The NQA show is over, and I have spent a few days thinking about this show. It should be a great show for Quilter’s Rule; it is in an area of the country we normally do well. We have lots of customers in and around Columbus, but it is only a mediocre show. It ended a bit down from last year. The question becomes why does that happen? There are a couple of reasons, I suppose. I spent some time speaking to a lot of the other vendors, and for some it was a very good show if you believe completely what they tell you. But for many it was just an OK show.
But before I get to far astray, I want to say the traffic was so much better at the show this year, than last year, at least part of the mediocre performance has to lay with our effort at the show or our selection of product to display at the show. And when you look at our records, only the first day was down, the second and third days we gained back a portion of what we had dropped the first day. I have watched the leadership of NQA work so hard this past year to promote their organization. I think that is great the organization and does so much for the industry.
Here are the things I know for sure. There were four jewelry dealers, two could be said to be high in and two low end dealers. One of the high end folks told me that he only had one sale on Saturday. And why would he tell me that detail? Because, on Saturday, I purchased a birthday present for my wife from him and he wanted to thank me again. Mine was that purchase! One of the fabric vendors told me they was busy selling fat quarters, but it was not adding up to a lot of sales on the register. One machine dealer said they used to sell up to six machines at the show and for the last couple of years they have only sold one. Many of the vendors were showing signs of impatience by the end of the show. We sold a lot of patterns and books that we had steeply discounted to clear our warehouse.
NQA got the people to come to the show. The people who came were not willing to open their pocket books. They were only willing to make a few very small purchases. I can’t tell you how many times I rang up an 80 cent sale. But I ended with a lot of dollar bills and no dimes. There is a lot of interest in quilting otherwise people would not have come. But they are fearful of sending their money. In my opinion, the recession is deep in Ohio and shows here will only get better when this recession finally ends. I hate to wait but I think I must.
On another note I will be traveling again this week end but not to a quilt show. I will be attending the American Dexter Cattle Association http://www.dextercattle.org/ Annual Convention in Ft. Wayne, IN. I will attempt to send a few pictures if I can get my phone to work again. Then on Monday we will leave for the Vermont Quilt Show.