I survived my first trade show! The Seattle Gift Show ran August 13-16 and took place at the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) in downtown Seattle and with a lot of planning and help from my family it was a darn smooth event.
The planning started way back in May when I attended the National Stationary Show, but truthfully, the actual work of putting the pieces together to create the booth started the first week of July when my mom and I trekked to Ikea to buy the white curtains that would lighten up the booth and function as the backdrop for my cards and posters.
The rest of July and until the 8th of August I was mad with printing. I mentioned way back in June that I was designing new cards and since I hadn’t put out what for me was a big release, I didn’t know how long all that printing would take. The answer ended up being nearly two months. Some of that was the fact that I decided to design 6 new poster prints in addition to the 16 new designs and 5 reworked designs I put into wholesale production. In any case, I was fantastically relieved when the printing and framing of the prints was all finished on August 8th!
That Thursday the 11th, my sister-in-law and I loaded up the car and drove to the WSCC to set up right around 11 am.
This was the booth after bringing in our first cart-load of items. Our first job was putting up the curtains; then we assembled the table, and took out the cards and posters to hang. We realized that the little step stool we took wasn’t going to be tall enough for hanging everything, so we left to get lunch and a bigger step ladder around 1 pm.
After a couple Bánh mì, we returned to the convention center and hung the cards, posters, and lighting and were finished by 6. Alas, I still had a bunch to do that evening including finishing my sign, writing a bio, and making a display box for the product preview area. It was a long day.
The next day the final set up was a piece of cake as all we had to do was hang the sign and clean the booth which ended up feeling light and cheerful.
|Handmade nest for handprinted business cards!|
|Storage for tools, catalogs, orders, extra cards and candy!|
|A portion of the card display|
|The aisle sign for the booth|
The actual show had pretty slow traffic and while I didn’t hit all my sales goals, the show was a great learning experience. Check out the Orange Twist Facebook page for updates about when and where our cards arrive in stores!