Saturday, January 22, 2011

Setting up at the ACRE Orlando show

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I thought it wouldn't have a blog post before Monday, but enough happened today that I had to write a new post before then.  The ACRE show I've been blogging about recently is finally going on this weekend at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.  (seen right)  A friend reminded me last week just how big the center is.  I had completely forgotten until I found myself circling the complex and having to stop and ask for directions.  (That's what I get for not making a point to make sure I knew exactly where I was going.)  I didn't get an early as start as I had hoped (up late the night before getting all my printed materials ready), so I made it there late morning.  I was a little concerned that I wouldn't have enough time to cart my pieces in from the parking lot before my classes, but was thrilled to learn that I could pull into the loading dock underneath the complex.

The convention center has a staff that keeps everything about it running on a tight schedule.  As I went to unload, they were checking people in and out of the loading dock and directing them where to park.  Being able to park under the center was a huge help in speeding up the unloading process. 

As I was unloading, I remembered that I forgotten the scrabble tile display pieces (I use the ones from the games).  I began brainstorming about what I could do, but found out in a couple of minutes that it didn't matter.

This is my home for the weekend.  It is 10 feet wide by 5 feet deep.  It was actually smaller than I was anticipating.  (Somehow the visual picture in my mind was much bigger.)  As you can see, I've got a skirted table and a "bar stool" height chair.  This table is pretty low, so I realized right away there's no way I can use the scrabble tile holders since it would hold them upright and make them hard to see.  I reviewed my pre show materials a few weeks ago and thought I read that it was going to be a counter height table.  (Either I was mistaken, or someone's else definition of counter height is much different than mine.)  I also wish that I had brought my banner to hang in the back of the booth.  Other artists are doing it and it looks good.  (I actually asked a show staffer about this a couple of months ago, and she said it was unnecessary.  Drat!)

I got the booth mostly setup and went to my afternoon classes.  I got a crash course on selling wholesale and how to interact with buyers.  It was a lot of good information and gave me reassurance that I was doing a few things right.  I also took a class on how to improve my jewelry photography.  While the guy who taught the class has forgotten more than I will ever know about taking pictures, I found the class mostly gave me a headache!  I learned a few important points, but for the most part, he was hard to follow.  There weren't any notes either.  (That would have been helpful.)  I did, however, get a recommendation on a new camera.  My Fuji is giving me a hard time and I know it's living on borrowed time.

So at the end of the day, I covered up the booth and will be ready for tomorrow.  I've already learned a few things and am looking forward to what else is going to happen!

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