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Summer Trade Show: One Attendee's Experience

Posted By TNNA HQ, Thursday, June 15, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Trade Show: One Attendee's Experience

By Joy Macdonell

Stepping foot on a trade show floor is exciting. There is a shared energy as vendors get ready to show off their new products in beautifully curated booths and attendees are prepared to begin a search for new products to introduce to their enthusiastic customers.

Summer is the perfect time of year to gather as a trade organization because fall creative content calendars are being firmed up, retail events are in the planning stages, budgets have been analyzed, and open to buys have been approved!

TNNA returned to Columbus, Ohio for the 2017 NeedleArts Summer Trade Show, where the familiar North Market offers delicious foods and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams can be enjoyed!

#stitchlove by Stitchcraft MarketingOver in the convention center, there were new experiences including Blue Sky Fibers’ booth visitors on Sunday of a llama and two alpacas! The newly conceived TNNA Lounge provided tables and chairs for mini meetups and gatherings. Also located in the lounge area, presented by Stitchcraft Marketing, the #stitchlove wall filled the space with good vibes and warm sentiments from attendees.

The convention kicked off Friday night with the Yarn Group Fashion Show and Sample IT! This year, there were 104 looks presented on the runway from 35 companies and 100 brands. Resourceful, discrete, playful, intense and integral are words used to describe the fashions that hit the catwalk. Silhouettes included dusters, shawls, wraps and ponchos.

This is the year of the sleeve and we were presented a variety, including minimalist sleeves, textured sleeves and, most notably, a garment featuring one long-tapered sleeve and one poncho sleeve. Asymmetry was found in hems and wrap shapes.

Color created movement on the runway. “Let the colors move; let the colors come to life,” the presenter said as solid colors, color gradients and touches of glitter moved in front of our eyes. Sweaters featured yolks with stranded work, cowls, and hoods.

The showstopper was a piece of art named the “Woodland Sweater” by Nicky Epstein. This piece stole the show with a knitted forest scene, appliqued knitted pieces and embroidery. The excitement at the Fashion Show set the mood for the weekend.

There were more than 90 exhibitors on display on the show floor with the majority participating in the “Discover What’s New” area — perfectly placed by registration. If you were early to the show, this was the place to linger and stroll. Each tabletop vignette offered a peek at the newest products on display at the show. This was a must-see destination prior to walking through the show and before leaving — just to make sure you did not miss anything in the show!

An Education Theater, conveniently located on the showroom floor, offered instruction on trend-right topics that included introductions of new tools, explanations of how fleece becomes fiber, and the importance of the fiber value-chain. Instructors included Karin Skacel, Tabbethia Haubold, Trisha Malcolm, Lisa Meyers and Sy Belohlavek. These educational moments were easily accessible by all attendees and provided a great opportunity to rest for a moment while still participating in the show!

The vendors, however, were the stars of the show! Each booth carefully arranged to present an artful display of products. All vendors focused on the attendees and welcomed everyone to touch, feel and explore their goods. Exhibitors provided plenty of literature to share with every type of attendee from the retailer to designers and teachers. The vendors fostered new relationships with open arms. The spirit of the show was led by the exhibitors, and their energy and excitement will continue to contribute to the success and growth of the industry!


About the Author

Joy MacdonellJoy Macdonell (www.craftingwithjoy.comis a Creative Blogger and Fiber Consultant. Her job has provided her with lots of great opportunities to teach, including as the host of a television show on the DIY network (Greetings, from DIY) and one on PBS (Crafting at The Spotted Canary). She has also been the guest representative for Martha Stewart Crafts on the Home Shopping Network and has been the education director for the Martha Stewart Crafts brand since it launched in 2007. Prior to starting her career with EK Success Brands in 2001, she and her sister owned the very popular scrapbook store in Fairfax, VA, My Scrapbook Store.

Tags:  Recap  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

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