Over the past few months we've been trying to come up with a plan for Tucson, since the show we usually do abruptly moved to a casino fourteen miles out of town. To us, this seemed ludicrous. Not only is it far and out of the way, the folks wandering around a casino are likely to be uninterested in artisan beads. I mean, every casino I've ever been to contained folks whose focus was completely engaged in cards or slots. But that's only one thing.
After years and years of doing Tucson, from when the Best Bead was at the La Quinta ( I was freshly out of college and completely overwhelmed) and at one point doing three different locations, we've noticed some changes. For one thing, why are the shows running to almost two weeks? Who has that kind of energy to stand all day and be pleasant and helpful and not eat, or get enough bathroom breaks? I noticed the shows start off strong, then attendance drops drastically, with just vendors milling about. Sure, you make a little money, but it's mostly folks coming back to pick stuff up. I think it loses momentum. For the last few years, I've been trying to come up with a solution. The first one of begging the promoter to have mercy and shorten it didn't work, ( maybe because the hotel had a deal with them, so it didn't matter a jot if it was ghost town or not - who knows? ). The second was to move shows. Unfortunately, the traffic at the smaller shows was dwindling, so that wasn't good. Then we thought about joining Gem Mall or one of the other big ones. This didn't seem like a good fit either, because those are still long and also expensive.
Anyway, this subject was being discussed at length (again) at dinner with fellow vendors and Greg said to Ava 'Let's just forget those other shows and do our own. It can be whatever we want it to be! We could have demonstrations, good food and drinks, music, puppets! ( ok he didn't say puppets, but really we could if we wanted to!).' So, we decided then and there to just do it. Go all in. Right now we have a space and some vendors, but we need more. Maybe ideas on how we can bring that old excitement back? Remember when Tucson was so anticipated that folks were willing to sleep 6 in a room because the whole town was bursting with beaders and stone dealers? It used to be so fun, that I could hardly stand it. Somewhere along the way it got stretched out and lost the shine. I want to make it magical again. If you'd like to be a part of this, shoot me an email, or leave some suggestions for the perfect show.