Monday, November 6, 2017

Scheduling Appointments Around Expos

I wanted to explain something real quick, about setting appointments around the expos.  Useful info, and maybe people don't realize some of this.

When we have an expo, depending on how many days it is, sometimes set-up is before the expo or the day before, and take down is the night of, or the last night of (if it's a multi-day expo).  We rarely stay in the expo area... we used to more, but as gas is usually cheaper than motels (and I'd rather not repeat my bedbug experience more times by staying at super cheap places), so we tend to drive back and forth.

Well... most of these expos aren't super close.  Lake County is the closest, but can still be 30-40 minutes away.  Oak Lawn is the next closest, about 40 minutes.  St. Charles / Kane County and Windy City / Schaumburg are the next closest at 1.5 hours.  Libertyville is about the farthest current one, at just under 2 hours (that one we do stay at... but we also know people in the area). 

Notice travel times, based on distance.  St. Charles is coming up.  Each day is 10-5 pm, which means I have to leave no later than 8 am to get there, park a mile away, and walk to the expo center.  When I leave at 5 pm, I probably won't get home until 6:30, but more likely 7, as that will be rush hour traffic (which is still a thing on weekends, believe it or not).  And of course, let's not forget that that assumes I walked right out of the expo center at 5 pm, didn't talk to any vendors, didn't talk to the hosts, didn't have any last minute people wanting to see / pet / oooh-and-aahh at the chinchillas.  Add those in, and maybe I don't leave until 6, and get home even later.  Now, that's for Friday and Saturday.  For Sunday, figure in, I also have to take down the booth and get everything in the vehicle.  Figure that adds at least another hour, if not more (depends on the congestion getting in and out of the building multiple times with carts, and how close we can park), so we're not home until at least 8 pm. 

For the All Animal Expo in Wheaton, while we could set-up the night before, we do set-up same-day, and actually, we'd do no better setting up the day before, as much of our setup is the live animals (which we wouldn't want to leave there overnight, even if we could).  So, setup opens about 8:30, and since it takes 1.5 hours to get there... that means we leave absolutely no later than about 7 am.

The reason I mention all of this is lately I've had a lot of people wanting to stop by before the expo.  Oh, it starts at 10?  They tell me they can show up at 9... though I would have already left an hour before that.  They mention, oh the expo ends at 5, cool, they'll see me at the rescue at 6, that should give me plenty of time.  Now, if they invent teleporting, cool, we can plan for that.  Until then, though, that doesn't take into account packing up and driving home, plus a few minutes to spare.  I try my best to not have any customers beat me to the house, so if I think I'll be home at 6:30, I'll set an appointment no earlier than 7.

Also, I've had a lot of people saying, for example, they'll try to make it here Saturday.  Well... I kind of need to know one way or the other if you're coming (in general, but especially for appointments scheduled around the expos).  Two reasons:

1) If I mentioned to you that I will be home by 6 on Saturday, and you tell me that you will come by, I will absolutely make sure I am home by 6, and I will send you a message or call you (or whatever) if I think I'm going to be late.  If I don't have anyone coming... maybe I'll stop and grab a bite to eat, maybe I just won't rush to pack up and I'll take my time, maybe I'll talk more to the other vendors, because I know I have nothing else going on. 

And 2) If you said you are going to come, we will set a time, so I know when to expect you, but also, so I know when to set other appointments.  It never fails, if I tell people I will be home after 6, and I tell three people that, they will all, and I mean all, show up at the exact same time.  That's why I set appointments, so that everyone has their own time, without someone else standing there waiting for their turn.  If I don't know if someone is coming, I can set appointments, but then, someone ends up waiting, and I try to avoid that if possible.

That is all.

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