Friday, February 15, 2013

Buyers Market of American Craft ... We're Here!


(Above:  Booth #1615 at the 2013 Buyers Market of American Craft.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Steve and I have been preparing for this weekend for quite some time ... and now WE'RE HERE in the Philadelphia Convention Center!  Booth #1615 is totally set up and ready for the three days wholesale-only exhibition.  I have three diamond shaped signs on the ProPanel booth wall shown on the left of the photo where, when the photo was taken, there is just one.  One sign reads:  NICHE AWARD FINALIST.  One sign reads:  MERIT AWARD WINNER.  The one had is shown above reads:  First time exhibitor.

The convention staff and the Rosen Group staff have been totally WONDERFUL.  The unload was actually much, much easier than we'd expected.  Plus, we thank those blog readers who, after seeing our "trial run" post from last Sunday, wrote emails suggesting fewer pieces hanging and none resting on the floor ... leaning against the walls.  It is a cleaner look.

 
 (Above:  Steve by the loaded, rental cargo van.)

Let me back up just a bit.  We started this adventure on Wednesday in Columbia.  The rental cargo van had more than enough room for everything we'd packed ... the ProPanel booth; carpet; a two drawer file cabinet in which to hide my purse, business cards, invoices, and other "paperwork"; the artwork; and our suitcases.  We left after I attended TWO afternoon meetings that were actually scheduled at the same time!  We spent the night near Rocky Mount, NC and made it into Philadelphia on Thursday in time for a very informative "first time exhibitor" workshop presented by the show staff.


(Above:  View from the Exhibition Office to the large convention floor while set-up was going on.  Click on image to enlarge.)

At 8:30 AM this morning we arrived at the back of the Convention Center and pulled up the ramp to the loading docks.  There were plenty of staff people to assist with directions and to answer questions.  Lots of the exhibitors know one another.  Everyone was smiling.  It was actually FUN.  We were unloaded within forty-five minutes.  Steve took the car to the parking garage while I started assembling the walls.  By 11:30 we had leisurely completed our tasks, secured a "photo pass", and took pictures!

The photo pass and my "special signage" came from the Show Office.  From this upper level location, the view to the convention floor was amazing!  The place is so vast that a single camera shot can't take it all in.  So, I shot a video; it is on UTube HERE. There are approximately 800 artist booths and more than 6000 people are expected this weekend!  I'm excited for the show to open tomorrow! 

 
 (Above:  China Wedge by Mei Ling Hom.  Click on image to enlarge.)

The Philadelphia Convention Center is beautiful and also filled with public art including this fabulous installation under one of the escalators. 


(Above:  China Wedge, detail.  Click on image to enlarge.)


(Above:  Neon signs inside the Reading Market.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Across the street from the Convention Center's Main Entrance is the Reading Market.  It was crowded with lunchtime diners and people doing shopping for the weekend.

 
(Above:  Man with a bundle of fresh flowers buying lunch from an Italian deli at the Reading Market.)

There were too many delicious looking places to eat ... and lots and lots of ethnic food ... from gyros and baklava to pizza and biscotti to chocolate covered pretzels and homemade ice cream to an olive bar and several tanks of really large lobsters in the fish vendors' areas.  The colors were only rivaled by the aromas.


(Above:  Octopi at the Reading Market.)

There were coffee counters and flower stalls.  There was a little shop filled with cook books and even some places with handmade soaps and women's accessories.  A tour group went through too.  Lots of people were picking out fresh produce too.
 

(Above:  Fresh produce at the Reading Market.)

One this is for sure ... WE WILL NOT STARVE here in Philadelphia.  Today we had a late lunch at an Amish deli.  Steve said the giant dill pickle was FANTASTIC!


(Above:  Steve and his pickle!)

7 comments:

Polymorphous said...

Hi Susan,
We don't know each other, but I am also a Niche 2013 finalist [polymer clay jewelry] so maybe we'll meet at the Awards Event Sat. night. I just wanted to complement you on your clever marketing blogging about your trip to Philadelphia. Good luck at the show. I did not take a booth this year.... maybe I'll do so next year.
Arlene Groch
PolyGemDesigns

Polymorphous said...

Hi Susan,
We don't know each other, but I am also a Niche 2013 finalist [polymer clay jewelry] so maybe we'll meet at the Awards Event Sat. night. I just wanted to complement you on your clever marketing blogging about your trip to Philadelphia. Good luck at the show. I did not take a booth this year.... maybe I'll do so next year.
Arlene Groch
PolyGemDesigns

Margaret said...

The China Wedge only looks like seashells; I thought the Reading Market was about books. Clearly I am out of my league!

May you have a joyful market experience; may you return home with fewer objets d'art than you left with; may you not be too exhausted!

Wanda said...

The booth looks fantastic!! It looks clean, professional and exactly right. Great job! I never knew that stuff about Philly either. ha ha You are sort of like in the rival campground! The picture of the convention floor is great. I know what you mean when you said that you couldn't get it all in one picture. Have lots of fun and lots of success! Wow..you sure are in PA alot this week!

Gabriela said...

Wow..it looks great!Congratulations!It sure looks like you are having a blast!

underatopazsky said...

The booth looks excellent - professional and welcoming and I love your vignettes of the market.

Elizabeth said...

Look at you in that Booth at the Wholesale Market !! Looks damn professional to me!! Well done both of YOU!!!! What a huge deal and five orders is wonderful especially for a first go!! Hell just getting yourself in and getting there is a huge deal!! Bravo!! Love the shot of Steve with his pickle!! Hugs!