Portland Holiday Food and Gift Festival  

Posted by Wear Me Jewels- in , ,

My Analysis:
I just got back from being a vendor at the Portland Holiday Food and Gift Festival and thought I would give the lowdown on this event for any vendors who might be considering participation. The event was last weekend (Nov. 7-9th) at the Portland (OR) Convention Center. The convention center is a great building and the logistics of load-in and parking were fairly easy. However, the show overall was not very successful. Speaking for myself, I broke even, when you add show fees, hotel, food, time, etc... I think that I actually did better then a lot of the vendors around me. The show cost $585 for a 10x10 spot plus $79 for electricity (absolutely necessary -lighting is so important). I arrived on Thursday (with my Mom to help, which was wonderful) and easily found the load-in area at the back of the convention center. Right across the small back street from the load-in is free 20 min. parking and the vendor parking lot which cost $25 (cash only) for the weekend (no overnight parking).
It is easy enough to park in the vendor parking and walk the short distance to load-in your booth. I stayed at the Red Lion which is about a block away and very convenient. The rooms were three star quality (recently redecorated), clean and perfectly acceptable for the price. The parking at Red Lion was $10 per night. However, if you have a big truck like me you might want to figure out a way to park it early in the SMALL lot because the spaces fill quickly and it can be extremely stressful trying to park anything but a tiny car in those little spots.
The food at the show was good and the booth/vendor mix not bad. The convention center is a great venue and has the bonus of having a Starbucks in the lobby. There were lots of gourmet food and wine booths, handcrafted items (good quality) and art. However, there were also some imports and I prefer shows where most items are made by the artist/seller. The traffic was surprisingly light. At one point the artist across from me said you could throw a bowling ball down the aisle and only hit vendors. That was not far from the truth on Friday. The traffic picked up Saturday and Sunday but it was still not enough. The show had advertised that it had 18,000 customers the previous year. I would be surprised if there were actually half that amount. The customers were actually a different crowd then I normally have in Eugene. I'm used to the customer who loves to buy local (shop at local markets) and will pay extra for organic because it promotes a healthy lifestyle. This show just a different demographic. Overall I would rate this show 2 stars. It was well organized, beautiful location, decent mix of vendors, just not well attended. It might be the slow economy and the early date (it was hard to listen to Christmas music the first weekend in November) but in the end it was a good experience just not one that I will be repeating next year.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at Thursday, November 13, 2008 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


What a thoughtful description of this venue to give to others who might be considering it: you have a generous soul and gorgeous designs!

December 8, 2008 at 1:37 PM

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