Ok so it’s was a bit strange at first … a group of gals dropped into a room with 30 shiny display cases, exhibiting their hours and hours of hard work, all hanging around nervously, not entirely knowing what to expect or really even do with themselves …
And as the VIP’s arrived, more chatting commenced and although you want to shout and sing to everyone about what you do and how you do it and that ‘yes of course you can buy it!!’ You realise that everyone at an exhibition has their own thoughts. Though you want to be helpful, you don’t want to seem intrusive. I assume this game playing, feet shuffling, word choosing thing is a something you do/have to get used to after a while in ‘the industry’.
After shimmy-ing towards other display cases as opposed to mine, and drinking orange juice just so that my hands were busy … I did get the chance to chat to a few people … nice ones and all : )
The first lady that went all ‘Dragon’s Den’ on me asking, made me completely lose all my guff, prowess and confidence. She wasn’t being mean … it’s just that initial …’oh my god, someone is talking prices to me’ thing!! I’m completely froze! She wanted to how exactly I price my product, how do I work out what ‘paper‘ is worth and what would be the price connotation if buying several in for a retail outlet/gallery??!! EEk, ahhh, ummm!!
So after her pointing at specific pieces and me fluffing every single word that came out of my mouth, I resigned myself to the fact that I was better to claim defeat, offer to send her prices at a later point and attempt to turn the conversation around by asking her what she did instead … not ideal. However after speaking a little further, I took her card and she promised to pass on my details to a colleague who dealt in exhibitions specifically with paper. Less than ideal but lesson learnt!!
I was left at the end of an evening speaking to a ‘Business Angel’ who after some chat claimed I was ‘pretty gutsy’ and would be very interested to ‘follow my progress’. So after feeling a little deflated, feeling the need to justify the use of paper in my work (I assume this will be a never ending battle). I realise that you have to remain positive, even when on the inside you may be screaming for help!
So, we hope to see ‘Mr Business Angel Man’ once more as we invited him to our private view, at this point cue ‘my mate Clare’ looking glam and getting straight to the point by asking this fella for his business card : ) I guess I could or SHOULD have done it 10 minutes earlier but hey, as a team, we got there in the end!!
So next time, at least I’ll be a little more prepared!!