The 2015 Brighton Vegfest held this year at the Brighton Centre instead of the smaller Hove Centre turned out to be a very successful weekend as detailed below thanks to our volunteers. We thought the location could lead to a quiet stall for the club but in fact it was business as usual for a major event. We were also helped by a large stall frontage in an L-format with a second clothes rail in the space near a corner.
Given the increasing range of stock, I was unable to take as much stock as I would have liked by train but sales of the new t-shirt and running vests went quite well throughout both days. Saturday soon became busy and I was relieved by the arrival of David Campbell (sometime after 1pm until near the end of the day with breaks) who planned to meet with the London Vegan Meet-up group but instead spent a lot of his time helping on the stall. At 3pm we were also joined by new member Ollie Shead who also slotted into the role very well. We were also joined later by Dave Arnold who was entertaining visitors over the weekend. A small number of members with Dave ran the usual Hove parkrun (the next one on 11 April will be at Preston Park to coincide with the next day’s Brighton Marathon).
After the day ended, I wasted no time counting the proceeds back at a hostel and was not too surprised by one of our largest sums for a single day at £479.55. Back in 2011, the last one day event at the Hove Centre we only had sales of £94 our lowest and the more recent 2-day events have returned a highest of £438 that were also good sales figures at the time.
On Sunday, Paula / Chris with daughters Astrid & Lana arrived at the 11am start, an hour earlier than anticipated and stayed the whole day with breaks so we were prepared for more brisk business. Dave Arnold also came later and to participate in the sporting competition. Sales soon started again with apparently a long queue outside the main entrance in the wet & windy conditions on the seafront. Like Saturday we met many of the visiting members and other known contacts some buying kit. On Saturday there appeared to be more sales of the new logo t-shirts, on Sunday we seemed to sell a little of every item including books. The 20 copies of our ever popular basic guide to Sports Nutrition for Vegans sold out on Sunday. The four new members was fairly modest but more will hopefully come later from the event.
Thanks to the crowd of helpers who stayed until after closing to help pack up and especially to Dave for driving me to Three Bridges to avoid the rail replacement buses from Brighton.
The all important sales figure was £879 (Saturday £479, Sunday £377). With other stock at the stall, we may have took over £1000, an achievable aim for some future 2-day event.
Back at Brighton, we also gave at least two interviews, Dave gave one in my absence on Saturday and at the start on Sunday I gave one to YouTube although not at my best. Another media reporter will be visiting the Brighton & London Marathons to interview participating club members. The organisation is ‘365 Vegans‘.
Finally, the event will be another boost to the local Brighton VR group with larger attendances at the parkrun and teams at other events.
My apologies for not taking photos, the camera was not available!