New Look for Pumpkin Fest

Prior Pumpkin Festival Crowd

If you’ve had a chance to visit the shop, you’ll know we place a great deal of emphasis on the interaction and experience aspects of your visit. We believe that is something that you enjoy and helps to make Oddyssea a place people want to see and return for future visits.

We have a great event coming up next weekend, the 42nd Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, which will attract a couple of hundred thousand people to visit Half Moon Bay this weekend. The festival presents both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is obvious, what a great way to introduce our new shop to a huge number of people in a short period of time. The challenge is, we do not believe it is possible to deliver the “Oddyssea Experience” when the shop is packed full of visitors.

Given this conclusion that we couldn’t operate in our standard way and still provide the “Oddyssea Experience” in the context of the huge festival crowd, we considered several options from keeping the shop closed to “business as usual” and let the chips fall where they may. In the end, only two options seemed viable, the “nightclub” approach and the “small shop” approach.

The “nightclub” approach is simple in concept and reasonably easy to implement. It consists of placing a velvet rope across the railing on the steps and allowing a small number of people to visit the shop at any given time. When visitors leave, new visitors would be allowed in. On the plus side for this option, it requires minimal change to the shop, our operating procedures, and would still allow us to provide the “Oddyssea Experience” to the visitors that have the patience to make it into the shop. On the down side, it would deny any kind of “Oddyssea Experience” to a great number of visitors who have neither the time nor inclination to wait in an queue to enter the shop and it creates a potentially bad experience for a huge number of people.

The “small shop” approach is more complicated. In this scenario, we would conduct business only in the “explore” room out front by moving the sales counter forward in the “create” room to service visitors who enter the shop. We would substantially change the fixtures moving some of our pods from the explore room into the create room and by moving the work table from the create room into the explore room. We would essentially empty the explore room of current products and then carefully select products that have the Halloween/Pumpkin/Harvest/Scary themes back into consistent and compelling displays. At the work table, we would offer an activity that is enjoyable and conducive to high volumes of traffic. The downside to this is the near complete disruption of the shop as it stands. The upside is we can maximize the number of people who can have at least a modified “Oddyssea Experience.”

We’ve decided to go with the “small shop” approach which has a couple of impacts. If you are planning to visit this week or next, please be aware we will be closing at 4pm on Friday to begin the transformation. We will reopen the shop during Pumpkin Festival regular hours Saturday/Sunday 9am-5pm. We will open Monday at 12pm back in our normal state of operations for the duration. If you are a regular visitor, we ask for your patience during this time period. If you are a new visitor, we welcome you to the shop and invite you to return so you can have not only the “Oddyssea Pumpkin Festival Experience” but also the standard “Oddyssea Experience” on your next visit.

We hope that sharing this information with you is helpful; we attempt to be as transparent as possible about what we are doing and why. Please leave us a comment or drop a line if you have suggestions, questions, or concerns. We look forward to seeing you at the Pumpkin Festival!