Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Coffee in the Los Angeles skyline mug-creamer courtesy of the little fridge from the studio that now lives in the middle of our kitchen, the dishwasher provides my music for the moning (I could have fixed the previous typo but it hit me as particularly appropriate--moning, moaning, morning?). It's 8:32 here in Atlanta and 5:32 in las Vegas and in my body we're not sure what time it is, but it's damn early. Today I enter of all the ACRE ordes into the computer and email off the confirmations to the galleries. Then it's time to get a kiln load in and put out all the fires that flared in my absence--like the explosion of the one-year-old fridge in our house. I don't think it actually exploded, but the noise of the bearings going and the heat it started to put out made an explosion (apparently, I wasn't here for any of it) seem imminent.

Last comments on ACRE before I hit the day... Even with the perfect booth and lots of great new work there's no guarantee you're going to have a good show. ACRE needed a lot more buyers in order for everyone to have a good show. We were lucky because our work appealed to the buyers who did come. Others with as good or better work and great booths might not have done well because their buyer demographic didn't show. The Wholesalecrafts people do an excellent job promoting the show, soliciting people to attend, and rewarding attendance (free shopping credits) but it's a second year show in a really tough market. It's amazing that the show was as good as it was with the economy in the state it is, the fact that it's an election year, and with Iraq still a mess of unknown proportions.

Kudos also go to the exhibition services side of the house. Champion is an excellent vendor. We were not unusual in having our work waiting in our booth by set-up time. And the empties were brought out really fast after the show--none of this waiting till the carpet gets rolled up nonsense. The free drayage at the show is also a really big boon for the artists (like us) who are trying to expand their booth design and size and who have outgrown carrying everything in our personal vehicles. I am dreading the BMAC in August with the drayage that Hargrove charges if you don't use them as your carrier. My experience last year was use them and pay huge freight fees (as opposed to the shipping charges incurred if merchandise--like foam core, plastic pallets or gridwalls--is shipped via the manufacturer direct to the show) or don't use them and pay exorbitant drayage. But that's August. This is April, and Champion was great.

The convention center is also really well serviced--the restrooms are always clean, fully stocked and fully functional. The Philadelphia convention center restrooms have been a pit for the past couple of years with broken faucets, lethargic cleaning people, no soap and few paper towels--but I digress, this is April, and Las Vegas, and great.

I am looking forward to next year's ACRE show, and I take it as a personal challenge to look at my booth, my work, my pricing and my self-promotion over the next year to see where I can make improvements to continue to increase my sales and grow my glass business. Now I go find a refrigerator repairman.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Sorry about your bad frig karma...