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#177694 - 09/18/10 11:17 AM Need Advice on Signing Event.
Jill Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 05/08/99
Posts: 704
Loc: Aurora, Colorado
I know that there are many experts on this board whose local clubs have hosted artist signings in the past.
We are a new club and CLUELESS!!
Can someone please help me out with info on how their club managed the signing tickets, purchase of event piece, etc.? Also, any info on the event dinner would also be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks,
Jill
_________________________
In the midst of winter I found, within me, an invincible summer.
Camus

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#177696 - 09/18/10 01:16 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Jill]
marywarning Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 05/01/99
Posts: 7302
Loc: Greer, S.C.
Jill,
At our store the owner came out about 8AM and handed out one ticket for the Event piece and one signing ticket with a time on it. Then at 9AM or about we got to go in and purchase the ornament and then back out to wait for the Artists to get there and start the signing. They only allowed 10 at a time in the store which to me discourged shopping.
Mary

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#177706 - 09/18/10 03:02 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: marywarning]
suzy167 Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 826
Loc: Southlake, Texas
Just don't pre-sell the piece before the event,and I would suggest it is not a good idea either to fill phone orders until AFTER the event is over, and everything else will work out. \:\(

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#177710 - 09/18/10 03:15 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Jill]
Darcy Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 05/04/99
Posts: 647
Loc: Beautiful ♥ Colorado

Jill, are you with the new club that is hosting the Littleton signing?

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#177711 - 09/18/10 03:17 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Darcy]
MicheleB Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 1124
Loc: Monroe Township, NJ
Don't use sigining time tickets. They don't work and just cause a lot of aggrevation.
_________________________
Michele

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#177714 - 09/18/10 03:47 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: suzy167]
cally Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 07/15/01
Posts: 1439
Loc: Victoria, B.C. Canada
 Originally Posted By: MicheleB
Don't use sigining time tickets. They don't work and just cause a lot of aggrevation.

I agree - just let people line up for their signing, with the usual limit of two pieces to be signed. If they want more signed they can then go to the back of the line, however long the line might be. The only benefit that I can see of having signing ticket times is if you have hundreds and hundreds of people, they don't have to line up for 5 hours! they could come back at their "time" but I have seen ticket times NOT work much more often than I have seen them work.

 Originally Posted By: suzy167
Just don't pre-sell the piece before the event,and I would suggest it is not a good idea either to fill phone orders until AFTER the event is over, and everything else will work out. \:\(


I also completely agree with this! You will have to keep the event pieces behind the till, otherwise there will be people scrambling to get more than their quota, and possibly even taking armoires to the signing lineup without paying for them first.

Also, you will need table for people to unbox and rebox their ornaments, and maybe some little boxes or baskets for them to carry their orns once they are unboxed.

Good luck with your signing, and the most important thing is to have FUN!

Sandy

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#177716 - 09/18/10 03:57 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: cally]
homemadebycarol Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 05/04/99
Posts: 3942
Loc: Reno, NV
I definitely agree with getting rid of signing tickets and just let people line up. Easier, faster and fair.

At the Don Palmiter signing, they gave out 1 ticket per person to purchase the Armoire and once the tickets were gone, that meant the Armoires were sold out. I thought that was a good way to do it. They passed out the armoire tickets to people as they showed up and you could purchase them any time throughout the day as long as you had your ticket (and surrendered it at the time of purchase). That way, people who showed up early were pretty much assured of getting a ticket to buy the armoire and were rewarded for both attending the event and coming early.
_________________________
http://pastrychefbaking.blogspot.com

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#177723 - 09/18/10 04:46 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Darcy]
Jill Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 05/08/99
Posts: 704
Loc: Aurora, Colorado
 Originally Posted By: Darcy

Jill, are you with the new club that is hosting the Littleton signing?


Yes, I am a member of the club. We are a new club and have only had one meeting to date.

Thanks for the advice thus far. The store manager is limiting the event pieces to one piece per ticket. We will be issuing signing tickets.

