Just wondering if I can get a clear picture of pen show etiquette. I have seen a few posts about show etiquette, but they haven't covered all of the topics I have questions about.
I have attended one pen show and here are the questions that resulted:
1. Handling the pens - I am enquiring because most vendors didn't seem to care if we picked up the pens to look at them and their nibs. I saw many people posting pens and writing with dry or wet nibs on paper. However, I went to one table and began to pick up a pen (nothing too fancy, a Sailor Starburst if I remember correctly) and was heavily scolded by the man working the booth. Also, I witnessed a man get the same sort of scolding when he attempted to post a pen at a different booth.
2. Price shopping - There was a very specific pen I was looking for at the pen show I attended and only two vendors had the pen. One vendor was asking significantly more than the other, despite the fact that they were both brand new pens. The less expensive vendor sold the pen I wanted while I was looking around and trying to make up my mind, so I went to the other vendor and asked if he would price match what the other vendor had offered. He immediately asked me who gave me that price and stormed off to his table when I told him who it was. I was left with my mouth hanging open and wondering if I had done something wrong. I don't know what resulted from the storming off, but again, I felt like I had done something wrong.
3. Lingering - is there a certain window of time that is acceptable or unacceptable to talk to vendors or look at their pens? I had to do A LOT of waiting to look at certain things and talk to certain people. However, when I got my turn, I felt like people were irritated with the amount of time I was spending (even though it wasn't more than anyone else). Is there a certain flow to pen show that most people follow?
4. Using a pen - is it okay to ask to use pen? Several vendors were inking up new pens and selling them, and other refused to ink up new pens. I understand why a vendor would not want to ink up a new pen, but i don't understand where the line is drawn.
5. Pre-Show - I know that for most shows (if not all) you can pay for early entry. Is there a special, more exclusive early entry? I have read that there are after-hours activities, or "pen parties" but don't know how to get involved. Are these parties exclusive, or can anyone attend? How can a person find out about these things as an attempt to get to know more people in the community?
I think that's all I've got question-wise. Can't wait to hear what all of you have to say.