Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post Festival Blues and Lessons Learned

Really it may be the post-Halloween candy crash, but I'm drained and trying to decide which particular golden nugget of wisdom to impart to any beginning art festival exhibitors. I had a fantastic weekend, and it could have gone terribly, terribly wrong. All around me, I met wonderful exhibitors who gently pointed out how I hadn't quite set my tent up to withstand any sort of real weather, despite my good intentions. Providence smiled.

I'd like to point something out to an artist who has decided to participate in these events to gain broader exposure to potential customers, in addition to selling their art.

If you are maintaining a newsletter list, keep your method for adding new customer emails, names, etc separate from your credit card processing.

I had many people buy from me this past weekend and of that, I'd say 80% used their credit card. I happen to use Square mobile on my smart phone. (I'm not being paid to endorse them!) At the end of the transaction, the program asks if you would like to text or email a receipt to the client. Everyone chose email. Great, I thought because now I have their contact information! I mentioned to them that I was starting a newsletter and that I'd like to add them to the distribution list. Of course, please add me!

On Monday, after looking at the online register I found to my horror that I couldn't access any of my customer's personal information for their privacy. Square is protecting themselves, and their clients, and that makes sense.. but I wish I'd known that earlier.

They all have my business card, but who knows if they will go to my website to add themselves to the list?

Opportunity lost. Lesson learned.


  1. Excellent. Your hindsight will be somebody else's 20/20.

  2. I hope so! I've had one person suggest capturing a screen shot on my iPhone, after getting permission to add them to my newsletter list. You press "power" and "home" at the same time. I haven't tested it out.