- When does the Expo run?
The Home and Garden Expo 2021 will be open to the public from 27th February to 21st March. Exhibitors will have access to set up their displays from 20th to 25th February. The regions will be open for Press preview on the 25th February, the last day before we open to the public. Press preview day is not considered a setup day, and rezzing will be turned off.
2. When will applications open?
Applications are open already! We are also in the process of sending out notices to stores and groups inworld. There is no set cutoff date at the moment, but ,any spaces fill up quickly. Please take a good look at the list and decide which size/space would be best for you, and then which ones would be second best. You can find more information on space sizes here.
3. When will I know if I have been accepted?
After you’ve filled out your form, there will be a waiting period.
We cannot give you a definite date for when you will receive your acceptance at this point, but can assure you that we will respond as soon as we possibly can.
4. Other events reply at once, why do you need so much time?
We have 9 sims this year, and it’s going to take the organizers time to place people and figure out which stores work best on which sims, (if we have a full perm-only sim, for instance.) It might be difficult to be patient, and we’re always available to answer questions, but you will not get your sim/space assignment immediately. We do aim to place everyone who applies on a sim we deem best suited for them.
5. OK I get it. What should I do while I wait?
The time we spend before we reply is valuable time for you to work on your donation items and plan your display. For those who find themselves waiting until the last minute, we get it. We’ve all been there, but can assure you being prepared earlier will make your setup run so much smoother.
After your space/sim has been chosen and the information given back to you, take into consideration the size of your space, and how you want to present your product. Only the smallest spaces have pre-rezzed stores. All other spaces are empty parcels and you will need to provide your own structure if you want one. You are also welcome to have an open-air space.
6. What about payment? How and when do I pay my Expo fees?
When we send the acceptance notifications, we will also let stores know when to pay for their space, and send out the LM to the payment kiosk. ONLY PAY THE KIOSK. If anyone else tells you to pay them, please let us know. Do not send money to anyone, not even the organisers.. The kiosk is the only payment location for the event.
7. When can I set up?
The organizers will be given access to the sims first, to lay down paths, put up signs, place buildings where needed and make landmarks. Once all those things are completed, we will invite stores to come in and set up.
8. I have to get in early, I’m sure you can fix that?
No, we cannot let you in earlier than everyone else.
You will have a set number of days to place your items and get your space in check. Setup days are 7th-12th February for everyone. Please mark these days in your calendar already, so you won’t forget them.
9. HELP! I can’t figure out the donation vendors!
If you need help with setting up vendors, please read through the information provided, then feel free to contact us with any questions. A list of contact persons will be made available before setup.
10. Where do I place the donation vendors?
Your vendors need to be easily seen near the entrance to your space. While we want you to sell all your items, this is a charity event, so your donation items need to be the most prominent.
Remember that all your objects must be inside your parcel/store, and not on streets or walkways.
11. What do I do when I’ve set up my display?
Once you are set up, contact an organizer to review your space, and you’re done! At that point, you’re free to wander around and check out the other sims, but please do not get in the way of other stores setting up. We all need time free from interruptions to get our items just as we want them.
12. What are the spaces, and which might be best suited for me?
Some space sizes move quickly because there are only one of each per sim. Don’t overwhelm yourself if you’re a new store to the event – you may be better with a medium or small space. It’s much better to shine in a cozy space than fizzle out in a larger space you paid a fortune for and aren’t able to fill. We want everyone to be able to bring their best.
Because we are limited to 8 of some size spaces across the entire event, it’s nearly impossible for the sign-up form to stay accurate up to the minute. You may be able to apply for the space, but those sizes may already be full. This is why it’s extremely important to choose early and have a second and perhaps third choice prepared.
Platinum spaces are generally the first to go, because there are so few of them. They’re the largest and usually best suited for stores selling large buildings and/or with a lot of stock. These are generally grabbed by returning stores, but if you do happen to get one in time, please be prepared to fill the space. It is a very large parcel of land, and previous experience has proven having a large amount of unused, empty space can severely detract from sales.
Gold spaces are the second largest on each sim. There are up to two gold parcels per sim, and these too sell out fast. If you have a lot of large buildings for sale, but are new to the event, these might be worth your consideration.
Silver spaces are more prevalent, and a hearty size for most stores. They are excellent for stores with builds who want to show off their quality, while not too oversized for a decent sized store and stock.
Bronze spaces are like Goldilocks – just right. They provide enough space to stretch out and fill your space with a lot of items, while keeping it friendly and welcoming to customers.
Copper and Nickel spaces have provided buildings. Coppers are no less than 13,2x 15 meters, and Nickels no less than 5,5 x 7 meters. These are non-negotiable. If you want a space without a pre-placed building, you must apply for a larger space. That said, it can be extremely helpful for brand new stores to have these things already prepared for them. The buildings are chosen and laid out in an inviting way, and easy to navigate. Please trust when we say Kaerri is very picky about her sim design, and you will find attractive, high-quality buildings in this area. Again – we are working to ensure you do well.
Artist spaces are no less than 5,5 x 7 meters, and will give artists enough wall/floor space to show off their one donation item and other art they intend to introduce to customers.
13. I can rez whatever I make, right?
With some exceptions, yes. We have a structure height limit of 20 meters measured from the region’s water level. If you have an item reaching above this height, for instance trees, you are required to let one of the organizing staff know as soon as possible. Tall structuures should be placed on the outer edge of the sims, so they don’t block the view for your neighbours. If you do not let us know in advance, and set up a build that reaches above this height, it will be returned without notice.
14.) What if I don’t like the space chosen for me?
