January 11, 2011.
The last two times I walked shows (San Francisco Gift Show, New York Gift Show, Stationary Show & Surtex) I did it alone....with a capital A for the most part. I hated it. I mean not the show or the walking (though my feet were killing me because I wore heels), I hated just being alone. I hated eating alone. I hated walking alone. I remember walking up to a booth that licensed children's art and trying to talk to them....I was so green I thought they were the actual artists who created the art. The looks and eye rolls I got from the Blonde Marketing Gals in Skirts would have been humorous if I were not....alone. I slinked away and licked my wounds all the way back to the hotel.
This Time It Will Be Different
This will be my third trip to the Atlanta Gift Show. The other two times I was exhibiting at the Gift Show. This time I am just walking the floor and attending some seminars. I am beyond excited to be staying with three great like-minded artists/entrepreneurs also. Shelly Kennedy, London Edwards & Kelly Rightsell will be in my wolf pack this coming weekend....hope things don't go all "Girls Gone Wild" or anything. I don't know, but having only traveled with London in the past I know how crazy thinks can get when everyone is punch drunk tired.....
What I Hope To See at the Atlanta Gift Show
- I would love to meet or see other business owners & artisans I have worked with in the industry. It would be great to meet face to face with some of the business owners that have sold my products for the past nine years. It would be refreshing to also possibly meet up with artisans and manufacturers that I actually exhibited next to or talked with at previous shows.
- I really want to see the trends and not just read about what the next color or new gimmick everyone is hawking for 2012. Reading about polka dots and vintage patterns is one thing, but to see it used in bedding, ceramics, wood or even decopauged on actual products is exciting. I hope to get tons of inspiration on new color combinations and Industry trends.
- To be able to walk the Children's Section, The Home, The Textiles, The Garden, The temporaries & the Permanent Show Rooms will be fun. Exhausting and pretty much impossible to see everything, but good to do. For the first time I won't be hiding my badge or taking a quick trip to the restroom before going back to stand for 8 hours straight in a booth.
- Since I won't be wearing the exhibitor badge I won't get the evil eyes from competitors, or catch competitors sneaking into our booth after I left. The buyers are treated like kings and queens at Trade Shows. Buyers get schmoozed at the permanent shows, catalogs shoved in their faces in the temporaries and they get free food and cocktails with just a snap of a finger.
- Seeing what (if any attend) my competition is doing. NO one wants to admit it, but that is something you do at a Trade Show. It is smart, it is good business and it is what other business owners do. I won't be taking photographs from smart phone or stealing samples, but I want to take it all in.
- I would love to meet other artists, or like minded people that are crazy....like me. Some shows I have met some great people, others....not so much. I am going to enjoy just going under the radar and taking in the sites and the products.
Almost in Atlanta Baby
So, in a nutshell I have a very, very long list of things I would like to accomplish while in Atlanta. I am so hoping that it all goes smoothly and there is no drama or....wait I so want me some drama! That makes great blogging, great reality TV and fabulous stories to relive over cocktails, and snorting while laughing. I can't wait to feel inspired again.....and I hope my inspiration is coming from Atlanta.