Thursday, May 14, 2015

Attending Bead Shows

Do you love going to gem and bead shows? Members of the JET Team definitely do! You may recall that not long ago Wanda visited the Treasures of the Earth Gem Show, and several of the team got together at the Tucson Gem Show. Today Kerry, aka WanderingJeweler, gives us her tips on how to get the best out of your visit to a bead show...

Choices, choices!

A few weekends ago I attended the Fraser Valley Bead Show in Burnaby, BC, Canada - I took all these photos at that show. I love attending bead shows, but they can be a bit overwhelming with all those shiny beads and tools.

The best parts of attending shows are the demos and classes, and seeing all the latest tools and materials all in one place. Here are some of the tips that I’ve gathered over the years, to help you get the most out of attending bead shows!

Watching a Kumihimo Demonstration

Before You Go:

  • Take an inventory of what beads and supplies you have, and then make a list of what you need
  • If you need specialty items, or if you are in dire need of a specific bead or supply, it's a good idea to contact some of the vendors beforehand - many of them will be happy to bring the supplies to the show for you
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes - you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on your feet!
  • Check out the vendor list and mark down all the vendors (and their booth numbers, if available) that you don’t want to miss
  • Take a notepad so you can make sketches, write down the booth numbers, and make a note of items and prices. My notepad has a useful pocket for business cards

A dazzling display!

When You Get There:

  • Resist the temptation to spend all your money at the first booth!
  • Take a quick look at all the booths before buying, to scope out the ones with the best quality and prices
  • Sometimes you can get discounts if you buy a lot of items from each vendor - don't be afraid to ask vendors for volume discounts
  • I also try to go on the last day to get the best prices, but be careful as you might miss out on the trendy items
  • Most of all, have fun!

Observing a Soldering Demonstration

If you have some tips you'd like to share on visiting bead shows, please add them in the comments below - we'd love to hear them!


Unknown said...

Wow, great tips! I have never been to a bead show, but if I ever get to one, it's handy to know what to expect.

SatinDollCo said...

Those are some great tips. I haven't gone to a bead show this year and can't wait.

LoveStoneArts said...

So you have a plan of attack? My plans fly away in the excitement of the hunt. Observing trends, great tip!!

Beadsme said...

Great tips. I should have followed some of these in Tucson.

Another tip - it's so much fun if you drag another Jet along with you.

Unknown said...

Brilliant tips, Kerry - especially doing an inventory of what you've already got before you go and buy more, ha ha! Thanks for sharing!

Gemstones on My Mind said...

Kerry, this is great! I've been like a bird looking at sparklies, but I have started making my list. Hopefully one day I will make it to Tucson! I'd rather shop for beads than clothes and shoes!

Mollie Ann said...

Kerry, thank you! We don't get many bead shows up here, if ever we do, your tips will keep me from running amok.

Michele said...

Great tips, haven't been to one but I'm sure it's very exciting!!!

SendingLoveGallery said...

great tips, Kerry! I go with a list, which helps. Yes- note good prices and quality and then come back to those booths. I enjoyed your post so much... AND saw something I'd like to buy, darn it!

Gambatte said...

I have yet to attend a bead show but holding out hope that it will happen some day! Looks like lots of fun (and hard work, too!).

Keystring said...

Hoping to get to a bead show at some point!

Brooke said...

Reading the comments I am so surprised that so many of our JETs have not been to a gem show. I hope you all get to go in the future. Thanks for the great write up Kerry!

WanderingJewel said...

Brooke, I'm also surprised that so many people haven't taken in the fun and chaos that is a bead show. I'm lucky to be back on the mainland, here we have two bead shows a year!