Monica and I were debuting our booth at an artisan market in downtown Houston one Saturday evening. We were invited as a guest of a market manager that we work with. It was a beautiful, but hot afternoon in a gorgeous location.
About an hour into the market, storm clouds started building right over us. I didn’t think it was a big deal because I thought it might rain slight and it would rain straight down. Well, while I was getting my gyro from the food truck, the storm from hell reared its ugly head. I ran down to the tent just as it started pouring sideways and saw Monica holding onto the tent for dear life.
I grabbed the other side of the tent to keep it from blowing away but in the meantime, all of our product was getting wet. Not just a little wet, but totally drenched.
Had I taken the time to put the sidewalls on the tent in preparation of rain, we would have had a far better night. After it stopped raining five minutes later (we do live in Houston), we started packing up because there was no way we could even think about selling drenched product to people.
Once you get your display set up, you just want to be done with setup. Putting up the sidewalls always seems like an unnecessary chore. Yes, I took the easy road this time thinking that it would not be a big deal. Being wrong just once will change your perspective on taking that extra time to be prepared for contingencies.
On this particular night, we aren’t the only ones that were surprised by the veracity of the sudden storm. Other people had a similar experience. However, as we were leaving prematurely with our tails between our legs, I looked over at another vendor who had all of his displays covered with tarps and weighted down. He was standing in the middle of his tent just smiling. After the threat of rain stopped, I heard it was a great night and he did a lot of business.
Why was he smiling? He was prepared of course!