I'm going to be there, and I'm so excited! It has been six long years since I have been to Bead Fest Philadelphia, since it's the closest one to where I live - about a seven hour drive from the Adirondacks to King of Prussia! I'll be teaching all day Sunday, looks like I don't have any students signed up for my Saturday night class (yet), but I'm going to be visiting with friends and family who live in the northern/western NJ area, too. And, of course, gathering lots of ideas and things to write about for About.com!
I'll be at the Meet the Teachers reception on Friday night, so if any of you are going to be there, please come up and introduce yourself so I can meet you!
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift. That's why it is called the present." -Kung Fu Panda
I wish I were, but not this year. I would love to meet you in person, maybe next year.
By the way Jen I wanted to let you know that I think you are doing a wonderful job on the About site. Love the new designs you have put on the site.
Cool....wish I could go....but I am working on instructor proposals for next year. I'd love your insights on teaching at BeadFest.
Hope your classes fill up and love your blog on About.
I'll be there on Saturday. Unfortunately my schedule this year doesn't give me time to take classes, I'm just going to shop.
Please see my projects at Stoneheart Beads
Lita, nothing wrong with shopping, LOL! I intend to do a bit of that, myself!
I'll be writing about Bead Fest on About.com this weekend, too, so even if you can't make it, I should have some nice photo galleries up!
Oh how I wish... I thought about begging my husband to take me there for our first anniversary but I don't think that's going to fly with him. :)
Maybe one year I'll get up there and meet you! I just signed up for your newsletter on about.com as well, nice work you've done.
Cat Blog Artfire Etsy
Cat, thanks for signing up for my newsletter! I'm really enjoying the work for About.com. I mean, hey, pay me to write about beads? Twist my arm! LOL!
No kidding! Wouldn't we all love that. Have fun at Bead Fest-I'm green with envy.
ArtFire Studio & blog | Gallery
This will be my first bead fest and I can't wait! I'm planning to go Friday and Saturday. Anyone have any tips for a newbie?
I've never been, but everyone always says "GOOD SHOES!"
Oh how I wish! It's not too far, only about 2.5 hours away. I have my son's birthday party this weekend - a house filled with 11 yr old boys..........
Courtney-- ooooohhhh fun.... make sure to take a little time for yourself and chocolate after!
I've been going to BeadFest and Intergem shows at the VFCC for years, and this is a bit of a brain dump:
What to wear: Comfortable shoes are a must, and a backpack is a good idea too, even if you aren't planning on buying anything heavy. You'll be surprised at how quickly a purse or handbag will fill up and get extremely heavy.
Since this is the summer edition, wear light clothes and leave the rings and jewelry at home. It's a temptation to wear your creations, to show off to other beaders, but you'll soon find that anything heavy around your neck and on your hands will be a burden.
Parking: The parking at the Valley Forge CC is nightmarish, especially in the summer. There is a lot of it, and that's the problem. If you part far away, you'll be up a long hill, and trudging back to your car in the heat and humidity (and quite possibly the rain, looking at this weekend's forecast) is extremely unpleasant, so get there early to get decent parking.
Meals are tricky - the food at this BeadFest venue is notoriously awful. For the past few years, I've brought my own, and I recommend you do the same if you can. There's a decent sized area with tables set aside for dining, and they don't object to bring-your-own. Although you're going to be near the King of Prussia Mall, you won't want to leave and lose your parking spot.
Budget: Well, that's an interesting topic. How disciplined are you? Be prepared to exceed it - it's inevitable. What's helpful is to not buy the first things you see, if if they are what you want. Chances are, you'll find better prices as you get deeper into the show - vendors pay a premium for the booths up close, and charge accordingly. Also, by walking the show first, you get an idea of what's out there, what you want, what strikes your fancy, and what blows you away.
Bargaining: Many dealers will do better if you ask. Do you have a resale or wholesale license? Vendors will definitely give better prices for wholesale - even if you aren't buying in quantity
Some things are actually more expensive at shows - I don't buy delicas or swarovski unless I absolutely have to have it NOW - you'll always do better at FMG if you've got a big order.
Know your prices and check all vendors before buying - particularly for hill tribe/bali silver. Vendors often price by the gram, and prices can vary from $1.25 per gram down to $.65 per gram.
Miscellaneous: Take a small notebook or pad with you to make notes about potential purchases - there's nothing worse than trying to remember where you saw a particular bead. This is a big show, and it's on two floors. You can go crazy looking for a booth, only to find that it's on another floor.
Verizon cell phone service doesn't work in this building, but ATT gets 4 bars. Weird, but true.
Hope this helps, and have a great time! I'll be there on Saturday, I can't wait.
LitaC - Thank YOU!
I was thinking of wearing my backpack (it's a small one) but I thought I would look stupid - I like to have my hands free and not have my purse 'knocking' into stuff. Comfy shoes is the only way to go. Thanks for all the info, we PB&J'd it through Disney recently and it worked out great since we didn't have to stop and order anywhere. I'll be sure to bring a few snacks along.
I have been studying my prices and even printed out a list of my favorite beads I've ordered in the past - I'm glad to hear all my work will come in good use.
I wish I had a retail license - I hope too in the near future but that is good to know about the discounts.