I can sense the whirring of hundreds of sewing machines, the taping of thousands of boxes, and the printing of a google of mailing labels as quilt designers, pattern makers, magazine and book editors, fabric companies, and retailers alike get ready for the biggest event to date this year. You guessed it…Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City!
I, for one, cannot wait. I was lucky to be able to go to Kansas City a few weeks ago to tour the convention hall, check out the host hotels, and enjoy a few B-B-Q repasts, and this is going to be an exciting and fun city to host Quilt Market. The convention center is easy to navigate, and every amenity is within walking distance of about 2-3 blocks: the host hotels, a wide variety of restaurants, and a very nice grocery store in case you want food for your room or to munch on a piping hot bagel in the morning.
I am very eager to see what new gadgets, books, and lines of fabric will be out this spring. Lucie Summers’ new line of fabric with Moda came up in my Twitter feed the other day, and oh….this fabric is so adorable. I am crossing fingers that there will be a sea of jelly rolls of it at Sample Spree so I can snag one.
I am also eager to see what sewing furniture is coming out as I am still putting together my new studio, and I am on the hunt for just the right sewing table to set my Bernina in.
Coming to Quilt Market? (And remember Quilt Market is not open to the public, this is a trade show for people in the biz.)
If you are, I thought it would be a good idea to ask the people who know Market best–my colleagues at Quilts Inc.–what tips they had for preparing your trip. We all know the obvious: wear comfy shoes and bring lots and lots of business cards, but sometimes in the excitement of getting ready for a big show, we forget the obvious.
Rhianna Griffin, New Media Coordinator says, “If you haven’t done so already, be sure follow QuiltMarket on Twitter, and make sure you have a Twitter app on your smartphone! We will be tweeting quite a bit from the show floor and will also be featuring a Twitter Wall with all of the latest tweets and news from Quilt Market. And be sure when you tweet to use the hash tag so it reads #quiltmarket. Before you hit the show floor, line up any appointments and devise a plan of attack. And during your time at Market, don’t forget to socialize! There are numerous meet-ups and events after show hours–all opportunities to meet new people and establish important connections.”
Bob Ruggerio, Director of Publications & Public Information suggests, “Remember to bring your cell phone/iPad/Android chargers!” (I think he suggests this because he forgot his once going to a convention. Learn from Bob and don’t make the same mistake he did!)
Rose Reyes, Assistant Manager of Exhibitor Services relays important information for attendees and exhibitors alike: “Don’t forget your name badges, and please take note: the show hours have changed starting this spring show:
9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday, May 18
9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday, May 19
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sunday, May 20
The early appointment schedule is as follows:
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20
Please register your early appointments at Exhibitor Registration Desk, Lobby 2300 the day before your appointments.” (This is really important…if you are setting up an eatly morning appointment you do need to do this the day before so we can alert security!)
Jill Benge, Education Assistant writes, “Being from Texas, I will be wearing my boots, but wear some comfortable shoes and don’t forget your camera.” (Good advice Jill, and I will add the following: if you are like me and like to wear heels, make sure they are wedges so they are easier to walk in all day!)
Judy Murrah, Vice President of Administration & Education shares, “If you haven’t signed-up to take one of the business seminars, I highly recommend you look through the offerings on our website and plan to take one or more that interests you. The enrollment desk will open on-site from 3:00-6:00 PM on Wednesday, May 16 and then again on Thursday, May 17, at 7:30 AM. The seminars are created to help you with your store so it doesn’t just survive, but so it thrives! Looking forward to seeing y’all again!”
Carmen Valls, also a Special Exhibits Coordinator shares, “I would advise that people bring tons of business cards, something to safely store other people’s business cards and handouts in, a pair of emergency flip flops for your purse, and vitamin C supplements. I always buy V8 and apples right when I get to a show, too, to stay healthy. Also, they may want to notify their credit card companies that serious spending will likely occur that weekend!” (Good tips, Carmen. I will also add that as a former editor, it was really important for me to hold onto everyone’s business cards, so I always brought a small notepad, a pen, and a small stapler to staple the business card to the notebook with my notes.)
Ruth Polanco, Show Director adds, “Be proactive and plan your trip before you leave for Kansas City by checking out our Exhibitor List. That way you will know ahead of time what exhibitors you make sure you see!”
So there you have it: tips from your friends at Quilts Inc. The only other thing I might suggest is to visit Stacks BBQ one night. You wont regret it. My coworker Kim DeCoste had the Burnt Ends and raved about them for days!
Are you coming to Quilt Market? Leave us a comment and let us know!