This time change is a good thing for exhibitors, teachers, and customers.
For those of you not familiar with the Bead and Button Show, the show typically runs for 11 days, this year the show ran from June 3-13. According to Bead and Button staff many attendees stay 6-7 days, there are not many of us that have the budget or time to spend 11 days away from home. As an exhibitor I am concerned that the show attendees would be headed home just as the Bead & Jewelry Marketplace begins. Any serious beader who has attended Bead and Button knows that it takes more than a day to walk the show floor.
Several of my customers verbalized their frustration with the show schedule as well. If the Bead & Jewelry Marketplace was important to them, then they had to pick classes scheduled reasonably close to when the Marketplace would be open. However, if there was an important class or master class they had been waiting to take, and it was scheduled when the event began, that customer would be heading home before the Marketplace opened.
Bead and Button has been listening and Sara Dumford, the Director of Events at Kalmbach Publishing, was kind enough to share some more of her insights into the changes coming in 2017 with me last week.
Next years show will run from Sunday, June 4th to Sunday, June 11th 2017. The shows duration will be going from 11 days to 8 days. Sara said that the schedule is being adjusted to create a more balanced show and give all attendees the opportunity to take part in every aspect of the show. Speaking for myself as an exhibitor this will also give me the opportunity to attend more of the evening events and perhaps classes as well. In previous years some of the events had happened before I had even arrived in Milwaukee.
The schedule for 2017 is as follows:
Classes will run from Sunday, June 4th to Sunday, June 11th.
Moonlight Madness will be held Tuesday, June 6, 2017 from 9:00-11:00pm.
Meet the Teachers Reception will be held Friday, June 9, 2017 from 8:00pm-10:30pm.
The Big Bead and Jewelry Bash will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 7:30-10:30pm.
This is a great photo of Meet the Teachers night 2016, I heard it was an exciting night, and very well attended. Unfortunately I did not go this year, I had finished a class at 4pm, drove back to my AirBNB, and I was down for the night. With next years schedule this event will be an hour after the Bead & Jewelry Marketplace closes on Friday, so it will be much more convenient for me to stick around and attend.
Here are some photos of Make and Takes and Demos that were on the show floor this year and will continue to be next year. These are great opportunities for newbies to the world of jewelry making, its like getting a free class. Even if you have jewelry making experience, these events offer a peek at new techniques and materials that will further inspire your creativity.
Speaking of learning, in the months to come there will be more information coming from Bead and Button about workshops, as they gather class proposals from instructors.
This is Heather Trimlett teaching a lampworking class. She is definitely on my bucket list. I have never taken a lampworking class at Bead and Button, but that looks like a great set up for the torches.
I am already signed up to exhibit next year, and looking forward to a successful and fun show. I am very happy with the changes made in the 2017 schedule, I hope you are as well.