I just spoke with our store manager today. I know that the store has received in excess of 150 requests to ship the event piece. These will be honored only AFTER the event has ended (assuming that there are any pieces remaining).
_________________________
In the midst of winter I found, within me, an invincible summer.
Camus

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#177734 - 09/18/10 07:11 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Jill]
Gift Bearer
Unregistered


Jill,

As great as our signing was today, we had quite a few people leave and come back to try to get another armoire ticket even though it was one per person and even after the store had received calls months in advance wanting to get an advance order in on the armoire. We even had someone change their clothes to try to get an extra armoire ticket not to mention our club president, who also works at the store, got yelled at by a customer because she wanted more than one. We only had two store employees holding onto the armoire tickets to prevent people coming in to get a second one because there were only the two of them passing the tickets out.

One thing I think the store may have been able to do better would by having separate lines for those with time tickets and those without or by each half hour, putting those with that half hour's tickets in front of the rest of the line each time, but since this was the first time this store had a signing and no instructions or lessons learned came from Hallmark, our sponsor store did the best they could. I think they did an outstanding job.

Be prepared for people that show up last minute and then scream at you for the signing being over because they left early in the AM and didn't leave time to get to the store on time. Luckily, our artists were gracious enough to sign her ornament even though it was past the signing time and they were exhausted.

Recommend having "Rules" posted on the door so everyone that enters knows the deal...one ticket for the armoire per person, when lunch for the artist(s) is, number of ornaments to be signed per artists per trip through the line, etc (2 per artist per person). It manages people's expectations a lot better than depending on them listening since many people rushed past those store personnel ready to guide them.

For the most part, those who attended the signing really had a good time. There was frustration from some of the "greed" of people making multiple trips through the line when there were ones just wanting an ornament signed. Our sponsor store didn't restrict the number of people entering the store or the number of times someone could go through the line because not everyone was coming in for the signing and so those there for the signing could make other purchases.

As you have probably read, our intention to greet each out-of-towner that stayed at our host hotel, the Marriott, didn't work out as we had intended since a couple attendees did not receive the goody bags we had the hotel to place in their rooms to be there on their arrival. We thought it'd be a good idea, but now in retrospect, I personally, NOT speaking for the club, would not do it again.

Our club members managed the table at entrance of the store to welcome people, offer them a Register-to-Win opportunity that the store is drawing for 10 individual ornaments on Monday for, and talked to them about what our club was about and what we were planning on doing in the future as well as all we've done in the past. We, also, asked them to sign a guest book at the dinner and the signing so we could get a better idea of the demographics for each event. Recommend your club members distinguish yourselves from your store's employees by wearing club shirts or shirts of a different color than the Hallmark employees to prevent the people coming for the signing from getting confused about who actually works there.

Be prepared for anything and everything. We printed name tags for our dinner and had blank ones so those that brought unnamed guests with paid tickets could write their names on the tickets with a Sharpie I had brought with me.

Lastly, don't expect everyone to be happy with everything. We've gotten threats that people would call Hallmark's headquarters if we didn't get them an armoire, but neither your club nor the store controls how many armoires the store gets. The only thing you can do is enjoy the signing because your club has earned it! Those few ungrateful people that show up to attend the signing should be happy that they have the opportunity to attend the signing because your club put forth the effort to enter and earn the signing. Those that enjoyed our signing were very nice and polite to each other even in the most crowded times of the signing. The KOC artists we had (Tracy Larsen and Tom Best) are wonderful and wanted everyone to have a good time. For the most part, the people I met at the dinner and signing were wonderful and I really had a good time meeting them and hearing their stories.

Feel free to send me a message if you have any particular questions.

