November 21, 2012

Shopalooza!: The Aftermath.

Not bad.

That about sums up our whole experience at last week's Shopalooza!. While we loved the crowd and our sales went better than expected (I was honestly just hoping for a break-even), I have to admit the event could have gone much better.

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The ingress was a MAJOR disaster - there, I finally said it. The actual venue (covered court) was under construction, so you could imagine how much we struggled to protect our displays every time a gust of wind would come -- and with a freakin' storm of dust, no less! My brand new trapal (laminated sack) had to be used as a carpet for my space's flooring, but this proved futile almost instantly because the dust would also accumulate there. And so, due to a lot of complaints from the exhibitors' side, the organizers made quick arrangements to change the venue from the covered court of dust bunny hell to the grassy field outside.

Now, this new development didn't exactly sit well with us either. For starters, most of us were almost finished dressing our own booths when the announcement to change venues came. Thankfully, there were a lot of organizers and VSC members who helped us carry all our stuff (and my tent!) to our new spot, but upon getting there, we were all shocked that our space shrunk down to 2x2 when we ALL paid for a 3x3 spot each. Some exhibitors were livid, some wanted to just up and leave (rent fee be damned, the hassle wasn't worth it, they exclaimed), I was... too exhausted to feel anything. The new area was much smaller than our original one, almost half or less. All 80 booths (give or take, food stands included) had to be crammed together, and the floor plan got messed up. All exhibitors at that time had the same disappointed look, and whenever our eyes would meet, we would all share this halfhearted smiles and shake our heads in defeat. I was listening in on a conversation between a fellow merchant (I called him "Kuya"; he was selling Aerosoles footwear) and an organizer that Shopalooza! would be reimbursing P1K to each of us as penance, but no official word came out. Shoot.

Anyway, once everyone got settled in (and finished bitching about our new spaces), we rushed to finish our booths to meet the 5:00 deadline, and by the time 5:00 PM came and the Shopalooza! Bazaar officially started, we were all completely drained. It took a while for customers to start filling in afterward, but it couldn't be helped since it was only soft opening. I'm just glad our booth did better than what I hoped it would; thank GOD.

I believe this was Multiply's first public event, and it wasn't all that bad. My fellow merchants kept on complaining about the lack of organization and all that, but I kept mum the whole time during the chaotic ingress and the unbelievably idle opening days because I wanted to cut the organizers some slack (that, and I was busy manning the booth). There's a first time for everything, after all, and facilitating big events such as Shopalooza! is incredibly hard. Still, I do hope everyone got to learn from the many experiences we had last weekend. And perhaps next time, we get to do it INDOORS, where there are no strong blows of wind, mini sandstorms and too much sunlight? :3 Who the hell decided that we do the event outside anyway?!

To the people behind Shopalooza!, you did a good job all-in-all, and I thank you for letting Curls & Twirls (among others) be a part of the first Shopalooza!, but if you plan on inviting us again (and the others) on your future events, please be more organized. You pissed off a lot of Multiply merchants with your lack of preparation. Even the VSC staff who were only supposed to observe (according to Engr. Perry, who told us that the management didn't want them to do any labor since it was YOUR event) had to step in and help us out with the shade, lighting, electricity and installation of additional tents. In his words, he told us, "Dapat yung organizers gumagawa nito eh". Thank goodness the lot of you were friendly and willing to listen to our complaints, but people skills honestly aren't enough to salvage the situation most of the time - I'm sure you know that.

To my fellow Multiply tenants, let us come MORE prepared next time. Consider getting your own tent structures to maximize your booth spaces and laminated sack bags for cover up. Secure your stuff (I was approached by someone who was looking for his car keys), and do not exceed your allotted spaces. There are boundaries for that very reason, you know. There was a seller behind us who bought a 2x3 tent structure when our booths were only 2x2, and the merchant beside them, whose booth space got tampered, weren't too happy about it - I should know because they kept on bitching about it while they were buying from us. I asked them, "Why not tell it to them?", and they simply answered, "Ate, pag pinagsabihan namen sila, kami pa magmumukhang masama kasi mahihirapan pa sila tanggalin yung tent nila." :)))  Oh, and SERVICE WITH A SMILE! I don't know if it was just the heat or they were too busy with their own devices, but there were some sellers who couldn't be bothered to give the smallest of smiles even though you already bought a lot of stuff from them. Such a killer. =\

I'd love to show pictures, but we've been too busy entertaining customers (not that I'm complaining!), and the very rare times we were able to catch a break, I'd spent them taking a breather or snoozing (I lacked sleep from sewing so many MG Puff Bows).

To the many people who visited our booth and bought from us, thank you so much! To the kiddies who practically forced their parents to buy our Toilet Toys, I hope you're enjoying them as much as we enjoyed your unique reactions upon opening our sample. :)) And to my loyal clients who took the time to go to Shopalooza! just because I told them Curls & Twirls would be there, I couldn't be more grateful. Thankyouthnkyouthankyou! :)

Next in line for Curls & Twirls is the highly anticipated SuperSale Bazaar! The floor plan will be up soon, so do check back from time to time. In the meantime, head on to our website and buybuybuy because as promised, ALL ITEMS ARE ON SALE! Yay! :D


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