Thursday, April 4, 2013

Prepping to Vend at a Bead Show: A Survival Guide

Today I'm driving 10 hours to do a trunk show at Ornamentea in North Carolina on Saturday.  I've spent the last couple of months getting ready for this.  There has been plenty of cursing, chocolate, dry/cracked hands and frustration that accompany prepping for a show. Here are some (not so) helpful tips for getting through a show...

1. Write It Down!
If you are a bead maker then you are probably a pretty cool person.  Cool people tend to be pretty busy.  If you are busy then you need a way to keep track of all the awesome stuff you are doing.  Firing schedules, magazine submissions, lunch-out-with-your-best-friend-who-never-sees-you-because-you-are-locked-away-in-a-studio-somewhere-with-boxes-of-clay...  You get the idea.  Anyway, I like using a day planner to keep track of things.  If you find this method to be too old sk00l, then please feel free to use Outlook or your cell phone. Either way, write it down so you don't forget!  

2.  You Have Plenty Of Inventory...Said No One Ever.
There comes a point when prepping for a show where you ask yourself if you have enough.  The answer is no.  You will never have enough.  You could make a mountain of beads and it still won't seem like you are ready.  The solution is to accept defeat and move on.  You have a million other things to do before the show.
3.  Chocolate Is Your Friend.
Stockpile your favorite chocolate/candy.  Crunchie bars are my coping mechanism of choice.

4. Practice Your Set-Up.
Do some mock set-ups prior to the show.  Even if it doesn't turn out exactly how you planned, you won't waste a ton of time trying to figure it out when you get there.  You have more important things to do, like oogling all the other beads for sale.  ;-)
5. Have Fun.
Smile and have a good time.  That's really what these shows are about...and money.  You need money to buy more beads.

Happy Beading!

Diana P.
Suburban Girl Studio LLC


  1. I agree that practicing your set-up is important. I always do that before a show. I also take a photo of it on my cell so when
    I go to the event at the crack of dawm i have a visual reminder of what I am doing.

  2. Great advice! I really need to work on my writing it down. I also have a stationary habit which means lots of notepads with the odd scribble in, got to get organised! Have a fun and successful trip! x

  3. Your tips really hit home with me. I HAVE to write everything down or I'd forget something. I'm not really a chocolate fan, tea helps me cope. Doing a mock set-up is a valuable exercise. There is nothing worse than getting to a show and having no idea where you should put things. And the heat of the moment is not a good time to think. *smile*

  4. Well...this is all well and good BUT I need to see it for myself! See you in a few days Diana!! excittttted!!

  5. All very good advice! I've never tried a Crunchie bar...that's on my to do list. Have a great weekend! Michelle from Firefly Design Studio

  6. You certainly know how to bring the fun, Miss Diana! I think that is why people are drawn to you, and then they can't help but get hooked on your great beads and pendants! I have never heard of a Crunchie bar but it sounds great to me. Have a lot of fun and say hi to the Ornamentea folks. I wish that I were only 10 hours away instead of days by car. I would be there just to soak up your energy! Enjoy the day. Erin

  7. I've only vended at jewelry shows, but #4 is so important! It helps you see where you are still lacking, and how best to show off your goods! And for someone like me, who is time-space challenged, you can find out just how long it will really take to set everything up. You don't want to be freaking out ten minutes before the customers enter because haven't practiced setting up your table!

  8. Thank you Diana - I shall keep this! I hope you have a fabulous time and come back with tons of $'s and an empty car (apart from husband of course). Are those my Crunchies? Fame at last!

  9. I hope you have an awesome experience with your trunk show! I really need to get better about writing everything down!

  10. Hope you have a great time and a successful show!

  11. You are so right about doing a mock setup before the show. Sure, it means my living room is completely taken over, but it makes all the difference!
    I always forget the chocolate! Great reminder ;)

  12. Great advice. I prefer ice cream over crunchie bars though....


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