Bead Trades at Recent Tucson Show…

I mentioned that I traded some beads at the most recent Tucson show. Here are a couple of them:

This one was from Andy Ray’s display…I think his son made it:

I traded my favorite bead of all time for it.

The other was with Josh Hamra. Actually, his significant other put him on the chopping block after I commented on the pendant she was wearing that was one of his.

Come to find out, they live in the next town over. For this bead I traded one of my new clear based pendants.

Tucson 2008 Show Thoughts – Part 3

Ahhh. Part three. Time to get down and dirty with the honest truth about my part in my success (or lack of) at the Best Bead Show in Tucson this year. Here I go…

When you’re having a slow show (and all of them will have down time) you have time to think about what you can do better for the next one. Whether it be display, advertising, type of inventory, location, or a different venue, there is always something you can do better to be more on top of your game and to reach people.

One thing I did differently this year, from last year, is that I didn’t advertise myself as well. I had my regular ads in the bead magazines but I didn’t promote myself through my newsletter, on my web site, or on my blogs as much. I just didn’t have the time and energy. That is what happens when you’ve been successful in your efforts in the past and your business starts taking off. But that’s a whole other post for a whole other time. Remind me.

The Best Bead Show does great advertising. They have full page ads everywhere you look leading up to the show. My one complaint would be that the ad is dated and I feel it could be more effective with better pictures that represent better what the show is about, better color and in a more simplistic design with less words. But that’s just me.

Back to me. I fell down on the advertising ball.  I also didn’t focus as much on my inventory.  I had plenty of inventory but I don’t feel like I had killer designs.  While I like what I’ve been working on, there is a little more tweaking to be done before they have that quality that screams at people to pick them up.  I wasn’t as cohesive in my line of beads.

Those are the two main areas where I feel that I could have done better.  I will continue to mull this over and share with you other observations that I have regarding the outcome of the show for me this year.

What about you?  What could you have done differently?  It’s good to be honest with ourselves because that is how we get better.  We can say it’s the economy but if we’re not doing our full best (and we know it) we have to take responsibility too.  Whew.  I’m getting preachy here, but I’m in the front pew taking it too!

What about you as a show visitor or buyer?  What turns you on?  What turns you off?  What says “professionalism” and makes you feel secure in buying from someone?

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Tucson 2008 Show Thoughts – Part 1

This post isn’t so much of a report as it is personal observations.  The things here are only my opinions for what I’m doing in business and areas where I want to change and focus more.

Anyway…I was next to JCHerrell and Jeff Barber at the Tucson show with Susan Nestor on the other side and next to her, Shannon Hill.  Across from me was LillyPilly and Akihiro Ohkama and the Japanese beadmakers.   Beyond that, I don’t remember very well because I really don’t leave my booth during a show…but that’s a whole other story for another time.

One thing I can’t get out of my head is my display…contrasted with Jeff and JCs.  In my opinion, they both had very nice set ups that really gave added elegance to their pieces and spotlighed them well.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of how to get my booth into just one suitcase so I can start traveling to do shows.  I have also been working towards more simple displays where I don’t show everything but the kitchen sink.  It’s hard not to take everything I own when I can drive to the show but I do need to start showing some self restraint.  I don’t need six boxes of stray beads ‘just in case!’

I did well this time by showing (for the most part) a line that is cohesive.  That is, until I ran out of some stuff and had to fill in.

So, first items on to-do list for next show:

  • Show only cohesive line
  • Make display more spartan
  • Ditch the ‘filler’ beads