wow there's a lot to get organised if you exhibit at a trade show! I knew it would be crazy but I really wouldn't have guessed some of the items that ended up on my to-do list. At times it felt like I'd never get it all done in time, but it's amazing how much you can achieve when you are focussed and determined
banners for my booth were designed, printed and shipped to me (as were business cards and postcards), flyers were designed to promote my booth at the show and sent out to design blogs and websites, flights and accommodation were booked (wow, hotels in NY are expensive!), a Blurb portfolio book was designed and printed to showcase my licensing work, lots of new patterns were designed and printed on "sell sheets", emails were sent to ADs, order forms were made, social media was updated endlessly, and fabric was printed at Spoonflower so I could sew bunting flags, a pencil case (pouch) and cushions (pillows) to decorate my stand - more details on those to follow in another post...
a word of advice: do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to research what you will need to do, how much it should cost, and where to get things printed that are high quality. If in doubt, post a question in one of the incredibly helpful Facebook groups for practising artists, the wealth of knowledge shared is phenomenal
there are a thousand and one other items that I had on my to do list that I won't bore you with here (e.g. sourcing a piece of luggage large enough to carry my banners but small enough to not exceed the maximum baggage dimensions for my airline - not easy!), but I am still amazed looking back that it all came together in time (it had to, right?!)
I wouldn't have been able to get there without the unwavering support of my friends and family who barely saw or heard from me over the course of those 3 months, my amazing fellow designers at Four Corners Art Collective who kept me sane, and the wonderful Abby of Pomelo & Pomelo who, along with the lovely Andrea and Paul Turk of Cinnamon Joe Studio, made it all possible and who shared so much invaluable information on how to prepare for a trade show, and who were there to answer questions even though they were ridiculously busy preparing for and organising the show themselves
and the last special mention goes to the lovely and talented Sandra Bowers, my fellow BluePrint competition winner (and now good friend) with whom 100s of messages and nuggets of information were exchanged in the run up to the show. Sandra has written an excellent blog post about the BluePrint show that I recommend to anyone who is interesting in exhibiting there. I was going to write my own post, but Sandra has covered it all! We were so happy to have booths next to each other and we learned so much from all the other generous and friendly designers (special shouts out to Ine Beerten and Ohn Mar Win), agents (Brenda Manley and Jennifer Nelson especially) and studios at BluePrint - thank you all for making us feel so welcome