to be sitting there. The first 8 days were pretty so-so and only marginally paid for my time there. Then came day 9. It will probably take me a months worth of building to get the orders done. The right crowd hit at the right time. Single biggest day I have ever had. Will be building gun cabinets and poker tables for the next few weeks. This was an enjoyable fair. The weather was near perfect. As always I hope for some of my “possibles” to come through fo...

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Part 19: Harvest Festival

09-28-2013 03:31 PM by Monte Pittman | 10 comments »

It was a blazing 37 degrees when I set up this morning. It is supposed to get to mid 60s. It’s a one day show. I did alright here last year.

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Part 20: Harvest Festival wrap up

09-29-2013 01:35 AM by Monte Pittman | 12 comments »

Although not a massive day, today was a very pleasant surprise. As usual the mugs and boxes did well. Also sold some shelves and a trunk. I did this show with my mother mainly because she wanted to. I didn’t expect to sell much. For a one day show it was great. I would definitely do it again next year. The shows have been slower this year than last year. Only doing a couple select holiday shows, so my next big show is the end of January. Good luck to all in your holiday shows.

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Part 21: Return to the Shows

02-13-2014 09:09 PM by Monte Pittman | 21 comments »

After having to skip the biggest show of the year 2 weeks ago, I knew I couldn’t wait too long to get back to business. This one is the annual Black Hills Sports Show and Outdoor Expo. I have never done this show before. But it normally draws a very large crowd and the weather is supposed to be beautiful. I am hoping that the combination gets me some exposure and more importantly gets some orders. This is my temporary home through Sunday afternoon Thank goodness I am not near ...

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Part 22: The Sports show - day 2

02-15-2014 05:29 PM by Monte Pittman | 14 comments »

I have never done these shows before, I assure you that I will again. All of my expenses were paid on day one. I would encourage the custom furniture makers to look into these shows locally. The response has been great. I was the only furniture maker there and that is always a good thing. They are expecting about 10,000 people to pass through today. Fingers crossed for the day.

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Part 23: The Sports show - Wrap up

02-18-2014 02:58 AM by Monte Pittman | 18 comments »

Well it was a pleasant surprise to say the least. I had never done this show before and did not know what to expect. What I found out is that I need to find a lot more of these shows. My sales out of the booth paid for the weekend a couple times over. With the number of people I had talked to, I had high hopes for orders being placed over the next few weeks. It didn’t take a few weeks , today I received 5 orders. That will make it the biggest show I have ever had. It may be a fluke, but...

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Part 24: The Fair Day 2

08-16-2014 08:25 PM by Monte Pittman | 19 comments »

Yes I am starting the blog a day late. I had a furniture delivery yesterday morning. Then rush home to load for the Central States Fair. 2 quick trips to get the basics here and setup last night. Last night was decent. My best sales are on concert and rodeo nights. Last night was motocross and tonight is the demolition derby. For whatever reason, those groups don’t spend money. First half of the booth is setup. The pictures are done by my 85 year old mother ...

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Part 25: Central States Fair start of day 5

08-20-2014 02:20 PM by Monte Pittman | 14 comments »

Of course with sales you go into every show hoping that you sell everything you have. Then the show and reality bothstart. This year, the rreality started late. The weekend was huge. I was able to sell enough Saturday and Sunday to easily pass the break even point. Sunday alone I sold more than the entire week of the rally. I was figuring on being sold out quickly this week. Then came Monday. Oh the people are there, they simply aren’t looking for anything. Still having a good week, bu...

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Part 26: Central States Fair wrap up

08-26-2014 01:01 AM by Monte Pittman | 25 comments »

Although it started with a bang, I only really had one more big day. However, I still had the 2nd biggest week ever and I am having my biggest month ever. So would I have wanted to sell more? Of course, that’s the idea. But I can’t be disappointed with the results. I also have several of what I consider “very possible” custom orders. If most of them come through it will be a huge show for me. Another thing, is pricing. I have always been criticized for under pricing...

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