Before the Event & Setup
Facebook and email communication leading up to the event was good. I made a little advertisement for myself since they didn't have much of anything that I saw to advertise. Probably should have been an indicator about how active the event was going to be.
ST-19 was required, got that handled. An email was sent to use letting us know we could set up at 8am til any time before the event started at 10am and that we should NOT arrive sooner. There was no information about where our booths were located in advance.
I didn't bring cash to this event. I really don't get enough cash sales locally for it to make it worth bringing change every event at this point. Since I never properly restocked my boxes after placing my pins on the new pin board at Krakenhits, I was lacking a few designs I would normally have. It was just a few of the dogs so I will just need to make sure I have them ready before February's event.
You had to check in with Laura to get your table assignment once you arrived. Quick and easy, she's very bubbly and helpful.
Setup was super fast on my end. I managed to combine nearly everything into one big box, a small box and my single sploot bag. It took three trips to my car only because my spinning pegboard is just something I can't carry with anything else and it's fragile. I did not bring my wagon for this event and I didn't have a helper. I don't regret any of this. I also didn't bring extra plush. I brought one of each design. This seems to work best for me for craft fairs. I took a pic of this bare bones setup. I will be revising this as I can't fly with my spinning rack and need a much better way to flatten and display things for further drives.
The Event Itself
The event was lacking to say the least. There was a lot that I just didn't like so let's start with what I did like. I had good placement near the kitchen. I was easy to get to regardless of what entrance you came in from and I could see both from where I was placed. There were vendors you couldn't see at all from either door and 3 in the kitchen area for some reason.
The table was huge and the chairs were comfortable compared to what I've been provided in the past. I usually have an 8 ft table anyways when I bring my own, but since I've had smaller tables at my last few events I didn't bring mine to it was a reminder how large my space was when I started.
The event organizers were apparently part of Tastefully Simple, some MLM based out of Minnesota. Her husband she called a chef, not sure if he really is or is not but she made it seem like he was very well known. She tried to hype us up before the event started which was nice. I liked her enthusiasm a lot.
Oh. Parking. So it's very, very cold this year. Normally we have more snow which keeps the temperatures a little higher. I think it was 16 degrees when I showed up, so technically it was warmer than previous days but still dreadful. The parking area was small, I was not with any help and I was not familiar with the area despite it being so close to downtown Anoka. I was a problem in this situation to be clear so when you hear my complaint, understand I straight up did not move my vehicle at all. That's not okay.
She came in before 10am and was reminding people to move their vehicles into the neighborhood and along the streets. Since I drove the only family vehicle we had I just decided not to at all. I just left it where it was and then complained to my husband that we didn't have prior notification that we should be unloading then moving our vehicles somewhere else. I even double checked the email to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Either way, yeah, I was wrong and didn't move my car. I hadn't realized I was still freezing at this point not because of having been outside but because we didn't have any heat.
I spent about an hour drawing once the event started. Starting around 10:30/11am, people started to eat. I was bored and decided to eat because I wasn't sure what else to do. My fingers were cold so drawing was difficult. I had a burger that was decent. Nothing special. There wasn't any mayo or lettuce (that I saw) but they had tomatoes and onions and some other condiments. People were gobbling up the ribs but I wasn't super sold on it since I had seen she was part of an MLM and I don't fully trust MLMs.
I want to note that it wasn't until now I was thinking about this but sometimes people when they open events let you know where the restrooms are. There was one through the kitchen in this case, but I had no idea and it wasn't labeled or marked to indicate it was there. I asked someone random but just something I am thinking about as I am writing this up. More events should make note of this or at least inform vendors.
It was after lunch I started to look around more since I was freezing so much at that point. I even overheard someone joking that they were going to die of hypothermia and then ask the event coordinators to see if someone can turn up the heat. The quilter who was seated in a different room just behind me mentioned that her side was warmer. I got up and went into their room. It wasn't great but it was obvious there was heat (and maybe better insulation) on their side of the building. There were four vendors in there, three in the kitchen and the rest of us were in the main hall.
Very few people came in the whole event. I made my first sale around 2pm which is so unusual. I usually make most of my sales before and during lunch and then it tapers off. Around 3pm I packed up some of my items that were not going to sell within the next hour, namely paper clips and ornaments, leaving my pins and plush out. I started chatting with my booth neighbors about their dog and the things they make. They were very interesting to chat with and their chihuahua was so cute! Theirs was called a long hair I believe? Anyways, they ended up being my last customer of the day as well. I wish I wore earrings regularly but I don't anymore. She had some really cute earrings though and her husband 3d printed the little hangers the earrings were on for the display. Genius, really.
During our chat the event coordinator came out and basically threatened us to not pack up early as if we weren't freezing to death and ready to make a break for our vehicles to warm up the second it hit 4pm. I feel I was the only one who had packed anything up early to begin with, so it was probably targeted at me. My display takes a bit to pull apart because of all the small hooks I on the spinning pegboard, so removing the 6 ornaments wasn't saving me the amount of time she probably thought, but I also knew I wouldn't be selling any ornaments in that last half hour. Ornaments are a very trickle sale item for me both online and in person. Probably won't get invited back to the events, not sure if I am concerned or not.
I am still bitter about how slow this event was overall. I advertised on my socials and I am not sure what sort of advertising they have done. I also don't normally do events on a Sunday, so I am very unfamiliar with the two issues I was probably dealing with - church goers being at their church events for extended parts of the day and the combined problem of it being January - you know the month immediately after people just spent a ton of money for the holidays. Regardless, the threats that we wouldn't be allowed to do future events just ticked me off since I was basically a popsicle at that point.
What Worked & What Did Not
I liked that a table and two chairs were provided. Made it much faster to load in and out.
There was a guy who was barefoot the entire event. It was a vendor in the room behind me but I could see him just walking around with no shoes. I took a bad stealth image to hide I was being a terrible person since I didn't want him or anyone else to be identifiable. Top right there are feet in this picture. THE WHOLE EVENT.
It was freezing. I don't know that this was entirely their fault as they were probably renting the space for the day. Either way, I would not go back in the winter. You couldn't pay me to sit there for hours again and freeze. No thank you.
Load in and out was very close so that was nice. There was a ramp out the back for anyone with a wagon, although it was pretty small. I took a picture when I first arrived just because I haven't been doing that and figured I should. There didn't seem to be a way to keep the door held open though, so not sure it was super handicap accessible in that sense but I held the door for a few people and someone held the door for me to go in and out for loading and unloading (just like vendors like me). So people were polite and knew when they should hold the door at least.
I met some very cool people at the booth next to me. Bought some cookies from some people and some nice smelling soap. I think my experience was not as great as others who had been to the events in the past, so I can't say I really had the best time or that I would do this event again. They said the events are normally better, but I am not sure I would do this again unless I really had nothing better to do and it was in a warmer month.
The Details (TLDR)
Event: Brandon & Laura Events Anoka Market
Date: January 21, 2024
Location: Anoka KC Hall 2421 4th Ave N Anoka, MN 55303
Hours: 10am-4pm, loading time after 8am
Total Vendors: 22
Travelworthy: Okay for locals within a 10 minute drive, not worth for anyone out of the local area.
Booth Cost: $25 for a 8x4 space
Total Sales: $85 (this is before all costs are taken out)
Transaction Fees: $2.51
Total Profit: $51.11