This weekend is the summer trade show event for the needlearts industry. It’s an event I look forward to each year. There are many benefits to attending a trade show no matter your industry, in my prior life I looked forward to Legaltech each January.
Why attend a tradeshow?
Trade shows offers a concentration dose of everything important for your industry. In addition to an exhibit hall, you can attend seminars and take classes. They are also great networking opportunities for your industry. Yes, Legaltech is all about legal technology and TNNA is for the needle arts. While similar to events like sheep and wool festivals, they are for professionals and often require qualifying documentation to attend.
Is it possible to do all of this virtually? Yes. However, the benefits to face-to-face meetings and seeing new products in person cannot be overstated.
3 Tips for walking the show floor
- Wear tidy yet comfortable/sensible shoes. You will be walking and standing around a convention hall. Carpet may go down, but underneath it is not a forgiving surface. I wore a new pair of sneakers to my first Legaltech and it was the best decision I made. While no one at my firm was aware of my variation from dress code, I was comfortable and confident as I worked through three days of classes and multiple floors of vendors. I still believe strongly that comfortable feet lead to happiness and confidence and I have upgraded my footwear since that first professional tradeshow.
- Be strategic. Review the show floor map and schedule now, they are posted in advance. Many events now often have apps too. Take the time to figure this out before you go. Take note of who you wish to see and speak with first. Focus on them your first day even if you want to go see everything at once. As time allows work through the floor. Every show I find something that I did not expect. Being strategic allows you to have the high mental and physical energy when you connect with those you wish to connect with most.
- Be mindful of everyone’s time. A trade show takes a lot of energy for everyone. If you schedule an appointment, arrive on time and don’t stay after (unless you are invited). The days before a show are often a scramble as exhibitors work to make everything ready and prepare for the days away.
In addition to a once-stop event to help me keep up with current trends, see new products, and learn new skills, I can catch up with many who have become friends.
My TNNASummer2017 plans
For the first time I am not working any booths and haven’t set many appointments yet. If you would like to connect, please let me know!
Soon I’ll be able to share these designs clearly:
I have a new quick knit for Oink Pigments that will make its debut this weekend and I will make available very soon! There’s another design still in the swatch stage.
While they’re not at TNNA, I plan to bring my Washtenaw Wool Co design with me and finally finish it.
Today, I finished up a sample knit for Jill Wolcott in (my favourite) Anzula Haiku.