I really don’t need to tell anyone this, but I will because documenting it here saves me re-typing it in a dozen emails.
How I decide who gets a stand.
I try to be fair, I have too many photographers on the books and I have a list of favourites who will ALWAYS get a stand at Alfreton Hall
Here is that List
Kev Matthews - Kate Matthews
Why? Well without Kate putting me in touch with the owners of Alfreton I wouldn’t have it, not would I have the Glade, and thus Cattows, Elvaston.
All the other dates and are wide open, I have to respect any in-house suppliers, of course I do and before I announce a date I factor those in
When I announce new dates I do it in one of several ways
I have a list of suppliers who have been disadvantaged due to cancellations or a poorly attended fayre, these guys ALWAYS know first for just 2 date releases and I ask them to choose just one date.
then I do this...
Email to my mailing lists, I have two, one is current suppliers, one is suppliers signed up on the website - here
Usually my current suppliers get an early email - 10 minutes early.
A facebook group - I have current suppliers in a facebook group, they need to be my facebook friend so I can add them and they are current suppliers. People drop in and out of this group all the time
By stealth - I just add the date to the website this will become my favourite way of doing it
Networking, Occasionally we have a networking chinwag, usually over coffee and I may let slip a new date then.
Networking is at the heart of everything I do, it is important to me, face to face, on social media or plain old meeting up at a wedding, it works, it keeps out the scum.
Then I deal with it in strict order, you email quick, you get in. Unless... I have a list of people who have messed me about, no shows, late payers, people who turn up and move furniture around, people who pay for one thing than bring an add on service and my favourite, people who have booked two on the same day, but are doing the other one. Clearly if a fayre is popular, I’m going to fill it with “easy deals” first.
Then theres a banned list of liars, aggressive, negative, debtors and unreliable people, they don’t get in. end of.
I now also restrict the number of fayres I let people book on every date release, the last one was four dates so the cap was for two dates, a previous one was for 2 dates with a “Pick one” instruction.
Most venues have a room plan on the website and I now tend to allocate stands upon sales, if you need to be against a wall, tell me when you book, if you need a double stand, book one and pay for it, if you arrive and start moving stands around, I’ll help you into the car park.
A quick word about payments
I usually issue one or two invoices per fayre, sometimes a deposit is issued and these do not go overdue, I cancel them. final payments are usually allowed to slip 7 days, occasionally 14 during holiday season and when a deposit has been paid.
You get a reminder and then I drop you out - end of story. Most of my events end up with a waiting list so I’m really sorry, but I don’t need bad payers.