Sunday, July 30, 2006

Life as a Carny - Day Three

Yes, this is a buzz marketing blog, but I am working a carnival with my daughter this week and I am recording my new marketing insights as a carny through Sunday. See here , here and here for earlier posts. ----- Yesterday was the big day. 13 hours of work with no breaks. In the office it would not be a big deal, but in a tent on black top in 85 degree weather....yuck. Alexandra did a good job with being elastic on price. At first she would drop the price right away, but we made the rule that she would offer to drop the price if they took a step away. She will probably loose money. She is up to $230. If she sells $60 more today she will break even on the booth... Speaking of booths. I guess my carny slang is not very honed yet. Tom Hoey wrote in a comment

"FYI. Carnies do not call their games or food operations...booths. They call games their joints and food operations are grabs. Check out the Carny Lingo at They occasionally do say, "we'll make the rent" or it's a blank or a bust. They would never say booth. A booth is in a restaurant or bar...where you sit. Just a little info from a real carny."

Here is the cool thing. I wrote my blog post about being a carny and within 24 hours I had carnies reading it. My post was quoted in other carny blogs and I never promoted it. It just shows how quickly you can reach different people. It also shows how quickly you can reach your target market if you know what your target market is.

Carnival Business Lessons Learned:

  • Wear sunscreen even if you are under a canopy.
  • Coming down a buck or two does make a difference.
  • Many vendors at carnivals are highly educated people just trying to create buzz in the community.
  • Be nice to the other vendors because they will buy things from you. (It is almost a BtoB setting. Or I should say Joint to Joint setting)
  • Talk to the other vendors and get an idea of where the good shows are. They all agree this one we are at is not a busy/profitable one....but then why are they there?

I know I am looking forward to going back to my nice cool office, where I do not have to move heavy boxes and try to talk kids into buying $11 dinosaurs.