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Pampered Chef: Would you have done this?

  1. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    I just did a booth this past weekend. I had secured it several months ago. It was an "Active Living" Community on the outskirts of a fairly large town. So the potential was good for this event.

    Early into the day, many residents of the community mentioned to me that they "were coming to the Cooking show this month" and asking if I was "the one doing it?". I had no clue what they were talking about but found out that there was a Pampered Chef Cooking Demo scheduled for two weeks later at their Community Center. The residents I spoke with were excited and looking forward to it. They'd look at my stuff, and basically were making their shopping list. So no one was interested in ordering anything then, and especially not in bookings or anything. It was frustrating, but I figured- well, it happens!

    BUT THEN, the event organizer's assistant came around and was asking how we were doing, etc. I had been talking with the vendor next to me- and she was asking me about this show..she overheard of course what residents were telling me. I had mentioned that if I knew I was going to be competing with an already scheduled show, I wouldn't have paid for the booth. Anyway, I lied to the assistant and said things were "going well" (she was nice...I didn't want to be mean..it wasn't her fault I figured). Then she asked me "Did you get alot of bookings??" I then was a little more honest and said that 'no, most people said they are going to the Cooking Show taking place at your Community Center, so I'm competing with that I guess.' The Jewelry lady asked about the demo at the community center- under the guise that she as a vendor wanted to know how to get a gig like that. :D So the girl told us- "Well, within a day of you sending in your deposit for the booth, two other Pampered Chef consultants called about the booth. Since you had the deposit, the 2nd one asked if she could then do a Cooking Demo at the Community Center instead? So I set it up. THe third consultant obviously didn't get in since you paid for the booth." The jewelry vendor said (I didn't!) that "She wouldn't have done this booth if she had known that, because everyone is going to the show". She was nice, but that really upset me! But the more I thought about it, the more I was irked not at the event planners- but at the Consultant who just undercut me! :grumpy: I paid the $70 for this event (yes- more than I normally do, but given the area, we felt it would turn out)...and SHE paid $0 and is going to have a great show based on the feedback I got from the booth. I was VERY BUSY with people that will end up being HER customers, and I had a stack of slips for my drawing, but alot MORE didn't fill anything out because they were going to the show- and 0 leads and no one interested- they only entered the drawing.

    Would YOU have purposely booked a show at the very place that you knew another consultant was doing an event just a few weeks before?? I may not have given it any thought if it was separate - a show booked totally unknowing of the Craft Fair event, but given that this came about because of the booth already being taken by another PC Consultant, I just felt it wasn't very 'ethical' I guess for her to do. I realize we are independent in business, but just didn't seem right to me.

    I've 'blessed and released', but just wondering what others thought- and maybe to put that out there for others to think about.
     
    Jun 7, 2009
    #1
  2. WLMcCoy

    WLMcCoy Advanced Member

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    No, personally I wouldn't have. Seems a little backhanded. & I'm sure being the same community, she knew that would happen to you. Treat others the way you'd like to be treated.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
    #2
  3. Crystal Patton

    Crystal Patton Advanced Member

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    If I were the other consultant I woud have tried to call you to see if you wanted to split the booth, then asked you if you wanted to join me at the demo.

    You had every right to be ticked (in the past tense, since you blessed & released).
     
  4. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    No, I would have figured that you had a connection with that group. To me that's like saying, "Well, I know you have a consultant, but you really should do a show with me instead."
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  5. pamperedlinda

    pamperedlinda Legend Member Gold Member

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    I would not be mad at the other consultant - she is working her business. More than likely, when she asked about hosting a show at the center she did not expect the organizer to agree to it so closely to the fair and was excited when she did.

    I would probably have been more honest with the event organizer, in my opinion she is the one who - for a better word - 'undercut' you. I would have asked for my boot rental fee to be reimbursed since all everone seemed to be doing was checking out the catalog for their upcoming show.
     
  6. Jules711

    Jules711 Veteran Member Silver Member

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    I wouldn't be upset with the consultant, but maybe that I didn't come up with the idea (to follow up the booth maybe). The organizer maybe should have let you know. It IS a little close, but it's not as though you are the only one that can have stuff in that area. You also don't know how many will actually go, BUT you do know they were excited, so maybe ask if you can do on in September for NEW products. I guess that would be a little closer to rude if the other one is there, but only if she expresses interest in doing another one.

