The first konscht am gronn of 2017 didn’t go so well for me, nor for some other exhibitors. I lost money on the day. This isn’t so unusual; I judge my success on whether I cover my costs over the full season, and what contacts I make there. Every year so far, I’ve lost money on some days but balanced costs overall.

image: damage

On the other hand, it was successful in terms of contacts (think possible new reading), and it wasn’t a total loss because poetry sales covered my transport costs. All the same, I want to explore a little more what went wrong and what worked.

This Konscht am Gronn was the first time I’d used a gazebo. It’s new, bought a couple of months ago. I had to buy ‘walls’ separately: they’re imperfect and need significant adjustment. That will be sorted before the next time.

My layout inside the Gazebo was faulty. I had a U, with tables of display on either side with me sitting at the base of the U. People are far more likely to browse if they don’t sense watching eyes. A sense of being stared at makes browsers self–conscious, putting them off. The solution used by a number of exhibitors, which I’ll have to copy, is to lay their display out like an L. They put taller items towards the rear of the gazebo, leaving a small space behind where one can hide. Having said that, I did have a couple of interesting conversations with passers–by, and one idiot who wanted to buy a postcard.

I was unable to hang photos from the gazebo’s walls. Some exhibitors had interesting solutions to the problem, which I’ll have to adopt and adapt.

I need a large photo, larger than A3, maybe A0, to draw the eye. My local print shop can supply them.

Most exhibitors exhibit one original style. I have a number of styles. Perhaps my display should concentrate on one style, with others maybe relegated to secondary support roles.

The weather didn’t help: first rain, then drizzle, and grey all day. At least the gazebo allows me to continue to exhibit.

This Konscht am Gronn was food for thought more than anything else.