Lone Cake Exhibitor In A Festival~ Where To Begin?

Business By kellertur Updated 20 Mar 2009 , 3:43pm by kellertur

kellertur Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:41am
post #1 of 32

I've been invited as an exhitor for a vegetarian foods festival (cake display, etc) and since I'll be the only cake decorator there, I wanted to create an eye catching table. This is a fantastic oportunity to let all the veggies around etc. know where I am, so I'm really taking this very seriously. I've even turned down a wedding cake (same day) to do this festival... My husband and daughter will be there to help, but mostly they'll be checking things out, meeting other vegans. (we're a rare breed around here).

Here's what they provide~ I will have a 6' table (have asked if I can also have a back wall, but haven't heard yet) and two chairs. I plan to drap something over the table and wall, if I have one... but I'm stumped. icon_confused.gif What would be the best way to utilize the space I'm being given? I've seen photos in other threads, and would love to see more if you are willing.

Thanks so much ~ this means a lot. icon_smile.gif

Edited ~ actually that's a 6 FOOT table, not 6 INCH... icon_lol.gif

31 replies
sadsmile Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:45am
post #2 of 32

I would say make it your own then and treat it as if it were a competition and really wow'em! A lot of Vegan's are used to a more home made look and I bet they would go gagga over anything fabulous. Most of all throw a lot of yourself in there and have fun! thumbs_up.gif

kellertur Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:51am
post #3 of 32

Thanks Sadsmile. (I love that piggie, so cute!)

I'm just not sure how to set it up to look professional, and not "thrown together". I'd like to make some dummies, but I'm limited on space, and I've only made a few small ones. I'm going to bring TONS of cake samples... it's more the visual side I need help with I think... icon_confused.gif
I agree about the homemade look, so I'll be bringing lots of photos of my sculptural cakes.

icon_smile.gificon_confused.gificon_smile.gif

sadsmile Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 2:30pm
post #4 of 32

I had another thought for ya... if you could approach a local linen supplier and ask if you could rent or borrow something pretty for your table and take a huge stack of their cards to pass out along with yours. it sounds like free advertising for them and a win-win situation.

cakesbycathy Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 9:06pm
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

I had another thought for ya... if you could approach a local linen supplier and ask if you could rent or borrow something pretty for your table and take a huge stack of their cards to pass out along with yours. it sounds like free advertising for them and a win-win situation.




Check to see if you are allowed to do this first. Many shows do not allow advertising from anyone who has not paid for a booth.

kellertur Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 10:59pm
post #6 of 32

Luckily there is no cost for exhibtors, but donations are welcome so I'm donating a gift certificate to be raffled off.

I think I'll get some nice fabric and sew a table skirt. I can always use it again later since it fits a 6' table. Any suggestions on color? Black?

sadsmile Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 11:12pm
post #7 of 32

choose a fabric that will wipe clean easily and bring a box of Pampers Baby wipes..LOL just incase something dive bombs onto the table you can spot clean.

nannie Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 11:16pm
post #8 of 32

something neutral so you can use it again, maybe a nice sage green or rich shade of blue

lots of pictures of your works. a dummy or 2 as you have time

definitley a guest book or something to capture email addresses

do you have a website? do you have a logo?

If so, maybe duplicate them on a banner on the wall

just my random thoughts icon_lol.gif

sadsmile Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 11:40pm
post #9 of 32

The guest book could have a Birthday Club space for all the Birthdays they can think of and if you get their E-mail addys then reminders a few weeks in advance to make a special order for their special day would be a snap!

kellertur Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:08am
post #10 of 32

Thanks. I like the idea of sage green... my favorite color!

This may sound daft, but when you email the people who sign the guest book, am I simply reminding them of my services, etc.?
I am thinking of bringing a banner and I do have a website (I do have a logo, but it's hand drawn and I want to develop it further).

I tried to work on a dummy tonight and I find them extremely frustrating. Infact, I hate them! I seriously need to learn how to apply/arrange flowers because I am clueless about them. I'd rather make sugar flowers, but I know some brides are going to insist on real or artificial... are there classes for this sort of thing? Applying flowers to cake? dunce.gif I recently saw one that was 10 tiers high separated by flowers! icon_eek.gif I think I'll just crawl away now and cry... icon_cry.gif

By the way, those of you with MANY dummies, where do you store them if you have a home business?

sadsmile Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:24am
post #11 of 32

Yup. a canned mail out. Hi this is K2cakes. I really enjoyed meeting you blah blaah blah. Now is the perfect time to order ahead for that special Birthday comming up... on... blah blah blah. Include and specials or new flavors and maybe a % of coupon.
Now is the time to really work out that pesky price list because once you get going raising your prices is near impossible.

