I had so much fun making connections and meeting new people that I can't wait to be able to go to market again! Since it was my first visit, there was so much to see and do, and there were even quilt displays to look at when taking a break from marketing and shopping. Many people get exhausted after a day of sitting in schoolhouse classes or a day at the market, but even though my feet were sore, I was energized! The next time Quilt Market is in Portland, OR I need to have my own booth, so each time I saw a booth that I liked, it was studied for future reference, and many other designers whose booths I admired were helpful with suggestions and insightful information as to what works for them, and many were things that I hadn't thought about.
I must admit I took a camera, and then chose not to use it because I don't want to copy someone else's booth - mine will have to be my design. With this in mind, some of the things that I really took notice of was that the plain booths were not getting as much attention as the fancied up booths - those that had booths that fit what was being sold, had personalized signage, curtains, table cloths, table to write orders with chairs for both the dealer and customer seemed to both look more professional, but also be doing more business. Not only do you need to have a great product, but the customers need to see samples that are presented in a way that draws them in. Another thing I noticed was what was going on in the booths when they weren't busy. Some sat and just looked tired (I do realize that all of them must be busy, but this makes the booth less appealing to passers by), however, others were busy - either working on a project, doing demonstrations, or just re-organizing, and I think it is a better way to go.
After speaking with everyone that I thought fit my plan to connect with distributors and shops that I thought had the potential to carry my pattern line, or work with me as a designer / teacher, I did a little shopping. The first purchase was from Susan Clarke's button shop, were I purchased huge buttons for a new quilt design, then I found some garment patterns (I don't design garments, but do surface design on someone else's pattern, giving them credit for the garment design) at New Leaf Pattern Distributors that I hadn't seen before, and will be fun to make. My last purchase blew my budget, but will help me complete more projects - I'll keep you in suspense until it comes (I need to make space), then I'll post about it.