Monday, May 6, 2019

Pottery Tour Wrap Up

It's Monday, May 6th, and real life has resumed after being submerged in work to make the Maine Pottery Tour happen.
For my event here at Fine Mess Pottery, I really can't complain! We had, idk, 80 visitors? Sales were about 15% above last year. My guest artists each had some sales as well, so I am pretty happy. One odd thing: there was a HUGE disparity in attendance Saturday vs Sunday. Like, more than 60 people Saturday vs less than 20 on Sunday. I was a bit surprised, because the Kennebec Journal sent a reporter & photographer out on Saturday, and the article came out Sunday morning. I thought that would bring some folks out. Still, not complaining!
My Raffle Prize
Some things that worked:

  • When I remembered to ask, most people said they learned about the event thru social media. 
  • I did get some repeat customers who were reminded to visit by receiving a postcard.
  • Another studio on the tour, Peeper Pond, in Scarborough, felt that their 15+ signs were a bigger driver of traffic. Ash Cove Pottery in Harpswell had a similar experience. They are both on a less-beaten path, so I can see signage being super important for those locations. 
  • I again offered a raffle item to collect address (e- & physical) for my mailing list. I got 27 new addresses - a goodly number! - but several people filled out the form with just a phone number. My signage was not clear enough, apparently! 
  • Martha & me!
  • So glad I had my guest artist, Martha Hoddinott of A Lakeside Studio Pottery, there to help me! I underestimated how many people would be there at one time, and I'm sure I would have missed sales if I had been there alone. Thanks Martha!
  • We saw a huge jump in visitors to the website when the Maine Public & Maine Public Classical spots started airing - 200 to 400 visitors a day in the week before the Tour. But I didn't hear anyone say they learned about the tour via public radio. So, I'm not sure how to evaluate the success of that approach. I mean, clearly hundreds of people were interested enough to visit the website. Lots of them came from facebook, but many, many people just typed the name into their browsers or cam to the site via google or bing, too. I hope to continue the sponsorships next year -but will have to see how the other studios feel about it. 
  • I'm not sure I need to offer snacks! It feels rude not to have anything, but nobody except em ate the snacks. Next year maybe just coffee, tea, and water. 
  • Martha bought flowers for the displays! It really, really punched up the visual appeal. Maybe next year we'll direct more money to flowers & less to brownies. 
On to the next thing: a new cat dish fundraiser! Once again I've made some little catfood-sized dishes, and once again, if I sell 10 of them I will sponsor a cat at Kennebec Valley Humane Society. We're halfway there: with the dishes that sold during the pottery tour, we only need to sell 5 more. It's
on my list this week to photograph these individually & get them listed in the online shop.

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