Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Booth at the Fair?

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by daenterpri, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

    492
    1
    16
    Jan 26, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I have the opportunity to have my sign business be in a booth at this year's county fair. 5 gruiling days of 10AM to 10PM.

    Have any of you had fair experience? Would it be worth me taking my new Summa 54" plotter to make custom car decals and wall vinyls for people? Are their some pre-done graphics that I should purchase for the event?

    Thanks for your input :)
     
    Tags:
  2. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

    1,509
    1
    0
    Dec 10, 2009
    100% worth it! Make sure you're there and setup on the first day of setup, you can make menu boards and banners for all of the carnies ALL DAY LONG! you won't be able to keep up. You could probably sell a couple concession trailer wraps too, and that's all before the fair even starts
     
  3. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

    492
    1
    16
    Jan 26, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Wow. Thanks for the reply. Trailer wraps? That would involve a printer, right? That would be a lot of equipment! I don't have a large format printer at this time, just a really large plotter :)
     
  4. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

    1,509
    1
    0
    Dec 10, 2009
    We just finished 5 concession trailer wraps this month, and have 2 more lined up. They do take some practice designing for, but that's kind of our niche. Abou 75% of our jobs are jobs for concessionaires. I just posted a thread showing the sutter's taffy trailer we just did a couple hours ago.
     
  5. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

    492
    1
    16
    Jan 26, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    That's really cool. I'm hoping to be into a large printer and laminator in the next year.

    Curious, how big is your fair? Our fair is fairly small. I live in a medium sized tourist town :) So, we definitely get tens of thousands of people, but nothing like a big city fair. Are you in a big city?
     
  6. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

    1,509
    1
    0
    Dec 10, 2009
    The one near us gets about 250k attendees in the week it's open, but we have a sales team at all of the big ones, State Fair of Texas, Indiana state fair, Minnesota state fair, Illinois state fair, SE Missouri district fair, Ohio state fair, and a few smaller ones. Your biggest reason for going is the carnies though, they always need new stuff, they are always changing their menus, and they are never prepared. Which means that they always need a rush and are used to paying rush charges. And the ones you run in to there will be packing up and be off to a new location as soon as the one you are at is over, so if you make it good and make it fast, they will call you when they need something at the next spot.
     
  7. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

    492
    1
    16
    Jan 26, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    That is really interesting. Thanks for sharing that with me.

    Do you pack all of your equipment to these shows and make stuff right there?

    Also, if the carnies weren't there, do you still think it would be worth going?

    Lastly, can you make good money making custom die-cut car, and wall decals for people at fairs?

    Sorry for all the questions, I really appreciate your input. It's been very helpful to a young sign guy :)

    Andy
     
  8. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    6,919
    41
    48
    Aug 28, 2007
    Indiana
    I can't speak for myself personally, but before I purchased my business from my grandparents they would setup shop at the fair. We're a small town, probably 20K people in the whole county. They would always just do license plates (vaccuform back then) and they said it would at very minimum pay for the tent that they had to rent, so they'd break even, have a different kind of week out of the office, and they'd get their name out there.

    I probably need to do it again, but I have a way different personality where I don't enjoy the customer aspect too much, and love the production end of it. They were more about dealing w/ customers than the work...
     
  9. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

    1,509
    1
    0
    Dec 10, 2009
    Without marketing to the concessionaires (C from now on), you might make your booth rent back, and pick up some new customers, but it doesn't sound like you have a whole lot to offer new customers if all you have is plotters. If I were you, I would take a bunch of blanks, or 4X8 sheets of different colored coroplast to make stuff for the C in the setup week, then have a bunch of stuff already made for the fair goers. Try High school support decals; Football, baseball, softball, basketball etc. that should keep some money flowing while you do the custom stuff. also have an example of an "In Memory Of" decal in a few different versions, people like those, and its easy to just change the name, and dates and get them out fast. Oh, and the teenie bobbers love those retarded "**** on" decals, you can pre-make some ford and chevy ones and sell them like hotcakes. keep your prices low on the pre-made stuff and sell the hell out of the custom. Do that and you will have a pretty good week.
     
