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 Post subject: Octfest 2010 Info/Review (for Merchants Guild)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:15 pm 
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It seemed out of place to put this directly in the Merchants Guild thread, so I am going to try and compile it here.

Information for Vendors (as compiled out of the Q&A in the Octfest thread):

Merchants

How much is booth space?
- $50, both for pre-registration and at the gate. There is no difference in price based on how many days you are attending.

How can I pre-register?

- Visit this website: Edhellen. (Pre-registration ended October 3rd).

What information do I need to give for registration?
- Your first and last name, your fighting name, and your booth name.

What does the vendor fee include?
- Entry for one person, vendor booth space, and a vendor certificate that must be displayed in your booth. You will also be allowed to camp behind merchant's row.

What must I provide as a vendor?
- Your own tent, whatever you are selling (obviously), and any additional accouterments such as tables/etc for your booth space.

Are there electrical and water hookups?
- Yes.

Is there a list of vendors that will be there?
- No.

[added post-OctFest]

Some detail about the site:

The Merchants Row is actually located on the road directly across from the beach and around the corner from the fighting field. The power outlets are 150 feet behind Merchants Row, and water comes from a three way spigot about that same distance behind. There is also camping space readily available behind Merchants Row, but only one or two fire pits. The 'Row comfortably accommodated the four merchants there 4 out of 5 days, but one additional booth set up on Saturday and was sort of squeezed in in front of a burned out tree stump and almost in front of the lone cabin off to the side.

Details about set up:

There is no guide to setting up. You don't get a booth number, location, or anything. You just go and set up wherever in that area suits you best/isn't taken.

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Last edited by Sparrow on Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Octfest review (going to be super long winded, sorry guys)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:20 pm 
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I'm going to go ahead and start this early so I have part of it done already. I have a few things to note as a start, though, to help put my final report in perspective.

- The booth I will be at with my boyfriend/partner in crime is called War Paint Artisans. We paint faces and do drawings, so this may affect how my profits are skewed. You folks who make jewelry and other wearable items will very likely get different results (hopefully other vendors at Octfest will share their experiences here so the review isn't skewed).
- We did one Bel event (Numenor Opener) and made zero profits, but a lot of folks were still hanging around our booth. I am going out on a limb here by hoping that more people at this event means more likely we will get paid business. Regardless, we will try to just have fun even if we don't make anything. This is one of our first events where we weren't provided a table, chairs, and canopy, so those expenses are added to help out those looking to get into being a vendor.
- We've only been face painting for about two years, but here is our history as a team: we have done three Relay for Life events (painting for cheap and donating all profits to the event), two Spring events at my workplace (they kept all profits), and two Summer events at my workplace (ditto). Most of those events included plenty of kids, but also several teenagers and adults. We usually make pretty decent profits for whoever we are working for at those events.

- Belegarth in general has a certain amount of folks who get some kind of temporary body marking; a temporary "tattoo" made of Sharpie ink, skin dyeing, etc. We'd like to provide an alternative to some of those that can be difficult to wash away when needed, or can actually be harmful for your body (I don't recommend using acrylics on your skin; it's alright for the 'once in a while' but it really isn't meant for skin).
- Belegarth also has a decent amount of people who have a character of some kind, so they may also be interested in our drawings and sketches.

So far, I can sum up my costs for Octfest minus my prior cost for paint/art supplies (the products, which will be used for other events too), gas/travel, change for the cash box, and food (as I assume that those expenses will be easier for you to gauge on your own). I also did not have a usable canopy, so I had to purchase one which I am including in the expenses.

Cost for booth: $50.
Cost for extra person: $25 (pre-registered).
Cost for canopy: $80 (at Big Lots, if you are curious).
Cost for canopy walls to close off canopy if need be: ~$35
Cost for lighting for canopy: ~$20
Cost for tables: $30 + 1 borrowed.
Cost for chairs: Borrowed.

Total cost for booth setup/site/extra person: ~$220 (divided by two people).
Camping expenses will obviously make this total higher, but I am going to count the $220 as the cost to a vendor with no prior set up/anything in addition to attending the event. For someone with more experience, the cost is $50 for a booth, +$25 if you pre-register another person ($30 if you pay at Troll).

Our total profits, between all of our sales and tips: $228.

This means we made back pretty much all of the costs to go, and next event will actually turn a slight profit due to the fact we have purchased items that will be reused (canopy, lights, table). Overall I am feeling pretty positive about our results (I honestly expected the event to pay for itself in general fun rather than cash flow!).

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Last edited by Sparrow on Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Plus/minus quick review
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:40 pm 
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So far, from my perspective.

+ Pre-registration.
+ Staff was friendly and willing to answer questions.
++ Feasts provided on Friday and Saturday (counted twice because they feed you twice).
+ Cabins and trailers available to those who don't want to sleep in a tent.
+ Location was nice; lots of people passing by on their way to the field or to camp, nice view of the lake (especially pretty at night), right across from the beach.
+ The other merchants were completely amazing people, extremely friendly, and just generally helpful. I felt right at home with them.

- Pre-reg was only posted about September 20, leaving only 1 week and 6 days to pre-register.
- Price for booths was posted the same day; 1 week and 6 days prior to event.
- No clear FAQ was available; all info gathered by Q&A (waste of staff time, some repeated questions; gave Sir Misti a FAQ made of all the answered questions in thread for next year's use). It can take a while for your questions to be answered (assuming due to staff being busy), and it was suggested that it would be easier to get an answer by emailing.
- Power hookups located ~150 feet away from the site, which was not told to us before.
- Power hookups were not marked vendor use only; campers behind us were using the power off those hookups too. The amount of power being used was causing brown outs. Lady Feri, one booth down from us, could only run one griddle at a time for quite a while.
- No readily available information on trailer and cabin rental; you have to seek it out rather than find it easily.

It seems more negative than positive, however the event itself was awesome, the weather was beautiful (despite the heat the last couple days), and the general atmosphere was great. I will most definitely plan to go again and hope to try to help add something special to the event.

Suggestions for next year:
Earlier pre-registration, earlier booth prices, info on cabins and booths.
FAQ. For the overall event.
More information on the site itself.
Posted signs indicating that the power outlets are for vendors that need them.
More information about when events are scheduled.
When can volunteers come down? Maybe schedule some volunteer days (don't know if I've missed seeing them somewhere along the way)? I would like to put it into my calendar to come down and assist, but don't know when a crew would be there.

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 Post subject: Re: Octfest 2010 Info/Review (for Merchants Guild)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:15 am 
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These are just some of the many reasons Dur-Demarion has a Merchant's Guild. The Guild Master is the one person who finds out everything going on and spreads the word to the Guild as a whole so we're not left in the dark, working as a go-between to the Guild and the Administrators so everyone gets the same information.


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 Post subject: Re: Octfest 2010 Info/Review (for Merchants Guild)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Excellent point. I think next year I will try and get in touch with whomever is running the event and quiz them on some of the details, then publish my results here or somewhere similar.

In the main thread I suggested maybe making a message board. I think it would be a good idea, anyway.

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