This year’s rodeo was going to be different for both of us as we decided – after much discussion – to actually vend JamBusters! on site. We had never been at the local rodeo as a vendor but we have vended in the same venue before so we knew precisely where we wanted to be set up. What was funny to me about setting up and vending at the rodeo was who we would be vending with.
There was a row of local vendors that greeted you just under the grandstands on the way to the rodeo arena. Aside from food vendors lining the sidewalk to the grandstands, the majority of the local vendors on site we had a lot of connections with. In the section we were under there were a total of five spaces. There were two more spaces across the centre entrance to the grandstand.
Of those seven spaces a total of six of them were occupied by vendors who had attended at least one of the Chamber Markets George and I co-organized for the local Chamber of Commerce in February, March and April of this year. Two of them were at the same Oliver event we attended early last month and one was at the Lower Nicola event we attended two weeks ago.
It was a nice, comfortable feeling to be surrounded by vendors we knew and enjoyed being around. In fact, the three of us in spots 2, 3 and 4 on our side of the grandstand chose to vend as ‘neighbours.’ It made for a fun weekend sharing laughs, watching each other’s booths, swapping stories, visiting and sometimes sharing doughnuts or fries picked up as a snack.
As for the actual sales part of the event the Saturday was not very good. However, it was not our worse vending day and considering the ongoing bouts of rain and chilly conditions, it really wasn’t so bad after all. We went through several ‘try-before-you-buy’ taste samples and I sold out of two items – Carrot Cake Jam and All-Vegetable Antipasto, so I need to restock.
George enjoyed parts of the day as he went over to the rodeo arena to shoot some video and photos. He was pretty wet when he came back following the ladies barrel racing event but I know he really enjoys watching that. His favourite place during ‘barrels’ is at the fence behind Barrel #3. He gets some great photos from that spot and he did again this weekend.
On the Sunday of rodeo weekend things were very different. The weather was better and customers were clearly in a much better ‘shopping’ mood than the previous day. We chalked it up to the change in the weather as our sales for the weekend was in line with our average. That was encouraging news for both of us as we are entering our busy vending season this month.
Whether or not we’ll vend again at the rodeo is debatable but we have already committed to another event at the same venue for this September. We are also considering a larger rodeo event located a fair distance outside of our pre-determined ‘zone’ we would travel to vend. That date is not for a few months, so we’ll see how things go until that time.
The Stan Thompson Memorial Rodeo was well attended and there was a good cross section of different vendors and that’s what we look for. It fit a lot of our criteria including heavy online and print advertising and we really felt as if we were welcomed to be part of the event. We even had Sister City royalty stop by our booth. Miss Tonasket Camille Wilson will probably be enjoying some JamBusters! product for a few days with the selection her and her family took home with them after tasting a few samples.