Edit to add: and Vegan is special and should always cost a bit more as do some of the ingreedients.

nannie Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:30am
post #12 of 32

well from a strictly marketing point of view, you want to capture email addresses so you can then send them a thank you for stopping by your booth, introduce them to your web site, then maybe as you build your list create a monthly newsletter or even just a simple blast to tell people of new offerings. Maybe a new flavor combination, upcoming holiday ideas, anything to get them to keep you in mind and most of all forward to their friends.

you might have your web address on your banner but you can't count on someone remembering or writing it down properly (spoken as a dyslexic person icon_redface.gif )

no experience with dummies but I know there have been a couple of threads going around so try a search

there are lots of you tube videos about gumpaste flowers tonedna's calla lily is wonderful and she has a rose one too..... if you have time, (I don't know when this event is) you might look into some dvd's.
I don't have it but hear great things about michelle foster.

hope this helps

kellertur Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:48am
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

Edit to add: and Vegan is special and should always cost a bit more as do some of the ingreedients.




Right on!! icon_cool.gif

Nannie~ thanks for the email advice. icon_smile.gif I know how to make sugar flowers, but real and artificial make me cringe. I have watched Edna's video and loved it!! Michelle Foster is amazing too. There are so many wonderful resources here. Thank you CC.

kellertur Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 3:19am
post #14 of 32

That's depressing ~ I just had to turn down another wedding cake because it conflicted with the festival. icon_sad.gif I'm finally getting wedding calls and WHY are all the weddings the same day? icon_rolleyes.gificon_cry.gif

sadsmile Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 3:39am
post #15 of 32

Quick what is your temperature? You must have a fever and are not thinking straight! I don't know about turning down 2 large orders to do a fair. I hope it works out for you in the end. Seems a bit ironic that you are doing the fair to drum up buisness but are turning down the best orders to do the fair.

nannie Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 4:17am
post #16 of 32

I so agree.

maybe you can just set up a booth and have a friend cover for you and just be there part of the time (depending on the cake schedule)

mrsdelish Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 4:32am
post #17 of 32

I don't really have anything useful to add, just thought it was funny that the posters to the vegetarian food show question are animal emoticons?
Sorry icon_lol.gif

Best of luck!

(This is my first post, by the way...and I am so addicted and in love with this site!!)

nannie Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 4:37am
post #18 of 32

Ha Ha

Mrs, that is Delish icon_lol.gif

welcome this is such a fun place

FromScratch Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 4:45am
post #19 of 32

I'll post a picture of my bridal show table... give you some ideas anyway right.. icon_smile.gif

Will you have samples? If so... I use the little plastic portion cups for my samples... keeps it simple and easy and they are portable should they want to take some home. Keep the whole set up simple and easy on the eyes.
LL

nannie Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 4:48am
post #20 of 32

wow jkalman

that is just stunning. elegant and professional.

sadsmile Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 4:54am
post #21 of 32

LOL Delish! Oh you've done it now you are really in trouble just wait till your email box is filled with none-reply notifications.. ahahahaha Welcome aboard Crack Central er a cake Central. That white stuff is powdered sugar right?! icon_lol.gificon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 5:45am
post #22 of 32

Thanks!! icon_smile.gif I am going to get a digital frame for the next show so I don't have to have my laptop for the slide show. I think it'll look even better. I'm also going to bring more of my GP flowers. All I had there other than the ones on the cakes was the cherry branch. I have a few that I keep around and love and I wish I had brought them, but over all I was very happy with my little set up. The table is a 6' table for reference. K2... find out if they will have the table dressed... often times they do. icon_smile.gif

nannie Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 1:22pm
post #23 of 32

the digital frame is a great idea

Put your GP flowers under glass They might break icon_cry.gif
and yours are the best thumbs_up.gif

I study them and usually put them on my screen while I'm working on my own for inspiration.

stephaniescakenj Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 1:47pm
post #24 of 32

Jkalman, your table is AWESOME! The digital frame would be the perfect setup!

