Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wonju Countdown : 4 weeks before the Festival !

The 16th edition of the Wonju Hanji Festival will be held in the city of Wonju (Gangwon province, in the northeastern part of South Korea) from September 25 to 28, 2014.

This Festival is a major event, and I am both nervous and excited to have a chance to display and sell my creations in such a nice venue.

At this moment, I am still (im)patiently waiting for a confirmation of my participation in the Festival. My application has been sent, and I had a verbal confirmation that my items are appropriate, but I still have to wait until September 2 to get the final "yes"!

In the meantime, I don't have a minute to lose!

A New Chance

As some of you might know, I was going to take part in the Jeonju Hanji Festival in May 2014, but the event was cancelled after a tragic ferry accident occurred in South Korea, leaving the whole country devastated and mourning. It was a very difficult moment for me, as I was looking forward to the Festival and had worked extensively to get ready for it.

After such a bitter disappointment, participating in the Wonju Hanji Festival appears like a golden opportunity for me; it's a new chance that I definitely don't want to miss! I won't spare any effort to make this venture a success.

Getting Ready for my First Festival

On top of being my first take at this specific Festival, it will be my very first time as a seller in a craft show EVER! It is a big stress, but I have decided to "attack" this challenge with the same technique I have developed for the large dinner parties I enjoy throwing several times a year (I must give credit and gratitude to my dear friend Lee for suggesting this approach)!

I have to say that my friends like to tease me about my "Thanksgiving Planner", a 4-page Excel spreadsheet pinned to my refrigerator that allows me to get through Thanksgiving week (for which, in Korea, we get no time off from work) without any meltdowns, broken friendships or emergency trips to Costco!

So, for the Festival I decided to create this planner that I enthusiastically named "Hanji Festival Battle Plan"! It contains three parts: a detailed timeline, a complete inventory and a check list.

1) My Timeline 

I started my planning as soon as I found out that I might be able to participate, which was about 6 weeks before the actual Festival.

In my timeline I made sure to include :
  • A "countdown" by weeks, with the exact dates:
    • The timeline goes backwards in time, which means that the last week before the Festival is at the top of the chart. I have to work my way up, rather than down;
  • The details of every single task that need to be done:
    • including the simplest ones (I have a tendency to overlook the obvious when I'm busy);
  • The people involved in each of the tasks:
    • For example: because I need my friend's assistance to translate my price tags into Korean, I make sure to plan ahead and choose a moment where she would be available to give me a hand;

  • A "Production calendar" column in which I list the different items I need to make and/or finish before the Festival:
    • I made sure to indicate how many of each type of items I wish to make;
    • I tried to keep it realistic, especially considering the free time I have outside of work and the time and energy that the other tasks will demand (e.g. get the business cards and banner printed, prepare the price tags and price lists, etc.)

CountdownDatesDetailsPeople involvedPRODUCTION CALENDAR
The week of the EventSept 21~27
1 week before EventSept 14~20

2 weeks before EventSept 7~13

3 weeks before EventAug 31~Sept 6

4 weeks before EventAug 24~30

5 weeks before EventAug 17~23

6 weeks before EventAug 10~16

2- A complete inventory

My inventory is divided in three columns:

  • A column for my target number of items
  • A column for the number of actual items that are ready (completely done, ready to ship/sell)
  • A column that shows my progress in percentage (number of finished items / target number)
I also use a color code that allows me to see clearly where I stand, and what types of items I should focus on to make sure I reach my objective (from green to red, according to my degree of completion)

3- A Check List

My Check List will certainly be my  most important tool when time comes to pack my bags to go to the Festival. As Wonju is located more than 2 hours away from my place, I have to make sure I don't forget anything essential that would force me to run around town in a city I don't know, or worse... force me to turn around!

My Check List contains an exhaustive list of things I need to bring, prepare and plan for the booth.

The list is divided in seven different sections :
  • Items for Sale
    • Earrings, plates, trays, hair accessories, etc.
  • Display 
    • Table cloths
    • Racks
    • Supports
    • Mirrors
    • Price tags
    • Posters and signs, etc.
  • Business 
    • Small bills and coins
    • Receipt pad
    • Price lists
    • Calculator
    • Pen and paper, etc.
  • Marketing and Promotion 
    • Business cards
    • Banner
    • List for subscription to my Newsletter, etc.
  • Wrapping and Packing 
    • Bubble wrap
    • Bags
    • Ribbon
    • Stickers, etc.
  • Tool Box
    • Extension cord
    • Power bar
    • Tape
    • Scissors
    • Screwdrivers
    • Glue
    • Brushes
    • Knives
    • Cutting mat
    • Post-it notes, tacks, etc.
  • Naty's Survival Kit 
    • Band aids
    • Water and snacks
    • Charging cables (for camera, phone, etc.)
    • Moist towelettes, gum, sun cream, etc.

Categorizing allows me to stay focused, and to make sure I don't forget anything. Also, placing different things in a category helps me see clearly what is missing, or what would be useful or necessary : writing down  "hammer" in the Tool Kit list will naturally remind me to bring nails, too!

I also decided to include a category for "Naty's Survival Kit" because I have the bad habit of neglecting my own personal needs when I get excited and consumed by a project!

More resources for Craft show preparation

There are so great resources out there to help you prepare for a big event, such as a Festival or a Craft show.

Here are some useful blog posts :
⇝ Craft Show Preparation ~ Getting Ready Set Go! (SPSTeam on Etsy)

⇝ How to prepare for a Craft Fair? (Art Mind)

⇝ 6 Simple Ways to Avoid Dumb Mistakes at a Craft Show : What You Can Learn from a Boy Scout (The Crafts Report)

⇝ 10 Tips on Surviving Your First Craft Show (Catshy Crafts)

How about you?

Do you have any craft or art show tips to share? how do you prepare for a craft show? Are there essentials missing from my Check list?

Visitors and shoppers, what are you looking for when you visit an Craft show? What are your pet peeves? What are the things that charm you? excite you? annoy you?

Please leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you.

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