Event Fails: The Tale of the Unknown Vendors

Event Fails are real-life experiences from attendees about the concerts, conventions, festivals, and other large events they attended that resulted in frustrated attendees, lost event revenue, and/or upset vendors.


This Event Fail resulted in lost sales not just for the vendors, but for the event as well.  Our recounter remembers,

“It was our first year to go to this festival, and we went on the last day. We had used the event website to figure out that all the groups we wanted to see were going to be on one stage. We got to the venue with enough time to stake out some good seats in the shade near the stage, and spent the afternoon just in our spot, listening to the bands and talking to the people around us.

“After the last encore from the last band had played, we were directed out of the area going in a direction opposite the way we came in.  We hadn’t walked but half a block when I saw the block-long rows of white 10×10 sunshades. There had been vendors at the festival! The website mentioned nothing about vendors.  It wasn’t on the map or anything.

“If I had known there were vendors, I would have made sure to come early so I could cruise the shops. But now, even though we walked through, the vendors were already packing down, their unsold wares stored for their next event. I was so disappointed – there was this great hat I’d been seeing at the festival, and I wanted one – but now my opportunity was gone.”

By not having information about the vendors that would be at the festival, or even on the map with a general “vendor area,” both the vendors and the event organizers lost out. The vendors lost sales opportunities from this attendee and most likely quite a few more.  The event organizers lost the opportunity to increase their attendance by leveraging the presence of vendors at their festival.

If the festival had used EventTime™ instead of trying to make their website do dual-duty as the event app and the event site, new attendees and seasoned veterans alike would have been able to see in advance which vendors were going to be there. The attendees could then also make plans to visit their favorite vendors while at the festival.

L.J. Cavanaugh has over 38 years experience in technical writing. She has written technical manuals for everything from sonic pile drivers to computer software, and co-authored a Prentice-Hall book on cryptography and network security. Currently, she writes blog articles on mobile event software. L.J. moved to Silicon Valley in 1978, where she is now a servant to 2 cats. She can be reached at lcavanaugh@symposiuminc.com.