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Re: How do successful shows succeed?

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Posted by steve on February 21, 2002 at 14:38:45:

In Reply to: How do successful shows succeed? posted by Lisa on February 21, 2002 at 09:19:06:

I am going to try to answer a few specific points here. Some of this is what I have heard from others, some is my own opinion, I will try to say which is which.

: If Hamburg is so great (and it most definitely *is*!!) - How did it "get that way"? Did their early shows "suck"?

I know a few people who were at the first Hamburg show, and I heard it wasn't much of anything. I am not sure how long it took to catch on, it may have caught on quickly, I'm not sure. However, at that time, there were probably only 10-20% as many shows as there are today, therefore fewer oportunities for the vendors to sell their stuff, and people were much more willing to drive from greater distances. Another point has to do with the venomous aspect. I believe Hamburg was the first show to allow the sale of venomous, and it was the only show for a long time that allowed the sale of venomous. I think a few others tried it, but didn't continue.

>How old *is* the Hamburg show anyways? Anybody >know?

No idea.

>How did they develop the safety rules they use - >trial and error over many years?

That would be my guess. That is usually how safty rules develope. Sure you can start off with some good common sence ideas, but there are always situations, even ones that seem so obvious in hindsight, that nobody thinks of until they happen. Hell, look at how much of that there has been with national security since Sept. 11.

: Our show is new, barely one year, and 5 shows under our belt. One other show that permitted venomous, has failed in western Pennsylvania.

I feel our biggest threat is competition from other shows, and I am not referring to Monroeville and Columbus. I think there is enough interest to satisfy those shows, what I am talking about is competition for vendors, which is the biggest reason we didn't have more vendors last week. When planning a show, it isn't just a matter of planning arround the few shows that may be within a few hundred miles of your show, as many of the vendors travel many hundreds of miles for shows. One vendor who is usually at our show drives up from Florida. Last week there was a show in Alabama, that's where he went. There was also a show in Baltimore last week. That show is put on by a fire department, and I was told the proceeds are going to firefighters and their families in New York. I know of at least two vendors we lost to that show.

There are lots of shows these days, so the vendors can be picky, as can the guests. And then when one or the other doesn't show, it causes a shift in the other for the next show. Will it eventually balance out? I donno?

>Is there just not enough interest in venomous to >create and sustain a show? Is there not enough >interest in nonvenomous to support two shows in >our area?

First off, I wouldn't want our show to be substained by the venomous component. As to the second comment, yes, I think there is enough interest, we just haven't gotten the word out yet. There is a show in North Carolina which pulls in around 10,000. I talked to one of the people involved in planning that show, and I heard that they spent huge amounts of money in advertizing. I was told that they printed up 20,000 flyers, and then paid kids to hand them out in the streets, at a cost of $4000, and that was just flyers. They run a full page ad in Reptiles Magazine, and who knows what else. But you know what is a big difference between that show and ours. Individual people are making money from that show. People who have money have invested it into that show and they are making money. None of our people are paid, and we are working with a shoestring budget. The only show that I can think of that is non-profit, and is really doning well, is the Mid-Atlantic show

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