My take on Tucson 2007…Part I

Hey everyone!  I’m back from the Tucson Best Bead Show with more to do ahead of me than before I left…but I’m really excited and energized.  Now I just have to unwind and figure out where to start!  I have some new writing opportunities and plenty of time to work on them since my next show isn’t until September 2007.

Let me just give you a run-down on my Tucson 2007 experience…or should I say, my Best Bead Show experience since I didn’t see much more than that.  First and foremost, I’ll say it again, if I couldn’t be in Lewis Wilson’s Best Bead Show, I probably wouldn’t be doing a Tucson show.  I can’t imagine a better promoter than he and his family members and you just have to experience it to know what I mean.  I would wager money that you’d get that same report from any other bead maker.  Thanks Crystal Myths.

I, personally, had a very good show…suprisingly good actually since it was my first time officially at the Fall Tucson show.   I placed an ad in Lewis’ show guide but I can’t really give any feedback on whether that was worth it or not.  One person did tell me that I was the reason they came back for another day and I don’t remember meeting them so I’m thinking that it was the ad that brought them back.

Let’s see, what else?  I was in the Tent that was set up as an additional bead vendor area and while it was cold the first couple days, especially in the mornings, overally it was bearable and I didn’t feel that it hindered sales.  If it did, well, then I guess I would have had an even better show.  I had a nice pole smack in my booth space but I made the best of it as a support with all the standing I was doing.  It will be nice not to have that next year.

I’ve been on the waiting list (along with about 15 other people, I’m told) to get into the indoor exhibition area in the Kino Veteran’s Center which I once thought was the holy grail but now I’m rethinking it.  I really like the tent vibe.  While the temperature was a little cold, Tucson is usually beautiful and I’ll take my chances for more of those years to come than the former.  I predict that ‘The Tent’ will develop it’s own culture, much like the ‘Inside’ has.  I believe that The Tent came about as the demand for more exhibitor space increased…but the first year it was actually “Best Bead II” and was at a different location.  Lewis worked a way to get them all together at the same venue.  Now, while you, or other vendors might think, ‘oh great, more saturation of the market, and here comes imported crap’ you would be wrong.  There is a LOT of talent out there and Lewis provides a good blend and quality vendors.

Anyway, back to The Tent.  I’ve heard it said that there is a seven year wait to get Inside and vendors in there aren’t giving them up.   The sense I get is that the people Inside are the veterans that have held onto their booths.  The Tent to me feels more laid back but there is equally as much talent…maybe newer people coming up but still quality and professionalism.  I think The Tent is the place to go to discover the new stuff, mixed with some veterans.  I think I’ll stay in The Tent.

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