Northlands Northwest Originals Show / We deserve 100% compensation in cash!
Capital EX Northlands 2006 held a 10 day gift show called Northwest Originals in the Sportex. Cost was just under $1000 to enter and was a nightmare throughout. Carrie Mellow the, coordinator, met each dilemma with "my hands are tied...."
The first problem: lighting. So dim that it was hard to see into the booths. Their explanation: it was to lure people closer to the booths to see your products. Absolute nonsense!
Their solution: extra lighting available at a ridiculous price. 3 full days of vendors complaints finally gained us adequate lighting.
The biggest problem: An aboriginal group booked to showcase cultural
music inside the sportex. For the most part wonderful. However each evening an aboriginal RAP group came on and cranked up the volume. Customers filed out into the street for reprieve. Doing ANY business was impossible. The organizers response: They had paid for their spot and had a right to do what ever they wanted. The lack of intervention escalated the daily tension. On final night, the rappers, "out did" the volume of the concert outside on the fair grounds. Extra security was placed for the protection of the vendors. Many had to be escorted to their vehicles for their safety.
Other sales destroying factors: poor Presentation: Floors were bare concrete causing echoing a film of dust on the products. Sampling of edible products was impossible. Poor advertising The 3rd day organizers FINALLY put up B&W 8X10 signs on the doors of the agricom to indicate shopping at the sportex, poor lighting, poor security and poor management skills. (On most days the exhibitor office was not open until after the show had begun and closed when the show ended).
Many vendors packed up within the first few days of the show leaving their booths empty for the remaining days. I have business cards of 40 vendors (out of 45-50 total) who were very unhappy with this show.
Post-show we secured a meeting with Opal Blackstock, Cliff Phillips and Ken Knowles. The result: All admitted to the problems of the show being unacceptable. They stated that it was unusual for Northlands to compensate, but, they couldn’t deny that there were so many failings here that compensation needed to be made. They offered us 50% credit towards the 2007 show. We stated that we were looking for 100% cash back. Credit would not even be of use since we were no longer going to be doing shows after Dec 2006. Their response: "That's TOO BAD, I'm sure that isn't what you want but it's what we're offering!”
I then spoke to Paul Lucas, their supervisor. I asked why we could not use this credit for ANY 2006 10 day show at Northlands. CFR would allow us to use the credit before 2006 came to a close.
He said that it would have been offered but our product was not handcrafted. I stated there are 2 sections in the CFR. We were in the non-handcrafted section 2005 so certainly our product qualifies.
He stated that a mix up occurred and that we could’ve gone into the CFR but that (sadly) they were full and now due to their admitted blunderings we would have go on a waiting list (in 8th place) for upcoming cancellations. Not surprisingly we did not receive any call to go in to the CFR. Their response: "Too Bad - that's just the way it is"
I have tried many times to contact Paul Lucas to address this. He has either been out of town or just plain ignoring my calls. January 22/07, he finally called me back.
He told me that as far as he was concerned the situation has already been settled. I told him that
clearly it has not since your staff clearly stated that we deserve compensation
but as of yet we have not received any..
He then bluntly stated. "I have nothing more to say on this. We have made offers that you have refused and therefore I will not discuss it any further".
I pointed out that the "offers" had not been "refused" but they were not valid offers. The air on the phone then went dead (there was absolutely no problem with the connection just that he was simply refusing to speak but he was clearly there) and then, with out saying goodbye, he hung up on me.
I feel these staff members need to be accountable for their blunderings throughout. I also feel that we deserve 100% compensation in cash.