Behind the Scenes: Yarn Group Trade Show Initiatives
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Posted by: Courtney Kelley, Yarn Group Chair
TNNA Yarn Group Trade Show Initiatives, how do they work?
Do you ever wonder how the shows work behind the scenes? Well, as the new Yarn Group Chair I am getting a crash course in that very thing. It is a lot of work, a lot of conference calls, and it is all run by volunteers, with the help of TNNA staff to coordinate everything. It all starts with a good idea. I you’ve ever said to yourself, “I wish TNNA would…” or “Why don’t they have…” then speak up! Great things happen when you get involved, and all the show initiatives start as one person’s good idea. We are always looking for volunteers who have a little bit of time and creativity to help coordinate all of the Yarn Group events and initiatives. Decorating the Yarn Group Lounge, helping to organize the Fashion Show, coordinating the Quest, the Yarn Café, the list feels endless! But, I know that at the end of the day our volunteers will pull it all off, with aplomb.
So who is working behind the scenes with Yarn Group this year to make it all happen in San Diego?
Barry Klein from Trendsetter Yarns spends hours of volunteer time putting together the Fashion Show. He hires the models and coordinates their travel, hotel, and payment with TNNA staff; organizes garments, sends countless emails to participants, and finds TNNA member emcees to do the announcing. The Fashion Show is a great way to see the latest garments from your favorite yarn companies, publishers, and designers. It’s a lot of fun, and if you’ve never attended one, make 2016 the year you do, and if you are an exhibiting company and you’ve never entered a garment in the fashion show, consider it! Support an indie designer who uses your yarn, or contact a publisher who you’ve worked with and consider a joint submission. We are particularly interested in finding new ways to encourage independent designers and first time participants this year, so if you’ve always thought you’d like to participate but aren’t sure how to go about it let us know! We’re here to help.
Exhibitors & Designers: Sign Up to Submit Garments Now!
Laura Rasmussen of 3 Kittens Needle Arts in Minnesota is heading up the Quest this year, and she has been emailing and conference calling with exhibitors, retailers, and staff to be sure that everyone has everything they need to make it a success. The Quest is a great way to find new products for your shop, and a great way for exhibitors to make new connections with buyers. Think of it as a yarn filled treasure hunt on the show floor, complete with prizes!
I am organizing the Yarn Café again this year with the help of Kelbourne Woolens staff, Kate Osborn and Meghan Kelly. We still need volunteers to help us decorate the café, and we are eager to make the space as cozy and inviting as possible. It’s so nice to be able to have a space on the show floor to sit, relax, and maybe knit a little bit. Who knows, you may find just the yarn you’ve been looking for! This year the Café will be conveniently located across the aisle from the Yarn Group Lounge.
And, finally, who pays for all this stuff? Well, we all do! As a member of Yarn Group your membership dues help us cover the cost of printing, booth space, tables, chairs, refreshments, and more. Additionally, our Yarn Group sponsors give us a boost at each show by sponsoring events like the Yarn Group Lounge and Happy Hour, entering garments in the Fashion Show, and signing up for the Quest. Without these sponsorships the events at the show would fall flat, and we do everything we can to support those sponsor in exchange for their donated dollars, by promoting their products! Our budget is well managed with the help of TNNA staff and Yarn Group treasurer (TBD for 2016) to ensure we always have enough to cover the trade show expenses, and keep some money in the bank for a rainy day. This year, be sure to take note of the sponsoring companies, and if you see them at the show be sure to thank them for helping to make TNNA a success for everyone!
Yarn Group Chair