Saturday, May 24, 2014

NSS Show Recap and Photos

Well I'm back and (somewhat) rested now from my debut NSS show. The whole experience was fun, educational, and memorable! I read a lot of blog posts from other NSS exhibitors before the show and it really, REALLY helped me prepare for this first show. When I think about what I can share that might be different or helpful to others, this is what I came up with:

1. PR/Media Kits: Have plenty of those both in your booth and in the press room at the show. I placed about 20 in the press room but am really glad I had 10 more in my booth because I ended up giving every one of those away to press who visited my booth.
2. Booth help: First off, my good friend Paula Joerling ( was kind enough to offer to help me hang my booth and I really did need that help--we "procured" an extension ladder and it was great to have someone to hold it steady, as well as another opinion on what should go where. I had a printout of my booth layout but things did change a bit after seeing the actual booth-for instance, I hung my lettering too high but couldn't really change that after it was burnished down. Then during the show, I had my awesome friend Michael Letzig (who is a wonderful painter in his own right) to help me with anyone who had questions or wanted to place an order. He was a fantastic help and it was also great to have someone to watch your booth when you needed to take a break or eat.
3. Catalogs: I've read this elsewhere but it bears repeating--I didn't need nearly as many catalogs as I had ordered. I ordered 500 but probably gave out somewhere around 175 or so.
4. Shipping: In the past, I've used FedEx or UPS and have had varying hassles with paying extra trade show fees, having my boxes thrown away, wondering whether the trucks would be there and get my stuff before leaving, etc. etc. This time I used GES shipping through the show and it was so much simpler. They picked up from my house and will deliver back to my door also plus it was just quicker and easier at the show itself. I filled out my bill of lading and that was that. As far as cost goes, I don't think there was much of a difference between the two after everything was figured in.
5. Booth walls: I bought the art wall booth package. I figured the cost of shipping large walls was probably going to be higher than the booth package cost, and then I'd still have to assemble them once they got to the show. I've done other trade shows in the past where I've shipped and assembled my walls and the cost was not that different, plus when you're not traveling with anyone who will help you assemble, this just seemed easier overall. The one thing I wish I had done was paint the walls. They were pretty scratched and marred and could have used a coat of paint.

That's all I can think of for now but if you have any questions, please let me know. Here's some photos from the show:

Yay! My boxes were waiting when I got to my booth

The first things I put up were the adhesive lettering and my back wall, including my wire sculptures. 

 I used a laser level that we taped on the wall (to avoid making a hole in the wall) to hang all my stitchable posters and other product. Here's where I wished I had put the lettering down about 6" lower.

Here's one of my finished product groupings: the Famous Buildings group.

Here's the Stitchable States poster kits with state postcards below. 

Here's the finished back wall with my pillow kits displayed on chairs and IKEA table. (The colors were not THIS vivid-just a bad photo!)

the Famous Bridges product grouping:notepads, tea towels, stitchable posters, postcards, and embossed poster

the Famous Bohemians grouping

and lastly, the Famous Babes grouping, including the perpetual Babes and Bohemians calendar

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