Step Right Up, Folks!

Witness amazing artistic feats and mesmerizing color!

Yes, I’m a barker. For one weekend at least. And I want you to step right up to our booth at the West Seattle Summer Fest.

Let me romance you with something irresistible. Obtain your devotion with a special product. Excite you with a  limited-time offer. And coerce you with a price so low, you just have to buy it!

Secret told, this has become my strategy for making sales, touching customers, and building brand loyalty through Summer Fest.

I’m sharing these tips, honed over the last 12 years, in the hopes other West Seattle merchants will find success with them, too.

My Strategy:

  • Offer a special product only available at Summer Fest.
  • Email my contact list and let them know to visit my booth for the special offer.
  • Make friends with a local business to use their bathroom.
  • Post to social media from the festival. Often.

My Schtick:

  • I am the pitchman and this is a carnival show.
  • I wear my brightest shirts and a flower in my hair.
  • I use a bar-height stool if I must sit down. Otherwise, no sitting.
  • The color people wear is the color they like. I hand them something that color and compliment them on how good it looks.
  • I have my lines ready. “Half price if you can juggle them … full price if you can’t” “Have you visited our studio before?” “Special for the fair is this new product”
  • I have an answer for everything. Especially “what does it do?”
  • I wear a name tag. Hence, everyone remembers my name and I remember no one’s name.
  • I have in mind the maximum discount I am willing to offer. Which may include throwing in something for free rather than a discount.

My Experience:

  • Include tax in the cash price and make it an even number.
  • Wear pants with a zipper pocket so I don’t lose my till.
  • Get someone to give me a break but not for too long. I represent the company best.
  • Bring food so I’m less tempted by festival food.
  • Loud band near booth = no customers.
  • When one person seems interested, more will congregate.
  • Drinking beer out of my coffee cup makes for a long day.
  • People will always be most interested in my stuff as I try to put it away for the night.

Practical Matters:

  • Offer bags.
  • Accept credit cards.
  • Remember tape, bungee cords, zip ties, tent weights.
  • Print a small-sized handout, or people will just fold it up.
  • Bring a hand truck for load-out.

My Secrets:

  • I rearrange my merchandise to better suit the flow of traffic, after I’ve observed the circulation pattern.
  • The stuff people want to touch? I put at hand level to encourage it.
  • I use bright colors and creative packaging to attracted people.
  • I put the brightest colors in the sunniest spot, acts like a beacon.
  • I have all prices clearly marked. People ask anyway.
  • I have clear signage with big letters. People misread it anyway.
  • I finally improved our banners by featuring a picture of our building. It immediately helped people identify who and where we are.
  • I set up early Sunday morning to take advantage of the Farmer’s Market crowd at 10am.

Curious about this year’s irresistible offer? You can order your five-pack of floats in a net bag now on our web site, or see me at Summer Fest, July 11-13, at the Alaska Junction in West Seattle. Look for me in the Avalon Glassworks booth #44, near Elliott Bay Brewery. For more information about Summer Fest, visit

-Shannon Felix, Avalon Glassworks