So I spent most of my first day, Friday, in Building 2, prospecting. I also happened into an unplanned meeting with a manufacturer. I was sure glad a friend had lent me his iPad for this trip. Before the trip, I had reserved an iPad from the Apple store, but it had not arrived in time. I was not looking forward to the prospect of lugging around a huge spiral binder all the time (you never know when you might need it, planned meetings or not!) and the iPad seemed a to be sensible and attractive solution. My friend lent me the iPad the day before, so did not really have much time to get fully accustomed to the device before using it for meetings. Of course I had a couple of hiccups navigating through my portfolio, but even though I hadn’t yet found my “legs” with it, I found it to be a really a nice way to show work, and everyone I met with the entire trip was forgiving of any learning curves I had with the device, and seemed to enjoy viewing work on the iPad. 🙂

The Ladies of Licensing

On Friday night, I met up with a great group of art licensors – and one art licensing lawyer – at a hotel bar. My friend Carol Eldridge is the only one I knew in person, and it was she who had invited me to come. I was very glad she did and I was so glad I made it. It was without a doubt one of the very top highlights of my trip. It was so much fun to meet the group, and I had quite a few really good conversations in the time frame of 1.5 hours. I am really glad I went! I met some great gals!!

Building 3

The second day was spent checking out the temporary showrooms in Building 3, a large atrium, rotunda-styled building. The floors of this building were circularly shaped around a large “hole” where you could look down to the ground floor, or up to the glass, sky-light ceiling. And with so many floors, it was overwhelming. I was only able to cover a few of the floors because I had a couple of meetings in an adjacent building, and also had a flight late that afternoon. I just didn’t have the time.

One of the first things I did do on Saturday was a walk-through of the “Cash & Carry” area, which is on the first floor of Building 3. “Cash & Carry” was an alien term to me until Friday night when Tammy Browning-Smith (the lawyer of Friday night’s group) explained it to me. But now I will never forget it! This section of the show is created for buyers to just buy what they want off the trade show floor and take it with them that day, right then and there. I had heard that there are some very good deals in the cash & carry section. As I walked through the floor, much of what I saw was not personally appealing to me. That is, a lot of it was nice, but none of it was anything I wanted to pack up and take home with me. But of course, if you have any shopping genes at ALL, sooner or later you walk by something that speaks to you and just to you, and your weakness is exposed, and that is what happened to me. 🙂 I got lost on the Cash & Carry floor, which led me to walk the perimeter of the floor, in order to eventually find myself closer to an EXIT sign. Well, I walked right into a trap, like a bug in a spider web — the costume jewelry and accessories area. Since I wear bobby pins in my hair nearly every day,  coming upon a large table full of sparkly bobby pins, I was not going anywhere for awhile. I got out easy – leaving the Cash & Carry room with thankfully just a small amount of finds:  two barrettes, two bobbies, one Hello Kitty crystal charm bracelet and one pair of Hello Kitty crystal stud earrings – and all for the super-low bargain basement price of $26. I do wish I purchased more of those bargain bobbies. Finally, I spotted a really kooky, EXTRA large, EXTRA blingy “Hello Kitty” crystal pendant necklace, which made my my jaw drop. It was $20, and it was ridiculously awesome but the Practical Me said “Now REALLY, WHERE am I EVER going to WEAR this thing????” Of course NOW, I keep thinking about it that necklace… and, you know, honestly, I really think I could have pulled it off…

All in all, it was an excellent whirlwind trip and I am glad I finally cracked the seal on that jar of pickles. I knew I would learn a lot. It’s just usually a surprise at what the “learning theme” is going to be —  I always learn these little “hidden” lessons at trade shows that maybe were not immediately on my radar in the beginning. I guess that is the best kind of learning – the kind thatBLINDSIDES you! Ha ha! Anyway, great trip and now I am back home and working like mad on new things… Please Wish me Good Luck… 🙂

THE END! Until January 2011…

 (airport snack)