The show ran on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th November. It's an agricultural event with lots of farm animals and competitions (such as fastest sheep shearers and wood chopping) as well as show jumping and dessage for horses, sheep dog trials, terrier races, displays of cattle, vintage machinery, local arts and crafts as well as trade exhibits.
I was there at 8am on the Friday and started setting up on my own straight away. Fortunately everything was pretty easy to put in place. I chatted to the Ice Cream vendor in the spot next to me who said the Friday is normally quite a quiet day compared to the Saturday. I took this to be a good thing since this was my first show.
The spot to the other side of me had no exhibitor, so when my stall assistant arrived not long after set up, we tailored the stand to utilise the full side edge since a lot of people were cutting through the empty section. The weather was a bit cloudy, but not cold. If you look at the setup below there are already points for improvement I can see - such as longer branding draping from the tables to cover the bags and branding at the top of the gazebo. The table looks rather cluttered too.
It was a fairly quiet day. I spoke to a number of people and handed out flyers for both Monstews and Numbo. A few children did some drawing. My stall assistant and I decided that there should be more colouring pens and some stools for the kids to sit on to make it more appealing. So she kindly whisked away to the shops for some supplies. We stuck around until 2.30pm - but even then there were very few people around.
The Saturday was a different story, it was much busier and much nicer weather wise - although there were a few cold gusts of wind. I enlisted the help of 2 teenage girls, plus my daughter. We arrived bright and early to get things set up.
The stall next to us arrived today - Pita Pitt - and proved to be very popular. So we focused the products to the front since that's where the foot traffic was passing. There are still improvements I'd want to make in future, but the set up was good based on the time and resources available.
It was a little slow to start, a few conversations but no sales. Once I got into the flow I think my 'sales pitch' much improved and I was able to engage the visitors more. I was careful not to be too 'in your face' as a stall owner as I find that off putting when I'm going around this kind of show.
I am enthusiastic about the products and I let that shine through. I handed out a number of flyers and made sales. The girls helped get kids to enter the colouring competition and did the face paint stencils.
I was encouraged to see a number of people I knew, which helped my confidence and helped me to relax from just doing the explanation and sales pitch.
I didn't get a chance to look around the rest of the A&P Show, but the girls all went on some of the rides, bought sweets (called lollies out here in NZ) and wandered about at various points of the day.
By 5pm we were ready to pack down, the show was emptying and other stalls were doing the same.
It was a good learning experience - both in terms of getting everything ready before the show, setting up, talking to people, making sales and getting everything taken away afterwards.
I'd be keen to try it again - but maybe I should focus on either Monstews or Numbo and not both. Visitors were interested in both, but seemed to 'get' Numbo a bit more since this was an instant product available there and then, where as Monstews has that element of abstract to it and the results won't be seen for a week or two.
There are more A&P Shows coming up around the country as well as Christmas street markets - so I need to think seriously about whether I want to be involved in those and decide what to promote and how. I'd love to get a fully branded gazebo, but probably a bit out of the budget for the time being.
My daughter and I also did a bit of doodling.