As I sit at the computer this morning, I am quietly looking forward to saying goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.
Saying goodbye to Vintage Vogue was never going to be easy for me but as the influx of vintage events increased in 2012 and the word "vintage" became an over-used word in the English vocabulary, naturally our event was no longer unique as it once was, except for our Tea Room of course with our uniquely dressed Nippys and entertainment. Sadly our attendance numbers dwindled in the second part of 2012, along with some other popular London Vintage Fairs that we know, all who appear to be struggling due to the same reasons. It could be the Olympic affect or the tough economic climate and strain we are all under that caused it but we think it was also due to the influx of "free entry" Vintage fairs popping up in cheaper rate venues such as little village halls, pubs etc. We always said we would call it a day when that happened as the time and effort was no longer worthwhile. Maybe I was just looking for excuses as the longing for free time for me had certainly outweighed the importance of running just another Vintage Fair?
Having first hand experience as an events organiser for 5 years has made me appreciate all the hard work that goes into making an event successful, its not just the day but the months leading up to it that are most important of all. The advertising and social media being two most important factors, when that no longer works then something must be wrong.
Having built up and trying to maintain a huge database of emails and 3600+ facebook friends, it was really hard work keeping it all going, especially as I was working full time and knitting my sweaters, it felt like I trying to keep three jobs going and I was juggling the knitting with the Fair in my spare time - it was no fun at all!
Stephen is a full-time student of the Arts also, so naturally with all the studying he had to do, he could no longer put in the valuable time for V V either.
My message to all those Vintage Fair organisers for 2013 is good luck and remember these important key things about being successful:-
* Bring some originality and make it a quality Event to make people want to visit otherwise it will become just another "run of the mill" vintage fair.
* Vet your traders' merchandise carefully as there are a lot of people who think they can palm off modern merchandise as "vintage". If you allow too many of these traders into your event it will spoil your reputation and your event will be more like a jumble sale or boot fair.
* Do it your way, not how others tell you to run it!
* What ever you do, try working with other vintage event organisers in your area or where your traders trade so your events don't clash on the same day.
* Upset traders and the public they will bad mouth you to other traders and some of them will believe what they are told.
* Organise too many vintage events in too many locations and people will start to pick and choose which one they attend so their attendance will not always be guaranteed at each event.
* Trade on the doorstep of other Events Organisers - very disrespectful and unprofessional behaviour - nobody wins in this situation.
Well that's all folks from V V HQ. Personally it's been a large learning curve and I have taken away some very valuable lessons as well as meeting some lovely folk in the process.
I wish all the friends and people I have met in 2012 a fabulous 2013, may the sun shine on all of you in more ways than one. I also wish you good health, wealth and happiness!