Sunday, 27 June 2010

iDons @ The Wimbledon Village Fair 2010

The Wimbledon Village Fair held on Wimbledon Common is probably one of the larger public events the club are involved with over the year. It's also a bit of a reunion for all those parts of the club that usually plough their own furrow, including the Merchandise Team, Football in the Community, Fundraising and, last but not least, the iDons Media stall.There was no specific Dons Trust representation though, which was a bit of a pity as a lady came up asking if she could renew her DT membership which she'd taken out in the first season but someone took her in hand and the necessary chat delivered, email address provided etc. etc. so no loss of income there I hope...
Early morning finds the Paul Strank crew setting up and most of the Dons are loading up at KM. We eventually squeeze in where the blue van is parked

I was there specifically with the iDons stall, which is a bit of a fundraiser unto itself. Sometimes monies raised at specific events go to community projects (hiring of the Art Gallery above Wimbledon library for the schools flag exhibition is an example of that) but more often than not it feeds directly into the Fundraising group, adding to all those monies raised at dinners and walks, Golden Goals and quiz-nights. It's really one of those 'trickle' sources of revenue though. A hundred pounds here, sixty there, not particularly earth shattering but at the end of the year there might be £1,000 extra in the kitty and a lot of happy people with some interesting sounds at bargain prices. That's one big advantage of the iDons stall - everything is 100% profit and it's a painless way of helping hundraise for the club.

As all the items sold are donated by generous supporters it's always nice to do a quick guestimate as to the relative profitability of iDons compared to the Merchandise team at the Wimbledon Village fair -  and although there is no hint at all (hem! hem!) of competition with what is a professional and highly talented Merchandise team, I like to feel the iDons compares pretty well, at least for the seven hours duration of the Fair. Improvements can always be made though and I've not been particularly happy with the look of the stall for a while now
All set up and ready to go! iDons adopts a right-angled aspect whilst Merchandise & FITC adopt the forward facing, as is right and proper for official representatives of the club. Pity about the FITC flipchart holder though.

I've had a bit of a sorely needed revamp with regard to display and spent a few days knocking out open trays which allow the cds to be flipped through - a big improvement on having them stuffed in a box. The trays were quick and easy to build, are lightweight and take either cds, dvds or computer games and all in all make the stall both more attractive and easier to browse so a big thumbs up from me at least. In general though what is sorely lacking at present though is a more general professional, visible and 'corporate' AFC Wimbledon presence as the photos below illustrate quite well.
"We Are Wimbledon" But you might not know it without a decent bit of signage!

This bothered me a bit at the same fair last year and was one of a couple of areas I felt we could improve with regard to our presence at these sort of events. This year though it seems to be part of a general feeling amongst those present, so with some possible changes on the horizon, fingers crossed that next year sees great, big, gleaming in your face, 'I'm over here' type display units and those vertical flags beloved of car-showrooms and all that malarky and maybe a little bit less of the village fete feel.
The FITC pitch was behind us next to the dog display and
Mark did steady trade on the FITC games table

That aside the quality on display from the merchandise team was as professional as ever (with the little wombles pulling in children from extraordinary distances) and there was also a steady number of volunteers throughout the day popping by and then disapearing into the horizon with hands full of leafletes and flyers to distribute amongst the crowding throng. I had a chance to chat with Mags about some of the issues arounding the sourcing and developing of merchandise for the club which was a bit of an eye opener, especially in the area of copyright.

Trying to keep the badge uncovered for that extra bit of visibility

The iDons stall had a bit of a slow start, but as the day wore on more and more people came by and started to flick through the cds. Quite a few commented on the quality of the cds on sale and this is almost entirely down to one of our supportes who recently moved to Dublin and who kindly donated about a 1,000 cds in one go! As they normally sell on the stand at £1 each, I was keen to try to maximise profit so I checked each item on Music Magpie to see if any would bring more that way. As it turned out I was able get a few hundred pounds this way for the stall, even before the sale began! A huge vote of thanks are due to that donor and for all those who have handed in a bag of cds or dvds to the club

It's good to know that the club are guarenteed at least 50p from any donation from Music Magpie, however naff the cd or dvd, so should the iDons stall ever reach the end of its natural life it can at least go out with a bang and a decent cheque from all its remaining stock.

Then there was probably the highlight of the AFC Wimbledon promoting day - the arrival of Haydon the Womble! Energetic as ever Haydon played to the crowd and soon had numerous children hive-fiving him and what seems like a significant number of young women queuing up to have their photo taken with him.

Behold the king! Haydon and his police bodyguard make their 
magesterial way toward the AFC Wimbledon stalls.

Altogether a pretty succesful day I thought. I don't know how everyone else did but iDons took roughly £300 on the day, which I felt was quite decent. However,  £300 means we are short on 300 cds for the Wimbledon Common Stables Open Day on 12th September, so if you've any going spare please consider droping a few off either at the pre-season friendlies, at the club or  maybe even come along on the 12th itself!
Haydon - the very public and impeccable face of AFC Wimbledon

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