Although I do agree with dressing your table up, there is one huge difference between Canadian and American shows. The attendance. The US market is 10 times larger than the Canadian (statistically).
We have had tables at various US trade shows (FIRS, NARBC, Raleigh, etc.). Even at these shows, there are still some breeders that have very basic set ups. There are definitely more professional booths at these shows however, they are able to weed out joe hobbyist by booth cost. I have yet to pay less than $250 USD for a table at one of these shows. WIth this in mind, many "small" breeders do not take a table as they would need to sell everything they have to turn a profit. If they have a bad show, they could easily be out $5-$600 between table, travelling, accomodations, etc.
Grant on the other hand charges $75 per table. A small breeder would be more inclined to take a table at a show like this because of the cost.
There are a lot of smaller US shows that have a low table cost. I have seen many tables at these shows that are bare or poorly decorated.
I do agree that if you want to be noticed, you better do something to your table. In shows like this, it is inevitable that there will be more than one vendor with the same product. When I arrived and looked around, the first table that caught my eye was High Quality's! They had some excellent animals on display, it was clean, brightly lit and they had a very noticeable sign (as did capital dragons).
As for sales being down. When I checked my sales records, traditionally the June show has always been slower than March. I guess everyone is thinking about their vacation plans
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