Alas dear Reader, I am only one man both making and selling bee-products, in addition to looking after my stock of honeybees and dealing with domestic-life issues in a household where I have a role as a carer.
I am only granted a limited amount of waking-time and energy each day. To hang-on to the last vestiges of sanity, I have written a criteria I can give to anyone inviting me to attend their event as a stallholder. This will assist the event organiser check for themselves whether I will think their event is a complete waste of my time (and probably theirs as well) without further wasting my time, by me having to explain the nuts and bolts with them as to why I think their event will completely waste my time.
If you are an event organiser and I have sent you this link:- firstly I probably don’t know you and secondly, just go to point 1 below to avoid my next preamble.
So this is what happens. A committee or public-spirited individual has a brain-wave for a fundraiser for their [insert charity, not-for-profit, school, association etc. here]. A light-bulb goes off, an idea is born/copied/re-used. “What we should do is organise an [insert description here eg pamper-evening, Christmas Fair, Craft Event, Festival, etc ad nausium], and invite some stallholders and charge them [insert amount – not too much if you think the event is going to be a flop, otherwise you will be dealing with complaints] and this will be a dead-certainty of raising [insert amount] to cover the cost of the venue and make some money for [insert charity, not-for-profit, school, association etc. here] . And also, seeing as we have brass-balls, we will charge attendees [insert another amount of money] to come to the event and spend their money, if they can be bothered to turn-up in the first place (their attendance isn’t that critical to the success of the event). It might be a good idea to offer attendees [insert gift, food or drink here] so they don’t feel they are being ripped-off (not they can openly admit to being ripped-off because it is for a ‘good cause’ after all). Also we could hold a raffle by asking the stallholders to donate a gift because our stall fee is so ‘cheap’!”
Like lemmings, the stallholders cough-up money in advance or just before the doors open and hand-over the obligatory raffle-prize (stallholders’ stock) to the organiser. The organiser has little incentive to go the extra mile in promoting the event because they can almost guarantee that the stall-fee will be given without thought. But you can be assured that there will be an ‘event’ created on facebook and some balloons will be put out at the front of the venue, just to prove the event is being promoted
Invariably, the stallholders buy items from each other just before the doors open. Sometimes the organisers will take pity and buy something from the stallholders. If the organiser has a modern outlook to human welfare, the heating might be turned on during the cold months and maybe a free cup of tea or coffee might be offered. Once the doors open, some of the people who belong to the [insert charity, not-for-profit, school, association etc. here] arrive with their relatives and visiting friends but often they won’t arrive in sufficient numbers to ensure the tumble-weed is crushed under foot.
You sell some of your stock, but the stallholder across from you seems to be selling something like what you have handcrafted but it is mass-produced, shiny and plastic and full of bullshit claims that their product [insert outrageous claim here eg. will reverse ageing, give immortality, is organic, is free of harmful chemicals, is natural, will make everyone like you etc]. So you and the rival stallholders end up cutting each others throats for the same customer.
When the doors close, you conclude you have just about covered the stall fee and have enough profit to fund the stall fee for another event. As you leave you see the event organiser counting a respectable bundle of banknotes and feeling quite pleased about how their evil-genius mind had created [insert amount here] for their [insert charity, not-for-profit, school, association etc. here].
In a moment of clarity, akin to a recovering alcoholic, you know you have been had. But you will probably attend the same event again next time because you don’t have any better ideas on how to shift your wares.
MY CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTING YOUR INVITATION FOR [insert description here eg pamper-evening, Christmas Fair, Craft Event, Festival, etc ad nausium]
- Has this event been held before? [If YES go to question 2. If NO – ‘thanks for the invite but I have already been booked for that date/time‘]
- Have you directly organised this event before? [If YES go to question 3. If NO – ‘thanks for the invite but my wedding anniversary is coming up and I have planned something special for my spouse on that day’]
- Please describe how well attended the event was last time. [If ‘NO ONE CAME’, or ‘NOT AS MANY PEOPLE ATTENDED AS WE HOPED’ or ‘THE WEATHER WAS REALLY BAD THAT DAY’ – then ‘sorry but I have to take my wife/children/late-mother to the hospital that day, so I can’t attend your event.’ If your response is:- ‘WE HAD TO PUT BARRIERS UP TO GUIDE THE QUEUES OF PEOPLE INTO THE VENUE’ – then ‘Count me in and I look forward to being part of you event’]