This doesn't have anything to do with gardening, but I need to share some things.
Camelot Christmas: a critical review from a vendor’s perspective.
Right off the bat, I want to point out to any potential vendors or patrons of this show in Wake forest, North Carolina that there is no telling how this Christmas-themed renaissance show will be in future years. The booth fee was $150. This gave me the impression that it was going to be a big show because I have paid nearly half of this amount for much bigger shows. It was held indoors, which I thought would be a perk because the date of the event was in December and who wants to do an outdoor show when it is cold and dreary out? Very little communication between the organizers and the vendors took place between registration and the actual event: just an e-mail and confirmation letter, but no area map of booth assignment. This was not specific to my business either, at least one other vendor had the same experience. When I arrived at the location of the event it was very difficult to find the building because there were no signs or anything out on the main highway. Pulling into the parking lot the building looked like it had been abandoned for a long while, with weeds and grass growing up out of the blacktop of the parking lot and the yard was completely overgrown and everything was covered in dead leaves and broken branches. The “no trespassing signs” with vines growing wild all over them was not very inviting. This was Friday half an hour into the designated set up time. There was no sign on the front of the building designating it as the correct location, only the wake forest golf club sign that remained from the previous owners. When we were setting up we were expecting a 10x10 booth like how we purchased, but because of the layout of the building, which had been a golf club, there was not enough space to set up a full 10x10 without blocking walkways. And by blocking walkways, I mean there would only be one foot of walking space between the booth across from us and our booth. Luckily we were able to move to a different location because another vendor walked out because “this isn’t what [they] had paid for” In this space, however, we still didn’t have a full 10x10 because otherwise we would have blocked half the doorway to the room beside us. There was a total of 10 vendors, all of which had high quality items, three clothing vendors, two jewelry *one of which was us* a vendor who sold hand made pottery, a vendor who sold beautiful dream catchers, and a few misc. vendors who had a lot of nice different things. Each vendor was selling at this show for the first time. There was a royal court present and some larpers who were demonstrating fighting out back of the building, but that was all there was for entertainment and there was one food vendor who was working in the kitchen of the building, but that is ok because the food was fine and the prices were reasonable. The first day the weather was cold and rainy which I thought was responsible for the extremely poor turn out, but the second day was just as bad despite the weather being sunny and crisp. After conversing with some of the other vendors, no one made very much money at all. The average amongst the vendors I spoke to was around $200, which wouldn’t have been too bad if it weren’t for the $150 registration fee. I am writing this so that there is something on the web that might come up when future vendors google the Camelot Christmas show in an effort to find out about it like I did when I was trying to determine whether or not I wanted to take the gamble of doing this show. I couldn’t find anything about the show other than what was provided on their website, which wasn’t much. No pictures or anything. Even though the spring renaissance fair hosted by this organization is a reasonable success, the winter show is a total failure from a vendor’s perspective. It seemed like the whole thing was put together for the actors who were playing in the kings court. The main culprit of this failure is thought to be the complete lack of advertising, poor organization, and a new, undeveloped location. I would not recommend this show to anyone who is considering being a vendor in the next few years at least unless some seriously major changes are made. I hope this helps in some way, because I know I sure could have used all this information before wasting so much money and setting my business back by attending this show. 12/6/2009