Turning up....

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Kate Tiler
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Turning up....

Post by Kate Tiler »

Been pondering this one for a week - last Weds night we went to Dudley Castle for the evening in response to a request from a lovely lady called Emma, for a national charity. As many of you might know, I don't trade at shows very often, because I don't tend to do many sales & consider trading at events as more of a 'live, 3D advert'!

But we'd decided to do this one, as a freebie demonstration and also went down to Kent & picked up my Mum & took her along in Tudor costume so she could sell her hand-made miniature flowers - the first time in a year that she has been well enough to consider it, so it was a real treat for us to see her talking to people & see them appreciate her work. I was doing it solely on that basis, to give Mum an evening out & for us to practise a bit of 'tithing' of our time & skills. (one of our beliefs.)

We left at 3pm & got back at 12.30am, having finally packed & got away at 10.45pm. Not a huge group of public paid to get in, but the people we saw & spoke to seemed to enjoy it.

But when we got there & were shown where to set up, there were the three of us (in a sort of 'circle the waggons' style layout) & only one other trader had turned up! Depending on who we spoke to, between 6 and 8 other historic traders had not turned up, who had previously agreed to go & who had rang that morning to cancel.

We had 4 hours motorway driving, a bleeding hard tent to put up & take down, to load & unload & then load & unload the van and also pay out a tenner on 3 cups of coffee & two hog roasts while we were there. I took maybe £25 - which for me is an amazingly large amount of sales! But we did it and we enjoyed it and we don't do many of that sort of thing because frankly it is cheaper to stand outside the gate & hand out £5 notes for half an hour to passing dog walkers & then I still have the stock...

But the question I have to ask is - who cancelled? Who were the traders that decided on the day of the event that they weren't coming?

I felt terrible for Emma, she'd obviously put in a lot of work & the volunteers for the charity gave her a big cheer at the end of the evening - but I felt as though some of them held us partly responsible for the other traders not appearing. Or maybe that's just my natural 'guilt by association'...

Has anyone else ever ended up being the sole representative of our trade?
http://www.katetiler.co.uk
http://www.companyofartisans.co.uk
"In art as in life everything is possible as long as it is based on love" Marc Chagall

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gregory23b
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Post by gregory23b »

"(in a sort of 'circle the waggons' style layout)"

I didn't know you were into laager. ;-)


Sadly, disappearing volunteers or empty promises are common fare for charitable set-ups, fundraisers and events staff spend a lot of time trying to nail committments from people. I suspect that the cancellees took a last minute economic view on it, that it was going to cost more than it should.

But I was not one of them.
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Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

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Brother Kevfael
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Post by Brother Kevfael »

As a reenactor, (who was there on the night - Hi Kate, Ed says "Hello", once again you and charlie did lovely work, and your mother's stuff was gorgeous!), and someone who does a fair bit of fundraising, it wasn't only the missing traders who acted less than honourably. A certain reenactment group refused to have anything to do with it, much to their shame :evil: . However, it was a superb night. And people thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
When doing fund raising events for charities, it isn't just about publicity or making a profit etc. you never know when you or you family may need their help and support. And should Emma need any help again in the future, then me and my friends are more than willing to help. ).

Annie C
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 8:37 pm
Location: 5 mins late in setting off to where I should be....

Re: Turning up....

Post by Annie C »

Kate Tiler wrote:
...frankly it is cheaper to stand outside the gate & hand out £5 notes for half an hour to passing dog walkers & then I still have the stock...
speaking as one of the potential passing dog walkers..... throw in a mug of tea and its a deal :lol: :lol:

G Cooley
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Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:08 am

Post by G Cooley »

We have always worked on the principle that if we commit to attend an event we will do all we can to honour that commitment. Unfortunately over the years it has not always been possible as the unexpected can happen. For example illness, car blowing up etc..

In addition if we commit to an event on a certain date and then another comes up that may be better we will still honour our original commitment.

I personnaly think it is un professional to pull out at the last minute and think it a real shame that others do not feel the same.

Whatever happened to "My word is my bond" ?

Graham

PS We were not attendong this event and did not pull out but it does appear to be a general problem for a number of organisers and it can tarnish us all.

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