How to Fail Miserably But Still Succeed-ish

So yesterday was my first ever attempt at running a vendor booth for an event. The event in question was the City of Ogden’s first ever Pride event, and I figured this would be a good place to be. I was kinda wrong. It happened to be a great place to be as far as the energy and fun was concerned, it wasn’t however, a good place to try and sell things. So why was I going? That takes a little more explaining:

One of the things the organization had set up for this event was a partnership with a pair of local churches who would do a short ceremony for free for any couple who brought a marriage license. It was a truly beautiful idea and I want to give a shout out to the Glory to God Old Catholic Church for actually showing up and taking care of people, i.e being good Catholics. Anyhoo, the reason I initially planned on having a booth at this event was because I am trying to get a wedding photography thing off the ground. Mostly as a way to pay the bills well enough that I don’t need a retail job anymore and I can stick strictly to photography. So I planned on going and having a special for people who wanted to do their ceremony there and maybe get some wedding photos too. I mean, the photos are the most important part of the wedding right? right? Anyone? So it turns out only like three couples actually got married and only one if them wanted photos. Scratch that, they wanted a photo. So instead of my package, I charged em a fiver and took their picture. On this front, the day was mostly a bust.

Another reason I was going was to hopefully schedule some future weddings. While I only got a few feelers and some couples who will call back, I did get some excellent networking done. I got invited to another show in a few weeks, and I met with a wedding planner who was looking for a photographer who would be lgbtq friendly. Lucky for me, I’m both those things. So it’s entirely possible I’ll start getting some more work from that (or so I hope). On this front, it was a pretty good day.

Thirdly, I was hoping to sell some prints. I figured that with it being a festival and connected (physically not organizationally) to the farmers market, I might be able to generate some income off some of the photos I’ve taken. I was wrong. It turns out most people didn’t even bring money as 95% of the events and booths there were all free or donation based. SO while I had a TON of positive feedback on my work, I can’t deposit compliments at my local credit union which makes this phase a bust too.

That all seems like a total bummer, but really, this is still a somewhat successful day (i.e. the ish) becuase of a few things:
1) I learned a lot about how to run a vendor booth and what I should be doing in the future.
2) I made some good business connections and got some exposure
3) I had an absolute blast getting to meet all kinds of people and chat about everything from photography to drag queens. Who might I add were a delightful group of people.

So while I didn’t make any money, I did have a great time and I even got some discount Brats at the end of the event, so score one for me! That’s all for this one. Till next time, thanks for reading!
-D

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