Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber

Not the usual smooth setup

Well, I'm finally set up at the farm show (the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition), and ready for the crowds that will start tomorrow. This show pulls about 200,000 people over 3 days, and is based in a town with a population of about 15,000 (Moultrie, Ga.). Usually getting registered and set up is very smooth--not this year.

First off, a lot of this is my fault--I was late sending in a contract, and so didn't get into the "Agribusiness Building 1" where we usually have our booth. I asked to be moved if possible, and Dian (the exhibits coordinator) said to check with her when I got here to see if anything had opened up. I had an assured spot in Agribusiness Building 2. I got to the show office just before 5 ( I am usually earlier, but was late leaving the office), checked in, and asked for Dian to see if something had opened up in AB-1. Meanwhile, my packet said I was in AB-2, booth 85.

Dian was out on the grounds dealing with some problem, so they hailed her via walkie-talkie, asked the question, and she said she was on her way back to the office. I hovered near the registration window, chatting with the folks at the counter, and waited for Dian. And waited. And waited. After 30 minutes, they paged her again--she was still dealing with the problem. After 50 minutes, I gave up: poor Dian was clearly snarled in something, and the booth in AB-2 would have to do. I get in my vehicle and drive to AB-2, and go in to scout out the booth location so I can minimize my distance to haul stuff. Find booth 85, and it has someone else's name on it. I then note that my packet actually has the name of AB-1 (the Morton Building--AB-2 is the Chevron Building: it's sort of like skyscrapers, on a smaller scale...). I go looking in AB-1, but booth 85 in there is already occupied.

I call on the cell phone, explain the problem, and they determine that their listings are contradictory. And have to consult Dian. They ask me to wait, and tell me Dian will meet me at AB-2. She doesn't, but she does call me directly and tell me to use AB-2, booth 16. It's not labelled, and there's a table there (tables have to be rented from a vendor in advance, and I didn't do that), but she says that booth and table are mine. And she apologizes for the mixup and thanks me for my patience.

So I haul my stuff, set up the display (borrowing a chair from the guys in the next booth to stand on so I can put up the stuff at the top of the display), put a plastic table skirt on my gratis table, and put the boxes of publications and flyers that I'll be giving away underneath. I'll go in a little before the show opens tomorrow to arrange the table and set up a chair. Experience says I won't sit for long, as I stand when anyone pauses at the booth so I can speak to them and see what they are interested in. Tends to be a jack-in-the-box operation during the busy times.

I got to my father's house about 7:15, and punted on the idea of cooking dinner. We tried to go to this nice local restaurant called Blue Sky Grill, but it was inexplicably closed--don't know if they normally close on Mondays, but for Sunbelt week, with every motel room in a 30-mile radius filled, you'd think they'd be open. We ended up at Applebees. I'll try to cook tomorrow!

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