I’ve reached another milestone – the very first venture into the outside world for my dragons and I.
More importantly, our first opportunity to really meet lots of people, to see reactions and to receive some much needed feedback.
For creative’s like me, a live event is a real chicken and egg conundrum. It’s a huge risky investment in both financial and emotional terms.
My stall needed look both eye-catching and professional enough to fit in and to attract viewers. That alone took some doing.
Then there was my stock, my precious creations. Trying to second guess what my audience might want to see and buy, putting them all on display for the world to see. That’s pretty daunting stuff. Overcoming all the self doubts: Did my display look okay? Will people like my creations? Had I made the right things? Did I have the right pricing strategy? Would anyone want to part with their money to buy one?
I’m telling you all this to explain what I’d forgotten to take into consideration.
In hindsight it was obvious – isn’t it always?
I’d never attended the Fairy Festival. Other people had told me Concordia’s World would be a good ‘fit’. Fellow creative’s had tried to tell me that I’d need to have something to offer a younger audience, so I’d embarked on the card dragon automata kit thinking it might be suitable.
However, I’d made the mistake of not really thinking about who would attend and Fairy Festival. Who would be attracted to such an event? I didn’t truly know my audience.
This was an event for those who love and embrace all things fae and fantasy world, a true a family event, one that was particularly attractive to little girls. Hundreds of them, all looking adorable in their fairy outfits. I didn’t have anything suitable for little girls.
However, the point I’d failed to take into consideration was that everyone had come to have fun and to immerse themselves in the pure escapism that is the New Forest Fairy Festival.
They had come for the experience.
I watched in amazement as my visitors flocked to my neighbouring stalls. Queues of twenty plus people all day long on one side of me for the face painting and face jewels, and hordes of customers swarming all over the gothic jewellery and ornaments the other side.
Both sold shed loads. They understood their audiences and delivered. Boy did they deliver.
So what about me?
There I was sandwiched between these two amazing offers. What was Concordia’s World offering?
After the initial nerves and panic as hordes of people arrived (about half of them, yes even the adults, in fancy dress), the most amazing thing happened. It dawned on me that I too was offering an experience.
I began to play with my dragons and automata.
My creations aren’t very big so people needed to be fairly close to cotton on to what I was doing. Once they realised they wanted to take a closer look.
Frequently it was children who dragged parents over to see. So I began to engage with them. I’d make sure my dragons made eye contact as they walked past and draw them in.
Then I talked to them, asking how careful they could be?
Nodding their heads, they donned hand sanitizer on with rapid speed and whilst anxious parents watched on, oh so gently, the child would cradle a dragon in their little hands and begin to turn the handle.
That’s when the true magic began to happen.
Their faces turned to wonder as the dragon came to life and began to fly. They were mesmerised. Captivated. Enchanted.
Then adults too began to fall under the spell.
Tiny tots barely taller than my table were transfixed by my tiny twirling kinetic dragons. Children constantly watched and asked in awe “How do they work?” as the tiny, carefully balanced dragons twirled in the gentle breeze.
And yet they moved. Seemingly all on their own.
Time and time again people would arrive, either a child or a family member would have recommended they come and take a look at Concordia’s World. “You’ve got to see the amazing dragons” they’d been told.
And so I talked and demonstrated solid for the entire weekend.
Just a few sales, enough to cover my costs, which was about all I could have realistically hoped for at my first event, but I also had a mass of email newsletter sign-ups, two small commissions and lots of ladies awaiting news of the butterfly embroidery kit.
I couldn’t have asked for more from Concordia’s Worlds debut event.
Monday morning arrived. You’d have thought that I would have slept for England after the exhausting weekend, but no. I was awake before five o’clock, my head absolutely buzzing with ideas for next year’s event. Things I want to create to delight my audience. Now that I know who you are and what you want and need from me, I’m impatient to deliver!
Roll on the 10th Anniversary of the New Forest Fairy Festival – I can’t wait to join in the fun all over again!
Concordia’s World has caught the bug and we’re eager to take part in another live event to meet you, so are there any events that you would like to see us at?