Grand Design has been, by far, our biggest customer since taking over Performance Trailer Braking last November and this was our busiest rally to date.
Monday we set up our booth in the vendor hall. It worked out well since the same building was used for the FROG rally and we’d left all of our ‘stuff’ there so we didn’t have to do anything other than move it to our spot and set it up. Although…it was HOT and HUMID…wow did we both do a lot of sweating before we were done.
After setting up the booth we inventoried all of the product we’d received (3 pallets) from Dexter while we were in Wisconsin with the kids. We also inventoried the axles, leaf springs, u bolts, nuts etc we’d received for a couple of our customer at the rally.
Tuesday was the first official day of the rally and the first day we were to ‘man’ our booth…hours were 10:00 to 5:00 this day….the rest of the week it was 9:00 to 5:00.
To say we were busy would be an understatement. Business was crazy…even out of hand at times. I looked up at one point, in the morning, and people were standing six deep in front of our booth. We had pre-sold thirteen kits before ever arriving at the rally and ended up having to turn people away as the installers were double booked nearly everyday. Although we still had lots of interest and gained a lot of leads and were able to sell quite a bit of Morryde suspension upgrades.
After closing up shop at 5:00 pm we stopped by three trailers to get measurements, take pictures of axle tags and check for Correct Track. We had ‘regular’ work to do when we got home and ended up eating dinner about 8:00 pm.
Wednesday was still busy…but nothing like the day before. Michael had his seminar in the afternoon and he had an awesome turn out…biggest crowd so far. It was also very conveniently located in the same building as our booth. The building is a large open building that they divided in half with a curtain and our booth was right on the other side of the curtain from where his seminar was…great for set up!
That even we were blessed to share another meal with Eric and Dorothy before they were due to leave town. We met at the South Side Soda Shop and every one of us ordered a Philly Cheesesteak of some sort. As usual, we had a wonderful visit with two of our favorite people.
We’d all been there in the past. The last time Michael and I were there was July of 2013 and while we enjoyed our meals we weren’t overly enthused. However, this time (maybe it was the company?) we both enjoyed them much more. You can read about that visit HERE.
Thursday night we had tickets to see Three Dog Night at the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana. Believe it or not…we forgot to go! I remembered a couple of days before…but didn’t remember again until Friday morning when I realized it was August 31st and our tickets were for August 30th. What a bummer…and who knows if we’ll ever get the chance to see them again!
When we should have been preparing to head to the concert we were roaming the fairgrounds hunting down trailers that we needed to get measurements, axle tag pictures and check for Correct Track. I guess we can look at it as we were still together…however, we were both so crabby that I think we’d rather not have been together at that point. We ended up checking seven trailers that night.
One of the really nice things about this rally was that the vendors were provided lunch from an area restaurant every day…free of charge. It was an Italian restaurant so everything was Italian themed: meatballs, pasta, caprese, pizza, salads, antipasti, etc. Although one day we had sliders and wings. Everything was very good.
Friday was a short day….1:00 pm and it wasn’t too busy at all though we still had plenty of business and even sold a couple of heavy-duty shackle/wet bolt kits. We were packed up and home about 2:30…even after stopping at one trailer to get the information we need from underneath.
Saturday morning a good portion of he rally attendees pulled out and hit the road. Michael ended up helping the installer trouble shoot a previous customer’s issues. He’d had his brakes installed back in April and has having some issues. They ended up determining that he had a bad pump, installed a new one and he was on the road.
While he worked on that (plus all of his regular pre-travel day chores AND packed up all of our vendor booth display junk) I worked on cleaning up the inside of the house (sweeping, dusting, cleaning sinks, mirrors and laundry).
I also made a run to Shipshewana to get groceries at E&S and then a stop at Yoder Meat and Cheese before heading back home. Wow…not a good day to go to Shipshe. One cashier at Yoder’s told me that Tuesday, Wednesday (flea market days) and Saturday’s are the busiest days. I’ve been to Shipshe on Tuesday and Wednesday but I don’t think they held a candle to Saturday. People everywhere…hard to get down aisles and a long wait to check out. No more Saturday shopping in Shipshewana for me!
We’ll be leaving Amish country on Sunday to head toward Norman, OK where our warehouse is located. We’ll be there about a week before heading back to Goshen for the Montana rally. We’ll make stops in Springfield, IL and Ozark, MO before getting to Norman.
We’re looking forward to a little down time.