It is Bead Fest Philadelphia 2017 Time!!!!
This weekend is Bead Fest Philadelphia. It is a show that cannot be missed if you do anything with or love beads and jewelry. In case you have been under a rock - here is the link to the main website-Bead Fest Philadelphia. There are classes, demos, and of course the expo - also known as SHOPPING!!!!!!
Last year Leslie wrote a blog post listing her Top 10 Things to Do to Enjoy and Survive a Bead Show. Her entry can be found here: Top 10 Things to do....... I decided that this year, being the guest blogger, I can give my list. It is not as formal or explained, it may be humorous and more sarcastic! All I want is to give you a smile, and maybe give you at least one tip to add to your enjoyment of Bead Fest!!
Here we go:
1. If you are scheduling a certain period of time for the expo - you might as well forget it! The place is HUGE!! And there are more vendors than you can imagine. It is going to take you longer to make a lap, let alone stop and look at all of the pretty things!!
2. Be sure to bring water with you. The hall is dry and can get warm, and we do not want you fainting in the middle of the aisles - it slows the other shoppers down!! (insert laugh here!)
3. Comfort is the word of the day. Comfy shoes that will allow you to wander for hours on end. Comfy clothes that will allow you to move and shop freely while still allowing you to be comfortable temperature wise.
4. Be sure to bring a tote bag or wheelie bag with you to carry your purchases. You may be buying only one or two things, but multiply that by the number of vendors and your haul starts to get unruly and heavy. This way you can also help with the environment by not needing a bag for each purchase.
5. Shopping is so much better with two! Bring a friend with you - they do not have to be a beader or jewelry maker - although some sort of artist is helpful. They will be fascinated. Also, their opinion on color combos may assist you in your choices. You may think something looks good together - but we all have those times where we are so wrong. They may be able to help us avoid this issue.
6. In these days before the expo, go through your stash at home, or patterns that you have directions for but no supplies. Make yourself a list of supplies needed or parts required for a new project. In my mind, if I get something for an older project, I am then allowed to buy myself a new project!! (Yes, I regularly bargain with myself!)
7. What is the most important thing to bring with you? A pen. How else are you going to cross supplies off your list, sign up for email lists with vendors, write down wish lists at vendors, or even get emails from fellow beaders with whom you have bonded. Or the biggest reason - which will make more sense after the next tip- marking up the expo list and map.
8. This is actually my favorite tip - I follow it religiously. When you enter the expo - grab a booklet, grab your pen and figure out how to look at all that is offered. The first lap should be like a drive by - no purchases on this lap. I use it to find the vendors I want to go back to, which ones I do not need to look at, see something quickly that I want to look at more closely. Once that lap is done, you can go through your list and go back and shop for real. I find this helps in lowering the sensory overload that these shows provide.
9. There will be many demonstrations, make and takes, and workstations available in the hall. Do not be afraid to try something new. These education areas allow you to try something quick and easy without having to become seriously invested. And who knows - it may become your next love!!
10. And our last one. Talk to people! Say hi to the vendors, talk to them about their products. Ask other customers their opinions. Compliment someone on their work. This may be all about the shopping - but it is also a fashion show! People wear their prized creations and love it when someone asks about them. Basically we are all one big family at this event and we talk to everyone!
I really didn't think I had that much to say. Oh well, if you made it this far into the post you only have a little more to go.
Prep well my friends. Make sure that you come and see us in Booths 267 and 366 - on the right hand-side when you enter back towards Artisan's Alley. I will be running the register most of the weekend - please come and say "Hi!" and show me all of your pretty things!
See you at Bead Fest!!!