I attended the Bead and Button show for the third time this summer. My first time, I experienced sensorial overload. I was so dazzled that I didn’t budget my time well. The third time is the charm! I saw everything in the 2019 show. I’ve learned that there’s an art and science to getting the most out of an expo or trade show. Here are my top tips for maximizing your experience:
1. Dress comfortably!
You can’t enjoy the moment if your feet ache or you’re shivering. Wear sensible shoes and dress in layers.
2. Begin with a quick scan of all the vendors and exhibits.
Visit every booth and display in the show for 3 to 5 minutes. You’ll get an idea of everything that’s available to you. Mark your favorites on a map of the show and return to the exhibits and vendors for longer visits and some possible shopping! You can prioritize what interests you the most and plan out the rest of your time at the show. You’ll have no regrets!
3. Take plenty of notes and snap photos.
With so many amazing sights to take in, don’t count on your memory to serve you later. Bring along a small notebook with a pocket. You’ll need a place to stash business cards for vendors and artists. Jot down names of techniques you would like to learn more about and contact information for people you would like to stay connected with. Capture any ideas you get for color schemes or projects inspired by the creative people and beautiful work around you. Take plenty of pictures for future reference.
4. Be true to your style and aware of your needs.
Being mindful of the colors, materials, and techniques that you prefer helps you steer clear of buyer’s remorse. Also, keep in mind your time budget for the upcoming year. If you decide to buy supplies for a new technique, treat yourself to a book, class, or other educational materials to help you master this new skill.
5. Buy unique items!
Rather than purchasing something you could find at any craft store, buy one-of-a-kind items that you can’t find anywhere else. Unique items fill the gap in your stash and give you a fresh take on how to use what you already have. Don’t skip out on something incredible!
Here are photos from a few shows I've attended:
What’s your favorite expo or trade show related to your hobbies? Please share your story below.
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