It is nice to see someone reach out to applaud improvements in a day and age when people only reach out in such situations to complain.
As someone who is part of a non-profit who runs a large annual event with vendors from all over the world, there are so many variables and things that can and do go wrong that are above and beyond the control of the owner/operator of the show yet they catch all the blame for it from both the attendees and the vendors. I have seen the complaints about a lot of the things that went wrong at this show and a couple of others and all I kept thinking was,,,,,,,,,,,,they/he couldn't help that really. Vendors and attendees really don't have the entire picture of what goes into making these shows appear to run without a hitch and most don't care. They just want and expect everything to be perfect. But then in personal experience, there will be vendors who will complain even if things go well and they make more money at your show than any other before. This happens to us every year.
Our annual shows are extremely detailed. In addition to just having vendors we use the venue's kitchen which I run during the event, we have a huge kids area with games and prizes, we have an auction and raffle that runs the entire weekend, we have 24/7 security on the property.
Vendors get sick or pass away close to the show deadline and you scramble to contact vendors on our waiting list to try to fill their spot which can mean several fewer vendors than planned, vendors aren't happy with the way their section is set up, vendors decide they want more tables so then you have to scramble to make room and readjust the layout of the show, the owner of the venue can suddenly make the venue unavailable on the dates you scheduled the event to be a couple of months or less before the show for their own events or no reason at all(this happened to us) after all the advertising and printing is done and in place, sometimes the person in charge of the venue doesn't get back to you until damn near your preferred show date to say if it is available or not, sometimes even if it is you don't get the contract until very near the show, something can happen with acquiring the necessary insurance and licenses to run the show, there can be a severe lack of people to delegate tasks to(or you delegate and they don't complete what was delegated to them or do it at all) which means the owner/operator of the show is doing more on their own which can cause a complete upheaval and cause the show to open late. So many things can happen that aren't the fault or in the control of the person/company running the show yet that one person catches all the blame. I have seen show owners become outright suicidal over the blame, shame, and attacks. Especially when it spreads to online.
The website problem is also a big one. Unless the show owner is able to do it themselves they have to find someone willing to help. Web design isn't cheap. I am a graphic designer as well. Unless you find someone willing to do it for free, you are often going to pay hundreds, or possibly thousands, for website work and upkeep. Especially when the designer realizes the site is for a money-making venture. THEN you have to worry about whether they will hold your site for ransom, changing the password to access the editing side of it, or putting something worded sneakily into the contract that if they work on it they own it AND the domain name in perpetuity which can lead to a lot of problems getting it back into your name.
So, doing a show is not as simple as securing the venue and putting tables out for the vendors to put their products on and opening the doors and collecting admission. Even with admission you have to have people who can handle large streams of people coming at them without freaking out. Believe me, it's horrible to not find out until it's too late that the person at the admissions table freaks out around crowds, or can't handle kids being kids and basically has a melt down at the cash register.
So, if you are a vendor or potential vendor at these pen shows, please do take things like this into consideration. Is it their fault or is it "sh*t happens"?.
Edited by RayCornett, 15 October 2018 - 22:13.