MAKERS HOME fabrics by Natalie Barnes from WINDHAM FABRICS

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Market and Festival - packing for a successful trip!

there are lots of posts about Market and Festival
I thought I might write a different type of post

how to pack for Market and Festival
hosts the industry wholesale show called
International Quilt Market

it is absolutely an industry show
a commercial
big business

the floor of the convention center is approximately
500,000 square feet
and the second and third floors used for classrooms and support
are the same size
attending in 2015 were approximately 500 vendors
including fabrics, battings, notions, distributors,
independent pattern designers,
embellishments, rulers, templates, threads,

here are my five TOP Market travel tips:

they have great benefits for shop owners
they have a great hotel discount for all Market events
they have fun events at Market

2.  if you're the type, have a roommate
it's fun to see things from a different perspective

3.  download the photographs from your phone, at home, before you go
if you use your phone as your camera, 
you're gonna need all available space on that device
you can also take pics of the items you ordered
and use the pics for newsletters and other marketing tools
to get your customers into your shop
when the new goods arrive

4.  bring lots of business cards, and have them handy
find an online printer, and bring gazillions of cards

while I may find my handouts in the trash,
your cards will be used by the people that ask for them
or you will want to give your card to that special instructor you meet

pattern designers, fabric companies, and distributors
all really DO want your information!!
here are a few easy printing solutions:
(at the time of this publication, about $25 for 500)

5.  bring a spiral bound notebook
you will want to make notes as you walk the floor
make a note of the name of the exhibitor that catches your eye
and jot down their ROW
with a short note about your first impressions

now for the packing basics.

bags and shoes

bring a very lightweight handbag that's at least 8.5 x 11"
you're gonna fill it up
(some folks bring a cross body teeny bag and a giant tote for papers)
carry  an rfid blocking wallet
I bring a separate small flat zip bag to place in the hotel safe
otherwise, I am a Kelty backpack sort of girl...a pocket for everything
there are three shoe types you'll need for Market:

1.  nice shoes for your nice professional business like outfit
(that you can walk a marathon in - I use OrthaHeel by Dr. Weil)

2.  shoes you can walk in for a week
(my choice has exceeded tennis shoes and has advanced to light hiking shoes)
these shoes you can walk in for a week
also doubles as the "it's raining cats and dogs" shoes
because, well, let's face it.  it's Houston.  it's gonna rain.

3.  flip flops for the hotel
when you walk through the door and immediately shed your shoes!!

there are plenty of places to travel where you will need to bring
your own culture
is not one of them
so, my personal "gear" list is light:

phone as camera
phone as email 
texting "what aisle are you on now?"
phone as phone
cord for phone
flash charger for phone
you will probably want to spend your evenings
attending the meet ups and parties
but if you don't blog by phone, bring your tablet
one of my carry items is this flashlight
(looks like the new ones come with a usb port for charing!)

small earbuds if your seat mate on the plane is someone to avoid

and a cable to connect your tablet or phone to the hotel tv for movies
jewelry gear
you'll want to look your best
head on over to tjmax or marshals for a lovely inexpensive long necklace
but remember you have to wear a lanyard too

throw in some brighton "fake" sterling silver bracelets
and travel with that $40 qvc diamonique ring

a friend of mine gave me this little travel jewelry case
(I think the next Martingale gifts book is going to have a great pattern
for something like this - hint hint, just're gonna like it!)

watch?  use your phone.

health and safety
this is just my thing - like always knowing about the weather
in a town unfamiliar to you, turn on the phone weather alert setting
and just like washing your car so it will rain, 
I always carry,
tucked in the bottom of my bag, just in case someone might need....

the potions you use when you feel "it" coming on
zicam, pepto bismo, cepacol, alkaseltzer plus cold and flu, mucinex
and for me, an ankle and knee support, arnica gel,
and a travel ice pack
you know....just so I won't ever need any of it!!!
(making no recommendations or endorsements for any of these products!!)

