So it might not be a 100% original idea, but it came to me today while I was making my lunch. Because the time is looming nearer when I find out if I get to keep my job as the company finishes its analysis.
I thought about how I'll probably want to sign up for some of the craft shows that I've stopped doing in the last couple of years. But I also thought about how boring shows are and how I really didn't enjoy them the last year I did them. Especially because I was always doing them by myself.
Then it hit me...what if I hired myself out, not to sell my own work, but to relieve other people who have to do shows by themselves.
Okay, it might not be a million dollar idea, but it could provide a (very) small amount of money. Say I hired myself for $5 per 15 minute break. In some of the larger shows I could very easily watch 30 booths in an 8 hour period (giving myself 30 minutes for my own bathroom breaks). That's $150 a day...$300 in a weekend. There were some shows that I didn't even sell that much. Plus there's no overhead (except time and gasoline) and no booth fee!
I know I would have hired someone for $5 for a 15 minutes of free time when I was doing shows. Heck, I would have been willing to pay $10 sometimes.
The key would of course be establishing a reliable reputation. You don't want just anyone watching your stuff.
Some high school shows have the students booth sit but I have not found this to be a very pleasant experience. Most can't answer basic questions (and I don't blame them for this...it's just the nature of it) from customers, nor do I really trust them to take money (or credit cards).
But if someone who already knew how to take credit cards, and was familiar with basic craft show concepts, could booth sit ... I think the repeat customers would be there as well. Travel to a few different shows, you always see some of the same vendors.
And word would spread if you did a good job.
What do you think? Would you pay to have an experienced and trustworthy person watch your booth for 15 minutes while you got lunch, went to the bathroom, or browsed?