K2, I was thinking the same thing as Jkalman, have cakes at different heights using different stands to make them stand out so they're not all in a big line. Someone in another thread was thinking of offering a gift certificate raffle to the people who signed up for her email list. Last time I checked the thread, she was still trying to nail down the logistics though. I'm with you on the gumpaste flowers, I like fresh flowers but the silks, not so much. I think you should make a cake that's maybe graphic or artsy, shows more of your personality. One simple dummy maybe and then one a little fancier. Just something to show the range of your abilities. I suck at arrangements too. maybe instead of that, work on one giant flower, like a peony for the top and do a few buds around the cake and then you can show your talents without having much arranging to do. Do a monogram on one of the cakes and maybe just have samples of the flowers you can do until you get a chance to practice more. I will say, this past weekend I finally tried inserting the flowers into a blob of fondant on top and it was easier than putting them in the cake. I still couldn't get the flowers filled in close enough to each other but I'm getting there. i wish I could find a class on making arrangements too. ps... my dummies sit in my dining room closet! icon_redface.gif i just can't part with them after putting so much work into them so they just sit there.

FromScratch Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:39pm
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannie

the digital frame is a great idea

Put your GP flowers under glass They might break icon_cry.gif
and yours are the best thumbs_up.gif

I study them and usually put them on my screen while I'm working on my own for inspiration.




icon_redface.gif why thank you so much. icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:51pm
post #26 of 32

I keep show dummies for a while so that if I feel the urge to do a show I will ony have to make some changes or make one other for variety. Right now they are all over my office... making me angry because it's cluttery and a mess. I need to get a new rack to put them on. If I am making them for the heck of it I tear them down as soon as I am done. I don't have a bunch of extra room for them right now. But when I build my commercial kitchen (hopefully later this year) I am going to have a sitting area for consults and build shadow boxes to hang on the wall to house a few dummies.

What sort of a show will this be? Is it bridal specific or just general. Are you looking to showcase your decorating or your ingredients? The anwers to those questions will point the direction to go as far as your dummies. Maybe have some containers of ingredients on your table too. I use Simply Organic vanilla and I love their bottles... have some lemons... some cinnamon sticks... arranged nicely in a grouping... nothing too crazy. A little picture of a steak with a line through it??? icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif

kellertur Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 5:41pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

Quick what is your temperature? You must have a fever and are not thinking straight! I don't know about turning down 2 large orders to do a fair. I hope it works out for you in the end. Seems a bit ironic that you are doing the fair to drum up buisness but are turning down the best orders to do the fair.


That cracked me up!! I must have a fever... icon_lol.gif

I had already made a commitment to the festival, and I'd actually like the vegetarians in this State & beyond to know I exist. Plus, it's a chance for us to meet other vegans...it's important my daughter have atleast one vegan friend. We have great non-veg friends, it would be nice just to talk to other vegans once in a while.

JKalman~ it's a vegetarian food festival. I think I'll be the only cake/wedding person there, but you never know. I like the idea of the bottles, because I too use high quality ingredients.

kellertur Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:43pm
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephaniescakenj

... my dummies sit in my dining room closet! icon_redface.gif i just can't part with them after putting so much work into them so they just sit there.




So, you don't end up with ants when dummies (covered in sugar) are left unwrapped? That has always puzzled me, so all winter I kept my 2 dummies in the breezeway, wrapped up. Yes, I'm strange. icon_rolleyes.gif

Thanks for the advice everyone. icon_smile.gif

stephaniescakenj Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 1:10am
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephaniescakenj

... my dummies sit in my dining room closet! icon_redface.gif i just can't part with them after putting so much work into them so they just sit there.



So, you don't end up with ants when dummies (covered in sugar) are left unwrapped? That has always puzzled me, so all winter I kept my 2 dummies in the breezeway, wrapped up. Yes, I'm strange. icon_rolleyes.gif

Thanks for the advice everyone. icon_smile.gif





No so far I haven't had any problems but I have a pest control contract, they come quarterly and spray my whole house for bugs inside and out and then any time I have any bugs pop up in between, I just call them and they come spray the trouble area that day. I am seriously bug/critter-phobic icon_biggrin.gif I will probably look for some larger boxes soon to store them in, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

kellertur Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 3:28am
post #30 of 32

Well, I've been using the Riddex-Plus plugins for about a year now and it seems to work. We see the occasional spider, but hardly any insects at all, and when we have it's mostly in the basement and they move REALLY slowly, like they are confused. We started last summer, and it takes several weeks to work, so this will be a true test after the full thaw...

I too am insect/arachnid phobic mostly because of food contamination. I don't want to eat a bug... or have them in my ingredients. Powdered sugar is a big stressor for me... that stuff flies everywhere. I need one of those attachments like I have for my planer in the garage to catch all the sawdust (only it would catch the sugar) icon_lol.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%