And The Crowd Goes Wild…

_DSC2977Actually, a fair portion of the crowd is wild to begin with. The hairstyles and the bare feet give it away. The rest of them are modern enough to eat with spoons and fill out a lotto ticket.

Periodically the management of our shop attempts to whip the masses into a frenzy, hoping to agitate them hard enough to loosen the money in their pockets. This floats to the top of the soggy swirling mass and is skimmed off. The process is called marketing.

We are aided in this by the wholesale firms and their presenters. These are very pleasant men and women sent out from Sydney and Melbourne to show the latest equipment to the gawping crowds. In some cases this involves audio-visual presentations and in others three walnut shells and a pea. Sometimes not even a pea…just a computer-generated image of a pea…

You can generally count on a really big roll up for a really big, really new product, with a correspondingly smaller one for cosmetic makeover models and small accessories. Lighting systems are a hard sell and they generally involve actual demonstration with a model. So far all the models have been clothed but we can still hope. Hope is actually a large part of any of these evenings – first you hope that someone shows up, then you hope that the sodding equipment actually works, and finally you hope that the drunks go home at a decent hour.

Not all presentations have liquor – some have been tried as coffee and biscuit affairs and a couple of memorable ones were conducted with cold water and strict principles. Not a lot of stuff sold on those nights and the staff that were posted to hang around for an extra three hours on the top of the 9-hour day made growling noises – hopefully this will be noticed. It is sometimes a pain in the arse to see the same free-loaders time after time at the catered affairs, but occasionally even they do buy something – and the genuine buyers are always better payers for a glass of red and a vol-au-vent.

The real problem is the business of trying to do this too often. Presentations, seminars, workshops, gala nights, artillery barrages, and seances are all best spaced out widely enough so as to generate a thrill of terror, rather than a yawn. Too much barking from the side show and eventually no-one bothers to come into the tent…

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