Why You Should Attend a Bead Show

10:28 AM

(March 2010 Honolulu Glass Art & Bead Festival)


1) You actually get to see and touch the beads, tools, and assorted treasures you will find! I'm a very tactile person - especially when it comes to designs that I make. I constantly twirl and fiddle with beads in my necklaces or bracelets. If a bead has an interesting texture to it - that can be the deciding factor in whether or not it goes home with me. Tools - you should, whenever possible, test out - or at the very least hold any tools you are thinking of buying. When customers see us at at show, they can open almost all of the packaging and test them on our demo wire spools.

2) You can find deals that are only available at shows - or sometimes that particular show. Many vendors will offer discounts on individual items (whether they are new, closeouts, or a best seller). Other vendors may offer a discount off of your total purchase. For example, the Soft Flex Company booth now offers a show special of $10 off of any purchase over $100. This is on top of the other discounts we offer on selected items in the booth. Think of it as us helping to offset the cost of your gas or entrance to the show =)


(Bead Fest Philadelphia 2009 - Soft Flex Company Treasure Chest Giveaway)


3) Show GIVEAWAYS - yes, you can still get some things for free. Well, it may take you a minute of your time to fill out a piece of paper, and odds are you will need to give someone your email, but no money needs to leave your pocket. Depending on the size of the show, there are always a few giveaways going on during the show. Sometimes a lampwork artist is giving away a set of their newest style of bead, or a magazine is giving away a year subscription. Soft Flex gives away one of our Trios at the close of each of the shows we do throughout the year.


(February Tucson Best Bead Show2010 - lampworked bead sets by Lewis C. Wilson)

4) There are still artists and vendors who (gasp) DON'T have a website! I know, hard to believe in this day and age, but it's true. The only way to see the wonderful treasures they have is to visit them at a show. Or these folks do have a website - but don't update it very often, or use it mostly just to direct people to visit them at a show. My father (Lewis C. Wilson ) is one of the latter. To get to see the best selection and his most recent work, you really have to catch him at a show. He has never been good about loading his current work onto his website. However, once you do see his work in person, as long as you can describe what you got, or what you want - he can fill the order.

These are not the only reasons to visit a bead show, but I could go on, and on, and on... A few other benefits to attending a bead show:

Getting to talk, interact with artists/teachers/designers you admire
Education - many shows have classes and/or demonstrations connected with them
Finding folks with similar interests - you are bound to start up a conversation with someone as you sit down for a bite to eat, or as you wrestle over the same bead (I've seen this many a time!)
Locate local resources - at a majority of shows you will find the local bead society as well as your local bead stores set up at the show

So, the next time to read or hear about a bead or jewelry show coming your way - go check it out! If you know of any shows in your area that you would like to see Soft Flex participate in - please let us know.


Jennifer Wilson is the Trade Show Manager for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jennifer@SoftFlexCompany.com.

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