Event Review: Steampunk World’s Fair 2017

This was our second year doing Steampunk World’s Fair, and we were happy to move to an inside hotel room space. This set up is unique as far as shows we have done – the first floor hotel rooms become vending space, small boutique shops that have creative set ups. Fortunately a vendor friend pointed out we would need to bring more lights, because hotel rooms are not meant to be bright. We also thought to buy a lot more vertical displays, because this was not a good space to try and bring multiple tables in and have multiple customers at a time.

Only things we’d change for next year? Confirm all details with the hotel so we don’t have any check-in issues like we did this year, get something eyecatching to put outside our room, and make some advertising posters including that we do costume repair.

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First wall you see when you come in – our refinished water guns, the popular flasks, and more.
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Fully into the room – waist cinchers and masks.

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The grid wall and extra lighting really made a difference in our display.
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My first holsters, and a continuation of my leather and lace series.
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More swords and the giant flask. Our eye catching corner.
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One of the takers on our repair services. Love to corgi themed costumes!
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The costumes are definitely one of the highlights of Steampunk World’s Fair.
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Nathaniel’s plasma caster – huge steampunk mod. Can you guess what this started as?
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After Show Report: Steampunk Frederick

We don’t do a lot of one day shows, and this one was unique. Fun, creative… It was great for a small show’s first year, and I really look forward to seeing what it becomes.

In August in the historic downtown of Frederick, MD, there is a Penny Farthing race. You know those Victorian bicycles with the huge wheel? Yup, people race those. Steampunk Frederick was located at a small theater about a block away, with all sorts of interesting creative types. It took a lot of adjusting to figure out how we were all setting up in the odd spaces of the hallways and small rooms, but once we worked that out it was a fun, long day.

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We got our almost two tables worth of space along a wall across from the entrance to the actual stage.

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Thank you neighbor, we think you’re awesome too!

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Hello again Momo! It’s fun seeing rennaissance faire vendor friends at the steampunk shows.

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And our steampunk vendor friends, bringing out their awesome costumes!

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Steampunk Dalek and a penny farthing. I love the pairing.

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Awesome Steampunk Tardis!

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Great costumes are definitely the highlight of a steampunk event. 20160813_15164320160813_15203820160813_153330

Nathaniel having fun with Steampunk Xena20160813_17485220160813_174924

Moment of recognition for contributions to the steampunk community.

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Steampunk World’s Fair 2016

Speaking of shows with interesting weather problems…

I can not say enough positive things about the staff of Steampunk World’s Fair. It was everything else that went wrong.

So, first there was pouring rain during set up. Made the traffic to get there horrible, and we showed up just before the show was supposed to open. Steampunk World’s Fair has a vendor set up different from any other show we have done. There were several different places that vendor tables and booths could be set up – ballrooms in each of the two hotels, first floor rooms in the hotels, hallways in the hotels, and the outdoor midway between the two hotels. We were located in the midway. Which, if the weather had been nice, would have been a really neat place. There were a lot of vendors and the main stage, giving the whole area a really festive feel.

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Browsing the damp booth on Friday afternoon.

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I didn’t have time to catch many costume photos, but I loved this Spidey.

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Happy customer! The giant hammer finds a new home.

We were allowed to pull up even though we were late, rush set up in the rain, and were ready to go. The weather cleared, and Friday night was awesome. It also is one of the few shows we do that goes to after dark. That means good booth lighting if you are outdoors is a must.

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Friday night at the World’s Fair. The booth lighting and the concerts made this so festive.

Saturday started good, but then the clouds and wind really picked up. Rain is manageable, but wind is complete havoc on an outside show. About 4:30 the clouds got really, really dark and we found out about a lightning storm coming in. So with all of us with metal tents, we were told to evacuate the midway.

This was another time the staff was awesome, as well as the guests. We had so many helping hands to first get our inventory packed up and inside, and then getting the tent taken down and into the van. We waited out the storm from the van, then came back about 7 to set back up. A bunch of other vendors did not return that night… which, since it was also a big concert night, made it the best part of our sales.

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Adventurer’s tea sets – one of my big hits of the fair.

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Fun Steampunk jewelry, made with pieces of old books, gears, propellers, wings, and crystals.

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Plastic refinished toy guns – a lot of these still made the ridiculous sound effects.

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For pirates, airship or otherwise, a hand tooled leather water skin.

Unfortunately, setting back up also resulted in a call from the staff at 2:30 in the morning. The wind had picked back up and our tent had tried to make a break for it. The staff was awesome – we showed back up to find everything broken down and anything that might blow away weighted down. We packed up and got what sleep we could.

Which leads us to Sunday. First, the adventure of getting to the show. The convention was right near Rutger’s University, and that day was their commencement. On top of that, the speaker was President Obama, which meant all sorts of road blocks. We got lucky – a cop managing one of the blocks recognized us as heading to Steampunk World’s Fair, and gave us directions that would get us there. Other visitors were not so lucky.

We made it back out the try and set up again to find even fewer vendors outside. The wind was vicious. We and one of our neighbors gave up on attempting tents after they tried to blow away the moment we tried to set them up, and went for just tables and product, yard sale style. About an hour of that, and the vendor coordinator offered those of us who wanted to move tables in one of the hallways.

So, we condensed our 10 ft by 10 ft booth inventory to a single table as best we could, but at least we still had the chance to sell all three days.

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Light up knives and whatever we could fit on the hallway table.

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What’s left on Sunday – we needed more inventory!

We learned quite a bit with this show. We really hope to do this show again, but any indoor space we can get. And we know better what inventory to bring. For one, we need more of it. My adventurer tea sets, which I launched at this show, almost completely sold out. Nathaniel almost completely sold out of his refinished toy guns and light up knives.

And above all else, we have to say, this staff was awesome.