Read this blog for a behind the scenes look at Universal Windows Direct working the Anoka County Fair.
It’s a glamorous life. County fairs.
The view from my booth today is much the same as it has been every day with one small exception. Today there is a cheese curd sitting in the doorway.
I am fortunate to have a great spot. We are the first booth you can see when you enter the building and our display spreads out across the entire wall. This allows us to display windows, siding, asphalt shingles, steel roofing, entry doors and we even have a little patio door sample here!
During the day I love watching the 4H kids come through here. The wild messy hair, the dirty jeans and the cowboy boots are perfectly accessorized by the pride those kids have and their super confident walks. When a group of kids walks through you can always tell which kid is the 4H kid and which ones are friends and family here for a visit. They just carry themselves differently.
Have you ever been to a county fair? If you have, I bet you went at night. Or over the weekend. Day times at the fair are slow. People meander. They stroll. They generally look around at what the fair has to offer, then they indulge in a corn dog. Or mini donuts. Well, and cheese curds. Always cheese curds.
I think most people check out the animal buildings. Then they walk through the midway, and then MAYBE… just MAYBE they decide to go into the commercial buildings.(Just to get out of the sun for a minute or two.) Very seldom do daytime fair people come in to the commercial building with the intent to truly visit with the vendors, to learn about products or to schedule appointments. The meandering county fair crowd is not known for having an agenda.
County Fairs get exciting at night time. That is when they have bands play, the grandstand hosts their festivities and the Midway lights up. The energy is just different. Crowds flood the streets and people want to stay and soak it all in. This includes the commercial buildings. And talking to vendors. And scheduling appointments. Nights and weekends at the fair... that’s where it’s at.
As I write this it occurs to me that when you staff a county fair you want to do it in a way that is opposite of how you train a horse. You do not want to “break” your best sales people early. You don't want them to be so bored and hot and burned out from the week that they are worthless all weekend.
Those employees that are the best at working with people and asking for the appointment should only work nights and weekends. For example, Steve the Window Guy will be here Friday night and all day Saturday. He will burst into this building like a game show contestant - smiling from ear to ear and clapping. He will infuse the building with energy. That is perfect. You should really save the boring early week day time hours for other people. Like me.
I love working the slow daytime hours. My typical days look like this. The fair opens at 10am. I walk into the building and set up the booth. I greet the same handful of people that have been around me all week. We exchange quips about our night. We speculate on the weather. We comment that it is at least 15 muggy degrees warmer in the building than it is outside. We see the other vendors wandering around doing their thing too.
I bring a laptop. Most everyone has their phones, or puzzles or a newspaper or novel to keep them occupied. The fair has been open for 90 minutes right now and there is only one person in this building. I can get some work done. I am accessible if needed, but I am productive.
Later this afternoon I will wander and find a snack. Maybe a Dole Whip and maybe some Kettle Korn. I promised the girls at Tessie’s Daycare Cotton Candy. A bit of fresh air will do me good. In the meantime, I sit. I hold down the fort. I am proud that I am keeping my sales guys fresh so when the crowds arrive and the buyers flock in they can work their magic. We are poised to have a great Fair.
If you are at the fair this year, stop out and say HI. We'd love to see you! Reporting live from the Anoka County Fair… peace out.
Author: Melissa Brager