I recently was part of a community fun fair. It was a first attempt by a local group and they had a few problems with the logistics of the event. I don't want to comment too much on that, but it did lead a lot of the vendors to look at each other and ask, "How was the weekend for you?"
One vendor said she'd met her goals. Enough books sold to cover her fees plus some community connections that would lead to more business. Another vendor was cautiously optimistic - he never knows until a couple weeks down the road what final results are. Some just shook their head and several others actually packed up and went home part way through the day.
It made me stop and think about how I was going to measure the event.
Sales? Well, I sold a respectable number of books, plus had the pleasure of seeing some faces really light up as they looked through them.
Give aways? I gave away over 200 gum balls, plus every one of the dozens of coloring pages I'd brought. (I literally finished the day by cutting my master sheets apart.)
Contacts? I had a great chance to talk with several area teachers and handed out brochures about school visits and art residencies. It remains to be seen whether any of those translate into visits. And I was able to provide resources to many parents and a few aspiring writers as well. That's always a perk.
Publicity? This was the most interesting one for me, this time. Each of the brochures, business cards and coloring pages I handed out listed my website (of course). Yesterday I went to my web stats and found some exciting numbers. In that one weekend, the number of unique visitors to my site had jumped by 25%; the number of visits by almost 30%; page hits were up and so were page views.
So I think the upshot has to be that, yes, it was a successful event. And I learned a few things to do slightly differently next time and that counts in the plus column too.
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