what you're really going to need is moisturizer, moisturizer, moisturizer!
this is a great trip to try a simple approach to makeup
head over to ULTA or some other cosmetics shop
and pick up one of those fun
travel kits
(body, shampoo, lotion, etc)
in a brand that you have always been wanting to try
(here's an airline tip - wipe down your airline tray table, and arm rests with some "wet wipes")

and finally, 

lightweight rain coat
(I found a great car coat length dennis basso piece on qvc once upon a time and I have never regretted the purchase - altho, it can rain so much that you'll want your Columbia gear hooded coat.....either of those raincoats roll into an 8" x 3" tube like shape)

travel day outfit
slacks (yes slacks, not jeans), comfy top, flowing wrap over comfy top,
light weight rain coat over that, with long soft scarf
(scarves also come in handy when the person sitting next to you in the plane is sneezing)
your all weather shoes

"walking the floor" outfits
three days of no iron professional looking travel outfits
my hint:  three dresses with a soft flowing card, three pairs of tights, done.

two days of your favorite dress up tops to wear with those slacks (yes, slacks)
for evenings out on the town
and one more pair of slacks and a nice top/cardigan/scarf
for a nice dinner with new friends, and your home travel day

ask the hotel housekeeping to bring you extra hangars
hang everything so you can see it, so you can mix and match
have any of you looked at project 333?
this has helped me quite a bit with my packing....

so, here is my summary (other than "unmentionables")
three dresses
three pairs of tights
two pairs of slacks
three tops
one cardigan
one flowing wrap/top/cardi thing
one long soft scarf
five pairs of socks/trouser socks

one lightweight nylon "gear" bag
either baggu or target travel section

one lightweight nylon "health and safety" bag

one very small "jewelry" travel case

flip flops, nice shoes, rugged weather shoes (wear on plane)
lightweight rain jacket (wear on plane)
(hint from the northwest:  get a jacket with a hoodie - ditch the umbrella)
(or in your case, you may substitute small cross body bag and tote)
(Alexander Henry booth Fall Market 2015)

if you want some creative time, bring a very small handwork project
in a very small bag
(for me, I bring knitting, because the floor info can be overwhelming, and I knit on the plane)
this is a wholesale show

no retail sales allowed

one of the most important parts of attending Market
is seeing good friends
and making new friends
be sure to chat with people on the floor, in the booths and at the coffee bar
(GinnyJones and PokeyBolton Fall Market 2015)

 hope this travel pack hack
is helpful
honestly, you should be able to put all of your little gear type bags
in your backpack, with a small purse/wallet
and your clothes in your carry on
with room to bring home catalogs and great new ideas
from the exhibitors

want to win
this Robert Kaufman KonaCotton

leave us a message with one item you would add to this list!
(the random number generator will select a winner next weekend, 
when we post how to pack for Festival!)



Judy Fowler said...

Tee shirts, I'm always cold so I like to layer.

Bennett and Graves said...

More/Other/Different Shoes: cute AND comfortable. Last year I discovered the Lucky Feet store near me. A foot consultation, fitting, and cute shoes you can walk in for Days. NO, I don't work there and this certainly isn't a paid endorsement. :0) But when it's time for Road and Quilt Con this year my feet won't slow me down, I don't look like I just walked out of the gym or the orthopedic shoe store.

scottylover said...

I would add mint or gum to get rid of coffee or garlic breath and chocolate, lots of chocolate for energy! :)
Sandy A

ledamewood said...

Advil, toothbrush and toothpaste

alicuz quilts said...

Moleskin. Thanks for the chance.

Denny1600 said...

This is a great post! i would add snacks!

Anonymous said...

I would add energy bars or some type of snack for when you don't want a full meal.
paweis at yahoo dot com

Anita said...

I always bring some band aids, just to be prepared.

mascanlon said...

Kindle. Its just to hard to read on my phone and its nice to veg out in the hotel or plane. Great list Natalie. I find my packing gets better and lighter when I use a couple of pouches for things the game which of these things go together.

Jen Beatty said...

Lip balm! I have one in the car, every room of house, at the office and every bag!

natalie. beyond the reef said...

Comments from all of you have been fabulous! Thanks for following along.
Yes, I am a week behind in posting - congratulations to "ledamewood"!
How could I have forgotten toothpaste?!??
The funniest thing is, I have forgotten toothpaste/toothbrush before...

This weekend, (a week late) we will post again - how to pack for Quilt FESTIVAL.

Thanks for your patience with me....