Thursday, August 13, 2009

Learning Curve

Here is an incomplete list of the things I learned at the Philadelphia Buyers Market two weeks ago.
  • Hooks are your friends
  • If you have to, make your own hooks!
  • Need more of those cool hooks from the signs? Who doesn't! I got the down low on the coveted hooks from two experienced vendors. Many people leave their sign and their hooks, once they are gone snag the hooks! I did that and I felt very silly but I now have a couple dozen hooks! The more sensible and much more dignified way to score the hooks is to ask for them at the begging of the show. Too easy, right?
  • Lighting is not to be forgotten or done at the last minute. Trust me, I learned that the hard way. Thank goodness that there is an Ikea 11 minutes away from the convention center! Even better to know is that Tony Lukes is close to the Ikea!! But wait, even better than Ikea and Tony Lukes, you get to see this crazy Titanic ship while at Ikea!
  • A second layer of drape is good for hiding cords and not getting you neighbor all hyped up! Oops, sorry about that! This is where you need all those cool hooks! You can grab some fun curtains at Ikea, the ones with grommets then use the hooks to hang them up.
  • Easy-Peasy!
  • Mats-Mats-Mats! I hear that is the place to go for fun and functional flooring. For me it is all about the Flor carpet tiles. I just love that concept. While we were wonderfully gifted with free carpet, I would have skipped it if I had the chance since the carpet fumes gave me the worst headache. TIP: You can air out the Flor tiles at home before the show!!!
  • My booth lay out was tricky. Going in to the show I had a clear vision for my 5 x 10 section of the booth. But, it was obvious that wasn't going to work at all. So I changed it up and I was very happy with it But then I was told to move my loot up to the front of the booth, I was told that I had a 'dark tunnel of death' going on. NICE! I wasn't sure I was going to take the experts advise but the next morning I got in early and moved the bakers rack and squish up the dress forms. It was a good idea after all. What I really liked was how I tidied up the merch on the bakers rack. It was less craft show, it was cleaner and easier to see.
  • Philadelphia is great food! Reading Market is a must. Next time I am eating lunch there every day.
  • Pack the hand truck first so that it gets in the van no matter how full the van gets. Who cares if you have to unpack the entire van to get to it at least you have the silly thing.
  • Teamsters are cute! On Monday while I was moving the forward two big burly guys chatted with me about my first time experience, the economy and sales. It made me miss the gaffers from my movie set days.
I wish I could share with you every little bit of information and every pearl of wisdom that I gleaned from the other exhibitors and The Rosen Group. Everyone was open, giving and kind to share with us what they knew. I couldn't agree more with another Etsy Street Team gal when she called the weekend Trade Show Boot Camp!
Thanks for having us! I hope that you keep offering the program to Etsy Street Teams, it is truly an invaluable and eye opening experience!

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