    I guess I'm on the other side b/c I have a consultant that is at a big expo in town. I live here, she's a couple towns over, and she acts like she owns the expo. But she sits there, not smiling, not standing, not interacting. She actually tried to intimidate me into not being there. There are over 300 booths and the organizer was happy to let me in. I do SUPER! In fact, I had to get a bigger booth and more help. She has changed her location to be CLOSER to me. I know that she still gets business and I don't feel guilty b/c we are in a people business. Some will prefer her, some will prefer me. She's very nice (when I've spoken to her other times). It also what you do with the leads. I got a catalog show out of someone that had HER catalog b/c I had the person's information and CALLED her! She's now a good customer. SO...USE the drawing slips. She may not provide good customer service.

    I completely understand your frustration though (don't think I'm not sympathetic). $70 is a lot for a booth that gets you nothing. I tend to run a shipping special (free upgrade to direct) or free or $1 shipping for those that can pick it up at my house. Maybe there is a light that shined in you that day that will have everyone saying...you know, I really liked that girl at the booth!
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  7. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Bobbi makes it clear that she's not mad, she simply asked if we would have made the choice that the other consultant made.

    To expand on my earlier answer, the other consultant knew what date the event was scheduled for. She knew another consultant had paid for booth space at that event. To schedule a show with those same people so close to the event was inconsiderate. It wasn't horrible, but I maintain that it was inconsiderate. Scheduling it a month or two after the event would have been another matter.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  8. legacypc46

    legacypc46 Senior Member Gold Member

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    I agree with Rae...the action is pretty inconsiderate...I'd go so far as to suggest it isn't the most ethical action either. I think Bobbi would be justified in explaining the delicacies of the situation and request a refund on the booth fair. My guess is the event organizer simply didn't understand the ramifications.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  9. pcsharon1

    pcsharon1 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    i'm not assertive enough to have asked for my money back but I would have been just as frustrated, if not more so, with the co-ordinator. She gave the second person the better deal for free! The consultant was simply doing her job in trying to get into the next available even for that community. I doubt she thought it would be so soon and probably didn't consider that it would undercut you because people would be seeing you first. We all realize that a show is going to produce more than an event like this but if the coordinator had waited until after the event to advertise it you wouldn't have had this problem.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  10. pamperedlinda

    pamperedlinda Legend Member Gold Member

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    Well- she did say that she was irked and upset with the other consulant....I still would not hold it against the consultant - the organizers created this competition when they agreed to the request. I would call the organizer today and let her know what the fair results were and that I'd like part or all of my registration fee refunded since everyone seems to be more interested in the upcoming cooking show. I agree with pcsharon1 - the organizers should have waited until after the fair to advertise the competition.
     
  11. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

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    It's not too late. You can call the event coordinator today to discuss the situation. You can say that you didn't want to discuss the situation in front of other vendors and your customers. I do agree that I would ask for a refund of your booth fee, or maybe half or something. It's one thing to have an expo with 3000 booths and have two PC consultants, it's quite another to have a community fair with two. I also agree with the points about it being too soon, and there should not have been advertising for the event prior to your booth. I mean, what did to coordinator really expect to happen?
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  12. DessertDivaFL

    DessertDivaFL Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I agree with Rae. The consultant who scheduled the cooking show KNEW about the booth event and dates of everything so for her to offer a cooking show so close to the event was very inconsiderate.

    BOTTOM LINE: The fact that Bobbi felt upset about what the consultant did is just human nature. The other consultant probably had no ill intentions but that is how it came out. It is just an unfortunately situation.
     
  13. scottcooks

    scottcooks Veteran Member Gold Member

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    It is good that you were forthright with the coordinator. In that spirit of honesty...

    So ask the event coordinator to make it right by you. Ask to do a show before the other that is scheduled! Definitely something different like "an interactive show" so residents can get a feel for the actual products.

    It is as fair as another consultant knowingly booking a cooking show event after yours. Be sure it is different than a typical show--perhaps a breakfast show or a healthy cooking for smaller kitchens show. Wow. In addition to speaking with the other consultant, I would make an effort to speak with her director. Mind you--you won't be making friends in this process, but you would be getting a good education and learning about what kind of people your colleagues / competition are. Let them know you are serious about your business. This will, at least, keep either of them from doing something like this again.

    Apartment, Townhome and Senior center events have not been good for me--they have resulted in hurt feelings and either poor sales or just odd events every time. Instead, aim them toward actual true cooking shows in someone's home/apartment. When a host treats them like this, the relationship factor of the show is multiplied--your sales and recruits are stronger. Otherwise, there is often some true greed on folks' part--they are booking to be able to get free stuff off of people attending/buying that they don't even know.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  14. babywings76

    babywings76 Legend Member Gold Member

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    I can sympathize a bit w/ you. On a much smaller scale...I was doing a booth and I had this group of great ladies come over. They chatted w/ me. "Oohh, can we see what's new?" They were so interested, I gave them the new catalogs and other info. Then when I asked about hosting, they said, "Oh, we're all going to a show next week. This is great! Now we know what we want to get!" I was so frustrated and annoyed that they took my materials w/ no appreciation for my help and services. So I can't imagine spending an entire event w/ person after person doing that to you.