  10. mrchips

    mrchips Member

    335
    0
    0
    Nov 21, 2008
    I've been doing a BIG fair for over 30 years. ( www.thebige.com ) 1.25 million attended last year.

    Here are some observations......

    Hundreds of vendors have nickle/dime stuff. If that's what you bring, you will be part of the wallpaper, so to speak.

    Think a little bigger and you will stand out a lot more and do better IMO.

    Magnetics for the small businessman.

    PVC house numbers and property signs (have a couple of different shapes)

    Banners?

    Take orders for farm and horse signs......people are used to placing ordres at fairs.......example, you are not gonna take a tool shed, spa, gazebo etc. home with you.

    Make up a few samples of these for the walls and you will bring in fewer people who will spend lots of money. IMO

    Also make a great banner advertising your booth/business. Samples sell.

    There are hundreds of vendors at these fairs and you NEED to stand out from the crowd to be successfull.

    My average ticket is over $150 and they are all orders. I get at least 6 months of work out of this one fair along with call backs.

    I wish you a lot of luck......."There's Gold at them Fairs"

    Joe,

    Makin Chip$ and Havin Fun!
     

    Attached Files:

    • 098.JPG
      098.JPG
      File size:
      74.2 KB
      Views:
      88
  11. BobM

    BobM Very Active Member

    2,148
    45
    48
    May 31, 2008
    Cape Cod
    Mr. Chips is correct. He is sucessful because he brings in a high end, hand carved product that you don't see anywhere. That and his display just grabs you and drags in.

    Without that it's a meet and greet for potential customers, a place for tire kickers to spend some time and kids to say "HOW MUCH for that little sticker?"

    You really need to bring something to the table that no one else offers or those twelve hours a day will seem like a hundred.
     
  12. Stickerland

    Stickerland New Member

    12
    0
    1
    Jun 18, 2003
    We have a small trailer, just for fairs and tradeshows.
    Over here in The Netherlands, there are not that many big shows. But lot's of small bi-weekly shows.

    We go to them about 6 times a year.
    Always lots of fun and a lot of work!


    Dedicated to cut small decals. Nothing more, nothing less. Very simple. But the people love it.



    Automated message:

    Please observe Signs 101 rules on posting pictures found here
    www.signs101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35000
    :thankyou:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2011
  13. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

    492
    1
    16
    Jan 26, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Thanks again everyone! This has been very educational :)
     
  14. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

    1,509
    1
    0
    Dec 10, 2009

    Looks great, My advice for him was using his current equipment which I believe was only plotters, but if hes got more, by all means use it!
     
  15. daenterpri

    daenterpri Member

    492
    1
    16
    Jan 26, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I have a Gerber Edge 2 Thermal printer and plotter :) I also have a 54" Summa plotter. Think a Gerber printer would be much use at a fair?
     
  16. jgproducts

    jgproducts New Member

    22
    0
    0
    Aug 25, 2009
    Fairs

    This may a bit late. I did local fairs for about 10 years. Had a 24" trailer with a vender door. Started in late 90's doing decals (Car Stickers) Got to have a big inventory with them displayed and numbered for easy sell. Also Airbrushed t-shirts, rugs, sailor hats. Did really good for about 7 or 8 years then money started getting tight. In this day and time it is tough. I have friends in the carnival business and the only thing selling is FOOD. They come eat and ride rides and the money is gone. Gate fee is high around here $10 to $12 a head. If you have a good selection of stickers for $5 you can sell a few. You may get a few custom orders.
    Your market night be different than here. Just my 2 cents worth.
    And also the rent kept going up each year. Because at a fair location is everything. You got to pay for the good spots
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...