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Posted by Todd Evans on February 21, 2002 at 13:53:48:
In Reply to: How do successful shows succeed? posted by Lisa on February 21, 2002 at 09:19:06:
Ok, having read the early replys to this thread, I felt the need to respond. We end up in a catch 22 here. The show Zac was mentioning was a great show as far as education is concerned, BUT, vendors go to these shows for one reason....to sell stuff. People will go for 2 reasons, to buy stuff and to learn. If we concentrate more on the education (I mean FULLY concentrate) then we end up drawing the crowd of people that the vendors HATE....the lookers. I have heard this term from the majority of vendors since the first show "You guys get too many lookers here, nobody is buying." Ok, so, do we cater to the lookers or the buyers. The lookers bring in more money at the door for us, but without people buying things, the vendors are VERY quick to drop out, hence Don Hamper......We do have our dedicated vendors like Brad, Rick, Kirk, and others, but we can't rely on only having about 10 vendors at the shows. This hurts us in the way of attracting buyers. I do agree that we need more education. George has these fantastic plans for our table next show. The displays we bring are going to be accompanied by educational descriptions of EACH snake. Then he is going to be drawing up a timeline beginning with the first known records of lizards and folowing it all the way up to the dawn of man. In this timeline he will portray the evolution of the species through old world vipers, pit vipers and elapids. We will have a display depicting the differences between the fang structure of vipers vs. elapids vs. rear fanged species. We will discuss the importance of the reptiles tongue and the many uses of it (luring, smell, proposed taste) also we will discuss the specialized defense machanisms, the cobra's hood, the rattlesnakes rattle, and mimmickry in the nonvenomous world......but, YES, we will encourage people to make the cobra hood, and the rattlesnake rattle......it's done ALL the time at fairs and school shows......Imagine your dissapointment after reading about how a rattlesnake works it's rattle, just to see a live one that doesn't do it.
We have plans, but there are so many other aspects of the show that can be hurt with too much concentration on education. That is why we have society meeting (or at least that's what it's SUPPOSED to be for) Get the people in then fascinate them with the wonderful world of reptiles. I'm not saying NO education for the shows at all....I'm just trying to point out situations that may occur....say George wanted to give a cobra display....which he IS planning on doing. Either myself or Mike NEEDS to be there as a backup, and we need another person to be the ready person (getting boxes ready, taking NONDANGEROUS (false water cobra) around so people can have hands on opportunity) That's 3 people helping with a presentation.....2 at the door, 2 watching the club displays, and at least one back at our table....you're left with a mere 2 people to deal with the rest of the show for the 1/2 hour it takes to perform the presentation. More situations such as the ones already brought to light are GOING to happen.....
I don't know, I do feel that education NEEDS to be A top priority, but we have to put this into perspective.....this is a "swap" people want to go there to buy and sell reptiles.....Right now, my biggest concern is to attract more vendors to the show. More vendors, more people, broader education. It's that simple.........
Beyond Utopia Serpentarium