    I don't think I'd try to schedule an event right before, Like Scott mentioned (no offense Scott). I just think by explaining to the coordinator you disappointment in the event and their booking another host w/o letting you know was unfair. If they had told you, then at least you could've tried to get a refund and back out of the booth, or you would've taken your chances or tried some other tactic/incentive on the people coming by. If you try to contact them about hosting, then it tells them that you don't think there's anything wrong w/ sneaking in and possibly ruining someone's efforts, so you won't have a leg to stand on in getting a refund on your booth fee.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  15. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    When I spoke with the organizer, I pretty much told her that, as well as 2 other gents who worked the event who asked me. I was very polite, and just smiled and said "Well, I was sort of competing with a show already scheduled at the clubhouse, so no, I didn't do much at all, but Thank you!" The jewelry vendor who had been next to me even came right out and said it to the organizer before I did -that had I known about the other show, I may not have done the booth. (she had more spunk). I really think the organizer didn't give it much thought, and unfortunately, that lady is no longer working there as of this week (she's going off to college- she was young). A new "lifestyle director" comes in next month. As far as the money, well, I'm not gutsy enough to ask for it back. I certainly will be more careful the next time around. And I couldn't knowingly or purposeful do something to undercut the other consultant. Besides, from what I saw, she'll have a few headaches along with the good. Several people had issues with some products (a few product I don't know are even ours). When I couldn't figure it out based on their description and after going through two different catalogs (one old/one current), I suggested they bring the product to the cooking demo later that month so she could help them *teehhee*..Ok, so THAT might have been bad, but I did try. I was just stumped. :angel:

    Oh well. I applaud her for the ingenuity to ask to do a show at their community cetner. Just would have preferred she did it another month, not two weeks after the booth.

    I have several shows this month with excited hosts- and so far, they've all either got 20 people coming, or have given me invitation lists of 40+ !!! So I'm excited. I can move on from this weekend. Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad I wasn't crazy for feeling that way.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  16. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    You aren't crazy.

    Many times, people are unaware of how direct-sales work. They don't know that we pay for our materials, or have to find our own leads (generally - lead system notwithstanding). I don't think you'd be overstepping your bounds by asking for at least a partial refund of the booth fee. You paid that in the expectation that you'd get some workable leads (even though there's never a guarantee that a booth will generate any leads). And the leads you got were completely unusable, because people were waiting for the other event. That's unacceptable.

    If you have contact info for the people who came to your booth, keep in contact with them. You can stay forefront in their minds by providing better customer service to them than the consultant who does the show.

    Of course, that consultant should have asked if the center was working with a consultant already, just like we ask individual potential customers.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  17. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    That's what had bugged me. The other consultant had booked the show at the center after finding out that I had already paid the deposit for the booth space. So she asked about doing a demo instead. Had it been completely separate from each other, then so be it...but to me, it wasn't. Such is life, I know things like that will happen.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  18. pclinskie

    pclinskie Member Silver Member

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    Organizers are just looking for ways of making money. They don't care how. And they don't know how all of this works.

    Yes the second consultant was very inventive-creative with the cooking demo; But I think it is a low blow. She knew what she was doing.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  19. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    Luckily, Karma's a b****. :D It'll come back to bite her in the tushie.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
    #19
  20. pcsharon1

    pcsharon1 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I bet this is where the problem came in. There is a "gap" in there being someone filling this position so this girl that is leaving was trying to set up things to fill in that gap. She grabbed at a chance to fill an open date and leave her job with a full calendar planned - that will look good for her. She just didn't think and really probably didn't know how it would affect your business. I don't think it was malicious - simply thoughtless.

    As for your original question - I would like to say I would never do this but I, too, sometimes have thoughtless moments. I would like to believe that even this other consultant wasn't being malicious. Now if you find out that she asked for the event to be advertised before your event so as to ensure people were more likely to buy from her - well, then in that case, the war is on!
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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  21. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

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    I don't think the other consultant undercut you--she is just getting herself out there. Good for her!

    But I would call and ask for at least a partial refund. The fact that they let this other gal book something so close was unfair to you.
     
    Jun 8, 2009
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