Cindy Butler

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#177738 - 09/18/10 07:23 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: ]
Qwackertoo Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 04/13/99
Posts: 11860
Loc: Rocket City, U.S.A.
I don't think I even want to go to a signing after reading some of the bad things that have happened. Just WOW. I'll just stay home and be happy with my regular ole plain jane ornaments that can be bought without all the drama. I know there are always bad apples . . . but come on, these are Christmas ornaments and people who love Christmas, their behavior sounds absolutely atrocious.
_________________________

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#177740 - 09/18/10 07:30 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Qwackertoo]
Duluth_Collector Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 08/09/06
Posts: 2759
Loc: Duluth, MN
 Originally Posted By: Qwackertoo
I don't think I even want to go to a signing after reading some of the bad things that have happened. Just WOW. I'll just stay home and be happy with my regular ole plain jane ornaments that can be bought without all the drama. I know there are always bad apples . . . but come on, these are Christmas ornaments and people who love Christmas, their behavior sounds absolutely atrocious.


Well said Deana!

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#177745 - 09/18/10 08:01 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: ]
Diana* Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 04/23/99
Posts: 12439
Loc: Pasadena, CA USA
 Originally Posted By: Gift Bearer
Recommend your club members distinguish yourselves from your store's employees by wearing club shirts or shirts of a different color than the Hallmark employees...
We did that as well, we decided our club members would wear "Hallmark purple" so that visitors could tell quickly who was a club member who could help answer questions, but also was different from the store employees so they knew we weren't ringing in purchases or stuff like that. It helps to have a unified look.

It's important to map out "the route" from purchase line to register to signing line, to the actual signing location. Try to avoid double backs or crossing the line to keep things clear and smooth.

We limited the number of people in the store, didn't want to have any trouble with fire regulations. It also made it less crowded in the store, so the few who wanted to shop could do so comfortably, and it made it easier for the staff to help shoppers, as well as to help prevent shop lifting.

The tickets for the armoires worked well. We opened the store at 9:00 am so people could prebuy their armoire and other ornaments and be ready and raring to go when the signing started.

A small table for unboxing is helpful, a larger one for reboxing (it takes longer to rebox so more people will be utilizing it at the same time) is important.

The most important advice I have is to make sure the club members and store employees are all on the same page. Make informed decisions and stick to them. People get upset if they are told one thing and then it's are done a different way. It's better to ask them to call back in a week than to give out wrong information. And you really want to make sure everybody is giving out the same info.

Good luck with the signing.

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#177761 - 09/18/10 09:38 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: ]
Stephanie Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 1186
Loc: Branchburg, NJ
 Originally Posted By: Gift Bearer


For the most part, those who attended the signing really had a good time. There was frustration from some of the "greed" of people making multiple trips through the line when there were ones just wanting an ornament signed. Our sponsor store didn't restrict the number of people entering the store or the number of times someone could go through the line because not everyone was coming in for the signing and so those there for the signing could make other purchases.


I went through the line multiple times because I had tickets that club members assigned me with my own name on them. I was not greedy and waited my turn for the times I had. It was not my fault that more than one ticket was given to me. Things would have been a lot easier and calmer if there were no signing tickets and everyone just got in a line. I do not like to be negative and try not to post negative feelings but I just felt that I had to respond to that. There would not have nearly been as many mad people in line if there were no signing tickets.

With that said, I thought that this event was done well \:\) Tom and Tracy were awesome and in good spirits all day \:\) The club members were all so kind and sweet (and super patient)!! They put in so much time and gave up their day for this and it was greatly appreciated. Thank you for all of the time and effort that went into planning this for us \:\) Hi to Beachboots, Giftbearer, chattypatty and Dujamac and all of the others I met today ;\)
Sorry to take away from the original question. My suggestion- do not use signing tickets! \:\)
_________________________
Click here to see my orns for sale:
http://sites.google.com/site/ilovehallmark/
Happy Fluffy Paws

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#177762 - 09/18/10 09:46 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Stephanie]
Qwackertoo Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 04/13/99
Posts: 11860
Loc: Rocket City, U.S.A.
I don't care how many times people go through the signing lines, with or without tickets . . . . it was more the trickery in trying to get multiple event pieces just because they are valuable on eBay right now. IF people give away those tickets and you can buy more than one, fine too, but the dishonesty that has been mentioned is what makes me go "Really?".
_________________________

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#177768 - 09/18/10 10:16 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Qwackertoo]
suzy167 Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 826
Loc: Southlake, Texas
I have to say that I agree, the signing times are basically useless. It does work out a lot better to just get the 2 ornaments signed, then head on back to the end of the line each time. Same for everyone regardless whether you brought 6 ornaments to be signed or 60.

