Monday, November 03, 2008

The Future of Bead Shows

Last month, we asked our fearless beaders this question*:

It used to be practically impossible to find out new sources of beads and new products without going to shows. Now, just about everything is available online. How important do you think bead shows are and will be in the future?
The response is a resounding "Very Important!"

While a handful of you felt that bead shows have, or will shortly out live their usefulness - most of you felt that bead shows are, and will continue to be an importance source of inspiration, a great way to find new sources and new products, and a fabulous way to connect with other beaders.

Quite a few of you admitted that while you had never actually been to a bead show - you would love to if there was one close!

Lots of you love the experience of seeing all the beads in person and in one place. In particular, you really like to see and handle the stone beads and pearls in person before purchasing.

Several of you raised another important point about shows, Julie put this best:
... for us Canadians, a show gives us the opportunity to see a variety of suppliers in one place where things are priced in Canadian dollars - no need to wonder what today's exchange rate is to calculate the price. Or worry about the shipping method and shipping charge.

While lots of you love the convenience of shopping online, many, many of you talked about being able to touch the beads, get a sense of the size, the sparkle, (hello fellow Swarovski lover!), the weight. I loved what Susan had to say:

... But I just love to be able to fondle them. Whoops! my naughty secret is out! Is there anyone else who just loves the feel of the hanks through their fingers and the cheeky way delicas pour onto your workspace!!!

Right on Susan - I am so with you on that!

Helen also talked about the whole experience of going to a bead show:

The bead shows, to me, have been a fantastic place to visit. You feel like you've gone to a bazaar in some exotic country, and you didn't even need your passport!! It's everything that you have imagined in the world of bead/jewellery making, and it's all under one roof!!! It's like being a kid again at Christmas! I had the pleasure of going to the Oasis [Bead Show] in Toronto, both the Spring and the Fall show. I'm still drooling over everything I saw there (and bought!!!) It's wonderful to know that there are so many with creative talents.
Other mentioned being able to wear and show off their creations, and others mentioned being able to see other people's creations too. Seeing things in 3-D is not the same as seeing them on the net.

Mary made this important point, succinctly.

Beads are tactile!

Christine summed it up nicely:

I love bead shows. Nothing beads seeing the items in person. Plus there are the classes to take, people to is social as well as commercial!

So, in short - you told us that beads are both tactile and social - touchy-feely beads!

If you are looking for a show near you, try these resources.

For Canadian Bead Shows

For U.S. Shows

*Each month, we have a contest, and we ask an optional question. Check out our question this month and every month, and get a chance to win!


Tal said...

Speaking of questions, what happened to the weekly sales? Did I miss something?

jen said...

They're coming back! We just decided to take a bit of a break to get caught up after all of the shows we've had going on...a bit of breathing room you might say :-)
We'll have them back very shortly.