I have an observation that I want to make in reaction to these negative comments floating around about how the Tucson Shows have become unpleasant. I think I am more than qualified in putting in my two cents, since I've done the shows since the early days, when there were only TWO bead shows.
All gatherings of people will attract a few folks that love to talk, that love to bemoan their situation, love to cause a stink and some really love the spotlight no matter if its good or bad. That's life. You can find this behavior in schools, doll shows, dog shows, bird shows, comic cons, art shows, retreats and bead shows. I've attended hundreds and hundreds of gatherings and its always the same. Here's what makes a difference: when people stop the negativity. It sounds simple, but the reality is, you are in control of who you spend your time with, where you shop, where you eat and you can say 'well, since that person is a buddy of mine, let's talk about something else. Where'd you find those amazing stones?'. I've learned from experience that if you nip the 'neg' in the bud, people usually get the hint.
When I was starting out, I received some good advice from a successful vendor I was set up next to, that was doing amazing. They told me to always try and have a great time, even if you aren't selling, its raining, you're hungry, tired, whatever. People attend shows to have a good time and find amazing things. If your a huge downer, no one is going to stick around to see what you have. If things aren't going well, I give myself a mental shake and think about what IS going great, like making new contacts, seeing old friends and looking at all the great art shown around me. Things always improve.
We set up booths at three shows this year and we did very well. We always have an amazing time. Really, how can you not love seeing all the beads, specimens and precious stones gathered from every corner of the earth? You kind of have to try and not enjoy yourself. Even someone as jaded as I am has a blast. Its a wonderful gathering every bead artist and collector should attend at least once. Don't be influenced into not going because someone had a bad show, or is resentful of the success of others. I look forward to it every year and have yet to be disappointed.