-Bring more water. We spent a small fortune $1 at a time buying bottled water from my neighbor vendor. I also pondered getting a bicycle and cooler and selling ice pops in Waikiki on similarly hot as hell days, because no one is doing that. I wondered why as I was delirious from the heat.
- Get a better way to display the sample books. The flimsy photo easels I got kept falling and blowing over. Eventually I just put them away and put the sample books flat.
- Bring more snacks. When I was left alone for a long stretch, I saw just how impossible going for food would be. I survived on marshmallow bits and tangerines, but not by choice.
- bring a hand towel. Sweaty writers are not as sexy as you would first assume.
Not that it would have prevented me from going, but I might have been better prepared. Instead, I was just hoping it wouldn't be as hot and sweaty as last weekend in Waikiki. These hopes were realized as the sky opened up and a flash flood warning went into effect. There was even thunder, and lightning and emergency warning sirens going off all over!
This picture was taken shortly before the 9AM opening. By 1100 I was ankle deep in water and the books were wilting. Resorting to at last just handing out flyers and business cards, I felt like an usher on the titanic, hawking programs as people rushed for the exits. By 1200 I had packed up, gotten soaked through and departed. Now to dry out the tent, table coverings and take a damage report of the books then get ready for next week in Kailua!
Other lessons learned
-the fold-in-half-and-carry 6-ft table was a great investment! Everything fits in the Pilot now, no need to bring the pickup. I was very glad I didn't have to haul this gear home in an open bed.
- bring walls for the canopy. When the first drops started falling, the seasoned pros immediately walled off their shelters. By the time I left though, even they were also packing up to leave so, walls won't fix everything but it's definitely better to have them than to not have them.
-bring an umbrella, even though I have a huge canopy. Having an umbrella in the car, parked off site does not help when it's time to pack up.
-get plastic bags for purchases. I have some really nice brown paper bags with handles that the kids and I hand stamped and labeled. In the rain they were are useless as, well, a brown paper bag.
-get and bring a clear tarp. It would not have helped with the flooding, but I could have covered the table merchandise with one fell swoop.
-bring a hand towel. Soaking wet writers are also not as sexy as you would think. Plus, a towel is useful for things like glasses, outside mirrors on the car, and smartphone screens.
-try to get an indoor spot when available. I was late to register, so that was not the case this time but it's just something for me to pay attention to now that I plan on making reservations well in advance.
-if the organizers have a taped off floor plan, try to follow it. I was off by about 4 feet, which only came to light when the vendor next to me showed up very late and wanted to set up. Even though my booth is simple compared to many others, it was still a pain dragging everything over 4 feet.
-bring a roll of garbage bags. they are good for garbage, and so much more!