Tickets SHOULD be issued ONE per person for the Armoire. And I think that those should be honored THE ENTIRE time of the signing; all the way up to 3 pm. There is absolutely NO chance the store will "get stuck with them".

There was at least one case at the SC signing that I saw a person with a ticket in hand try to get the armoire at about 11am, and was told there were no more. (I do think someone "found" one for her) If there are pieces left at 3pm (HA HA), then they can find new homes.

I am also of the opinion that it is not the responsibility of the store or the winning club to provide water or anything else for those who choose to spend hours in line. Refreshments in line is a rather new twist to artist signings.

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#177769 - 09/18/10 10:48 PM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: suzy167]
Gift Bearer
Unregistered


Stephanie,

When I said, "Greedy" I was referring to one of the signing participants that kept getting in line only to try to sell her signed ornaments to customers while still in the store as well as another member who was fussing at our club president because she had to stand in line again. Just two examples, but definitely did not mean to imply those that were working within the two per artist rule set by Hallmark were "Greedy."

I remember you and I think you were a terrific guest of the store and would gladly say hello to you at another event.

Cindy Butler

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#177781 - 09/19/10 04:32 AM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Jill]
Karen W2 Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 05/11/99
Posts: 6233
Loc: Paradise - San Diego, USA!
Hi Jill,
Since yours is a new club that has only had one meeting to date, what did your club send in for your contest entry?
_________________________
Karen W2 - Paradise - San Diego, USA!

"If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?!"

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#177782 - 09/19/10 05:18 AM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: ]
Stephanie Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 1186
Loc: Branchburg, NJ
 Originally Posted By: Gift Bearer
Stephanie,

When I said, "Greedy" I was referring to one of the signing participants that kept getting in line only to try to sell her signed ornaments to customers while still in the store as well as another member who was fussing at our club president because she had to stand in line again. Just two examples, but definitely did not mean to imply those that were working within the two per artist rule set by Hallmark were "Greedy."

I remember you and I think you were a terrific guest of the store and would gladly say hello to you at another event.

Cindy Butler


Hi Cindy,
Thank you so much for responding to my post and clarifying. I am so sorry to hear that your club had to deal with that (and more sadly). \:\(
I just had to clarify that there were people who were able to go around multiple times but were only playing by the rules \:\) Steph
_________________________
Click here to see my orns for sale:
http://sites.google.com/site/ilovehallmark/
Happy Fluffy Paws

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#177786 - 09/19/10 07:39 AM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Stephanie]
LouisaMay Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 1001
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia
I have to say Stephanie was a great sport, she stood in line a few times, and was in great spirits with no complaints. I really enjoyed seeing you Stephanie, you set a shining example for all collectors. What a trooper! Our goal was to make people happy, and get folks their ornaments signed in the allotted time that the artists were there. I think the afternoon signing session was more crowded, and there was some initial pause that we may not get everyone attended to, but everyone was able to meet the artists and get signed.

People came from all over the states, and as someone attending my first signing...I was truly thankful for their positivity, kindness and good attitudes. A very lovely crowd
_________________________
I am not young enough to know everything~~~
Oscar Wilde

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#177790 - 09/19/10 08:51 AM Re: Need Advice on Signing Event. [Re: Karen W2]
Jill Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 05/08/99
Posts: 704
Loc: Aurora, Colorado
 Originally Posted By: Karen W2
Hi Jill,
Since yours is a new club that has only had one meeting to date, what did your club send in for your contest entry?

From what I heard at our first meeting, an employee of the store (an avid collector) wrote an essay about our new club and the store.
_________________________
In the midst of winter I found, within me, an invincible summer.
Camus

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