We want you to sell a lot, just as you want to. Not only of your donation items, but of all the items you bring. You deserve to make some money back for your contribution to the charity, in addition to introducing your store to new customers who may have not heard of you before. If you have problems with our choices, we will certainly try and work with you, (if you let us know as early as possible,) but due to the sheer number of stores we’re organizing, we are unable to make any promises. Even if you don’t immediately like your space, give it a chance and allow us to prove you wrong. Everybody on the organizing staff have years of experience as both participants and organizers of this event. Please trust that we’ve gathered the necessary information about your store and products, and spent months sorting through everything to choose a space we are convinced will be best suited for you to shine!
15.) I have adult items, but the sims are moderate. What are my options?
No adult animations, nudity, or adult photography, or the like are allowed at the event. There is some wiggle room in this restriction for artists’ spaces, but on a case-by-case basis. You are welcome to sell adult items, but the adult animations in them must not be accessible in your demo/display versions. PG versions of your items may be displayed and sold freely at the event.
You are also welcome to provide a LM to your main store where customers can test the items in a lag free/adult friendly environment. Please be aware that adult items can not be sold as donation items. This is a limitation set by ACS/RFL, and non negotiable.
16. Can I sell my exclusives/donation items in my main store?
Please look at the Expo as any other shopping event. Your donation items must be new and exclusive to the Expo as long as it runs. We request you not to sell these items, even from RFL vendors, outside the Expo for the duration of the event. You can sell them freely after the Expo is over. Some merchants choose to let their donation items be fully exclusive to the event, others choose to only sell them from RFL vendors both during and after the Expo, but this is by no means a requirement. Your exclusives are yours to sell as you wish once the event is over.
17. How can I do my part to help keep lag down, keep customers happily moving around, and save everyone some headaches?
Consider lag when planning your display. You may have some decor you absolutely love, but it contains a ton of unnecessary scripts that will contribute to lag. Please believe that yes, your one over-scripted item will have an impact on customers’ abilities to get around.
If they can’t get around, they can’t shop, and then we all lose out. So remove any unnecessary scripts, especially from decor items you do not have marked for sale. Unless they are a structural necessity, it is also advised to set physics to none.
Textures are often uploaded with alpha / transparency even if they don’t have any transparent parts. Make it a habit to edit your items and check that alpha is set to none unless you make use of alpha for emission or transparency. If possible, switch from alpha blending to alpha masking. A cutoff around 125 is a good place to start adjusting to find the point where your item looks the best. Alpha masking is useless for glass, but brilliant for plants etc.
We also suggest that you make your textures as small as possible without losing quality, and use each texture many times if possible.
Not only are lots of sounds/lights/particles that can be seen outside of your space annoying to your neighbors and not allowed, but they reek havoc with lag. The Expo is not a one-store carnival, and attempting to stand out by use of extreme attention tactics will not only hurt your sales, but also your neighbors’. In addition, the organizers reserve the right to send these types of items back if they appear too annoying and distract from the event.
18 My store also sells clothes/shoes/skin/hair/gestures, etc. I can sell all these at an event called the “Home and Garden Expo,” right?
You may not sell clothes, shoes, hair, skins, nails, or anything that is not a home and garden item.
The ONE exception to this is any of these items that serve as display only, and are never intended to be worn. If you are selling a closet, for instance, and you want to fill it with shoes and hanging or folded clothes. Or maybe you have a pile of clothes laying on the floor in a laundry room setup – perfect! Have at it.
19. I just found out the store you placed next to me is owned by someone I really dislike. Help! Move me, please!
We are all adults, and should be able to respect and work with each other. But yes, we acknowledge there are some situations where one store may not want to be located near another specific store for whatever reason – personal or commercial. Let us know when you sign up, and we will try and work around this for you. That said, this is not middle school, and we do not like or participate in cliques. Do not abuse this option, or use it to bully or harass another store. Please also keep in mind, this may mean you do not end up with as great a space as you would have by trying to get along.
20. My space needs terraforming. Give me a shovel already!
Yes, we can help you with this. Just let us know as early as possible. We will *not* alter your land in a way that will cause issues for your neighbors. Please keep this in mind when choosing your space, as smaller spaces make terraforming difficult.
21. I have 20 gacha machines. I can make a huge gacha farm out of my space, right?
You may use your parcel to display the prizes in your gacha machines, but all gachas at the event will be located in the gacha area on one of the center sims, using machines created for the event. Also, all gachas at the event will be 50% donation to RFL. If you are not ok with donating half your gacha sales to the charity, do not sign up to have gachas. Any gacha machines found outside the designated space will be returned without notice.
22. What else can I do to promote my store at the event?
As with all events, you are required to set out an event sign at your main store. If you are a Marketplace-only store, you are required to list the event in your profile pics until it ends.
We appreciate any notices sent to your customer base, (subscriber and/or group lists,) as well as mentions on Facebook, Flickr, and any other blogs or websites you use to promote your store.
One sometimes overlooked way to promote your store both in and out of the event is to sign up for one of Saffia Widershins’ Expo talks. Saffia runs Prim Perfect magazine as well as an SL TV program called Designing Worlds. Stores are welcome to sign up to be interviewed by her in front of an audience in the large theater on one of the center sims. The ability to go on voice is appreciated, but not required. She is generally able to give each store a few time slots to choose from. If you have the common issue of stage-freight – yes, they may be a little intimidating and scary at first, but in the end you will have enjoyed yourself and introduced new customers to your store and products. You want people to see the care and quality you put in your work. This is an excellent way to show that off!
If you don’t feel comfortable with being in the spotlight alone, you can team up with a friend or business partner, or come to one of the show and tell sessions. Show and tell sessions are quite informal, and you will share the stage (and audience) with several of your fellow creators.