Saturday, July 29, 2006

Life as a Carny - Day Two

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 and here for earlier posts. ------ Friday was tiring. I talked to some of the other booths and they are getting worried as well. "Will we make our booth", they were asking. That is new carny slang I learned for making enough to cover the cost of booth rent. Alexandra, my nine year old, spent $145 for the booth, $600 for inventory, $95 on a tent and $20 on a sign. In two days of hard work she has brought in $85. Of course, Saturday will be a big day and she is selling some of that inventory on the kids roar website as well. Alexandra quickly learned that when people say they are coming back they are liars most of the time. (I would lie too, it is just human nature.) I told her then she needs to close the sale when they are at the booth the first time. Today she might try dropping the price one dollar if they buy the first time. On a different note, beside us is a Steak and Shake booth that is doing a raffle. You buy a ticket and get in the raffle to win a bike.....but then you also spin a wheel and get coupons for free stuff at steak and shake. It always works out to be worth more than what you put in. They are donating the proceeds to the band boosters. What great buzz marketing. Alexandra and I have already had shakes. In my upcoming buzz marketing book I talk about unexpected booths and organizing fund raisers to create buzz for yourself and this is an excellent example of restaurant buzz marketing. Their booth is always packed. There is also an insurance agent that has a booth and it has been interesting to see him work. He is so friendly and knows enough people in the community that he always has a bunch of people around talking to him. He also keeps giving the vendors free drinks, and when one vendor accused him of trying to buy him as a client, the insurance guys response was "hell yeah". Not beating around the bush and a great way to work the vendors. All in all I think that promoting on the web is more effective than being a carny, but I have heard that some of these festivals you can really do well at. For now I am just trying to keep Alexandra's enthusiasm high. She is tired, but gets very excited every time someone buys something.