Boy-trade shows are fun but they are a lot of hard work! A few tips & tricks can help make it smooth as silk. Thankfully I did not have to worry about logisitics-getting there, shipping art, etc. because I was assisting Heather from Muralisticks. She made all the arrangements and I just showed with all my enthusiasm & energy.
|see? no walls-we are selling wall art-so we kinda need the walls|
It was supposed to look like this: (and this pic was taken at 4:30 the following morning–yes you read that right, 4:30AM)
|ta da! walls!!!|
The guys had to build our walls and paint them that afternoon after we arrived, so they would be ready for us the next morning. Thankfully all the art arrived~ and we proceeded.
By 9AM the booth was readty to go:
But wait-where are those dang lights we ordered? Tracking those down took a fair amount of time as well. And just let me also say this: you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar, my friends. You hearing me?
Do not yell at the union dudes who make the show happen, ok.
They will move you to the bottom of the to do list, I guarantee it.
BE NICE, say thank you. Repeatedly.
OK so the next thing-food. Trade show food sucks. There I said it. It just does. At least at this one–and this is the only one I know. So maybe I should just say the food at THIS trade show sucked. Thankfully I planned ahead!! I brought so much food in my luggage! I eat, seriously, on an infants schedule. Its ridiculous. I am at my best when I can eat at least every 2 hours. How crazy is that? I know. ANYWAY, I brought healthy snacks like this and this. I also made these homeade energy bars and packed them in my purse.
We ate off of those the entire time! I recently listened to an audio tape that had some great suggestions for eating healthy while traveling so check that out too. Dried fruit, nuts, tuna. Second lesson: BRING YOUR OWN FOOD. BRING A WATER BOTTLE TOO. I filled up my water bottle at the hotel in the morning. We got totally dehydrated the first day, and when we woke up the next morning we looked like 2 sad bassett hounds with bags under our eyes. Hydrate or die, people.
Next off-look professional, but be comfortable. WEAR GOOD SHOES. (That was the third nugget of wisdom) I talked to lots of people about what to wear. My eldest daughter reminded me “you only have one chance to make a first impression”–thanks hon. I brought my best clothes and shoes, and I packed mole skin and a box of band aids just in case. I think when I have my own booth maybe I will just set out a dish of band aids. I don’t think I’m the only one with sore feet….
Bring tissues and hand sanitizer too. You’re shaking hands all day long you know…..
What else? Other tips?
Yes, I guess I would say to really project every ounce of positive energy you have. People will resond to that. To be at the top of your game it helps to be well rested, fed, and have feet that are not crying out in pain.
Now-ya’ll probably already know this, but people like to party at trade shows. Hugh? I guess I am the last person on the planet to realize this–being tucked away in my little cozy studio, I had no idea. So bring extra clothes, because you will likely run into your hotel room, change, brush your teeth, and run right back out. (By the way, the one thing I forgot? my toothbrush! had to buy one at the hotel-zoinks!)
All in all I had a blast at the ABC Kids Expo. I met so many wonderful people!! It was great fun to chat with people from all over the country. Thank you Heather for bringing me along and putting my work out there. Thank you Joanne, at Dish and Spoon Productions for sharing my paintings with the world. I’m so glad we were able to meet!! That was a real highlight of the trip for me.
(And a big thanks to my family for supporting me)
It was an absolute joy.
Some pics of the event:
|“yes, even the tree is a sticker”- I did say that a lot
|he’s just so friendly|
|my work in the Dish and Spoon booth|
|check out the *BLING* they added to my painting!!|
|check it out–the can put your baby’s photo right on the wall hanging!|
|my favorite!!! I love the little perfume bottle|
|see the Swarovski crystals?
Oh and also-if you are in Louisville for any reason–you gotta go to Proof. Its a restaurant in downtown, but its also an art gallery. It is SO cool. And the food–oh how to describe?…artisticly, thoughtfully prepared locavore, without being pretentious and snooty. Yea, that’s it. AND if you do go there, take my advice and use the ladies room. You MUST MUST see the restrooms. Just trust me on that one.
This was an installation art piece–looked like paper gently falling from the sky
outside the restaurant–art everywhere!!
OH and a big THANK YOU to the Nap Nanny crew–I really enjoyed meeting ya’ll!!