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Wm. R. Robertson

Planning the perfect miniature show?

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Wm. R. Robertson

If you were involved in planning a miniature show.... What features would you like to see?

These can be about location, type of venue, layout, advertising, dealer mix, ANYTHING!

They can be from the perspective of a dealer, a artist or a collector.

These can be "pie in the sky" sort of ideas and don't even have to be based on reality, however "down to earth ideas" are better and more likely to happen in our life time.

The reason I ask is so often when miniaturists get together to chat this subject comes up...... So add your thoughts to the conversation.

Thanks.

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ElgaKoster

Good question Bill, I will give my thoughts on it from the perspective of somebody who needs to travel very far at quite a cost to get to any of the big shows in the US and Europe.

The biggest factor for me would be timing, I would love it if a big show in the US fell on the weekend before or after an event like Guild School, it would cut down on traveling costs a lot. The Rheda show in Germany is normally the weekend before Guild School and so far the only international show I have attended just because it is so convenient time wise.

I think location is also important, a place that is easy to reach and don't require a lot of local flights to get there.

As to what is sold at a show...Artisan miniatures for sure and difficult to find supplies and tools.

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Catherine Ronan

The show I attend in Chicago doesn't have many sellers of tools and supplies. I also would love to see those sorts of things at a show. I agree, timing is important and a location close to the airport.

The other thing that is important to many people is the amount of sales tax they have to pay. I think it is ten percent in Chicago.

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SueV

Bill, I'm glad you are bringing this topic up. You are right, we need input from everyone!

 

Catherine, the ten per cent in Chicago is so outlandish when most states have seven or less. Also, the size of that show

makes the money spread out much thinner, from my experience. I've done that show many times.

 

It's not a bad idea at all to have one following the Guild School, though everyone will probably be totally wiped out, and some

people won't have stock left after Sell Night. I feel it's important to get international dealers and artists to come, especially

Artisans and Fellows. Here again, location is going to be key; someplace close to an airport and not too expensive to do.

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WeekendMiniaturist

A winning lottery ticket before the show would be most helpful :-).  I am guessing but the Chicago International Show is such a big show, that I don't think you could move the show outside of Chicago and have a hotel large enough...The Sales tax varies based upon taxes collected for different cities.  If I don't book my room, early, I have found the rooms have been sold out for many years for Thursday and Friday of the show, so I've accepted the sales tax in Chicago is a necessary evil.  I would love for Molly to move her show to the weekend before GS, I think it is two weeks before, but if I spend money at a show before Guild School, then I won't have money for minis, munchies and more.  I miss the IMA show in Chicago.

 

I have really enjoyed shopping in NYC, garment district for the Guild Show, and thank Pat R for taking us into the city in 2012 & 2013, I like the location of the Guild Show, it is so easy to get into NYC using public transportation, and I live in the Midwest where we drive everywhere, and I seldom use public transportation.  I also enjoyed the pre-arranged visit to see historical embroidered pieces privately at the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

I've been to large shows and small shows all over the US, sponsored by NAME, IGMA, Chicago International, Club sponsored shows, and Individual sponsored shows, and I always seem to find many things to buy, and lots of things I want to buy. 

 

Wish list:  Good Lighting, perhaps magnifying glasses - as we get older on your table, in case we forget to bring our readers, and more of the really good stuff to buy at an affordable price.  I also would love to have more wood, and tools available at the Chicago International.  Pete Boorum's demonstrations have always been great.

 

I was thrilled when Kari Bloom had task board at her table this past Chicago Fall show, I could see it in person, and NO SHIPPING!

 

Tamra/Indiana

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WeekendMiniaturist

From the position of a perpetual student of the Art of Making Miniatures, I also am drawn to different shows when they offer a class that is irresistible and it presents a learning opportunity for something I can't figure out at home.  I really, really enjoyed Pat Rs petitpoint shoe class at the IGMA show. 

 

And let's not forget, that friends can influence my decisions to go the show, it is fun to gather at some place and catch up.  Someday I'm hoping to get to the UK for their show - and it will be friends that will draw me to the show combined with the opportunity of miniature tourism...

 

I define miniature tourism as museum hopping and antique shopping for finding the perfect items to miniaturize. 

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Liz Mcinnis

I really appreciate Tom's Chicago International show for many reasons, but a biggie these last few years is that it is located near the airport. That is sooooooo convenient.

 

But if I were dreaming about the very best that things could be (for me anyway), I'd have a show at a hotel IN the airport - like the Marriott at Tampa International airport. Wow, that is a wonderful hotel and so, so convenient. It would be a dream to have a show at something like that, at least from the point of view of a dealer who flies in. Admittedly, I'm not sure it would be quite as convenient for most customers or dealers driving in!

 

On the whole, I don't think show promoters make as much use of the internet as they could. Yes, a website for the show is good, and a list of dealers, etc. Most have those things. But most seem to be sporadic at best when it comes to leveraging Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. etc. etc. Those things can be a lot of work, but they are also where you are most likely to attract new - and younger - people to a show, and maybe ultimately to the hobby.

 

Liz

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WeekendMiniaturist

I'm glad I'm not trying to put on a large show, and I appreciate that the perfect show location has to be difficult.  I have noticed that the hotels at the airport are always pretty expensive, so that doesn't work for us poor souls who want to spend money. I know the Bishop show hotel has been sold out frequently if I haven't reserved early enough...Has everyone made their reservations?  I better get this done!  I am so glad that show promoters negotiate a better rate for the show attendees.

 

I also appreciate that a hotel has a free shuttle from the airport, and since I flew into the NJ airport the first time I went,  I coordinated a pick up with other attendees to share the expense to Teaneck.  If you travel light you can take public transportation, and now that I've gone a couple of times to the Teaneck show, I would consider public transportation if I ever get to go again.  I think the Mariott has a shuttle for ORD to the hotel, although I am lucky that I do not have to fly to Chicago, I can just drive - but frequently wonder if it faster to fly...  Mariott did not have a shuttle for me when I flew to Boston last year as we were traveling to Guild School. 

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Liz Mcinnis

Actually, the Tampa Marriott was only a couple dollars more expensive than the Chicago Marriott - and that was without a show discount. Of course, the time of year makes a difference. My husband is going to stay there in December and it is considerably more expensive than it was in August, when I stayed. (Still no more expensive than some show hotels I've sayed at over the years, though.) And yes, there is a shuttle from the Chicago Marriott to and from the airport.

 

I haven't done the IGMA show since the late '80s, when it was still in NYC. It's not as easy for me (I live in the boonies of Wyoming, very limited flights) to get to NJ as it is to get to NYC. These days, if a hotel is too far from a show, and there's no shuttle, I probably will never do it. Gettin' lazy in my old age, I guess.

 

Liz

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ElgaKoster

I have been reading this thread again, since I am planning on going to Chicago next year and quite a few of you mention the 10% sales tax, I am just wondering...how does it work if you are not an American? I know when I order from the UK I don't pay their taxes and also people who buy from me out of South Africa doesn't have to pay our 14% sales tax.

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