Coffee is coming (Todd's in line at Starbucks), music this morning is the despondent chatter of exhibitors on the phone. I have network this morning--an unexpected plus. Yesterday was grim, grim, grim without connectivity. Today is already starting off exciting--the security officer from the Mart came to take a report about the theft of my camera, a police officer will be up next to file a report. I have decided to consider the loss of the camera as an opportunity. I wasn't happy with the quality of the Cool Pix images (low-end digital cameras all seem to be optimized to take pictures of people and people just don't need the same white balance and color correction my glass does). But I never would have spent the money now on a new camera if I hadn't been forced too. Opportunity knocked, Canon answered.
A few hours have passed and I spoke too soon--I had connectivity for a brief shining moment at the beginning of the day and that seems to be it for the day. I'll have to post this tonight when I get home. Okay, it's 2:00 pm on day 4, the penultimate day of the Atlanta's Mart. I haven't written an order since Saturday afternoon about 2:00. Good thing I have a positive attitude (!). One of the exhibitors down the aisle from me actually asked for a refund of their booth fee. Their request was denied (of course), but the request is representative of the show. My soul is slowly being sucked from my body--somewhat like when I slump wine bottles, but this soul drain is on its fourth straight day.
For the remainder of the afternoon I am going to carefully plan every step of the breakdown in order to be able to get the heck out of Dodge ASAP when the doors close tomorrow. Instead of taking all the lights off the tracks and putting them in a plastic tub (as I usually do) and then breaking apart the track sections, I am going to keep all the lights on the tracks and wrap them up in blankets that I'll cable-tie together. The wall pieces with glass in them will be packed still assembled into boxes. The back wall unit is going to be the piece that takes the longest to disassemble , but since there'll be 4-5 of us for breakdown I can't imagine it's going to take us any longer than an hour (maybe two) to do it all.
Today Becky is here, Dee is here, Mindy stopped by to say hi, and I am cheered. Becky and Todd went to lunch, and now Becky and I are going over to High Design so I can see if it's anywhere I want to be. Got to find a happy place. Got to find a happy place. Got to find a happy place.
The penultimate day is over. We took no orders, but have a nibble on wire people and other of Todd's pieces from a buyer who promises to come back tomorrow to order. Tonight I go home and hope my order from Walker Displays has arrived (along with a few checks to help defray the cost of this debacle). I have seen a couple of other glass exhibitors who also do the BMAC and one is doing this show in Handmade for the first and last time, the other is in high design (after several years in handmade first) and is still doing less than half the sales he had last year. Even longtime exhibitors in the better section of handmade (not stuck on the hallway to nowhere) are saying their sales are way down. Not to harp on the negative, but this comment from Todd must be shared "There are more cleaning people in the aisles than buyers". Once he said that, I had to count. He was wrong. For the last half of hour of the show today I counted 16 exhibitors I didn't recognize (no one whose booth is right here), 4 cleaning, security or other Mart staff, and 18 buyers--none of whom even paused as they hustled past my booth. I only counted people who walked in front of my booth, I only counted one leg of round trips (to and from the bathroom counted once). Time to go home.