Thanks to all of you who made our 60th anniversary our biggest party ever! And, thanks for pre-registering! We were able to have name tags, cart labels, address labels and ordering information waiting for you at the front door – no lines!
Andrea at Electric Quilt taught two classes on Sunday on Electric Quilt 6. If it wasn’t for Rob, this would have never happened! He literally created a computer lab for these classes – from scratch. The IT department outdid themselves – and you all loved it! As an added bonus, those customers spent the night in Maumee and had a five minute commute the next day!
While our customers were taking classes, we were busy decorating the demonstrator’s booths and helping to set up their displays. We had 21 authors and designers share techniques and class ideas from their latest books, patterns, and gadgets. And we pulled the merchandise so you could buy directly from them. Many of you took advantage of this so you could go home and start making the samples immediately.
As an added bonus, they signed books, patterns, and even fabrics. Many of you had them sign multiple copies so you could give autographed copies to the first customers who signed up for the class. Others had signed copies to donate to their local guilds, etc., when asked for a door prize. Very clever! Good ideas and education go both ways! We love it when you share ideas with us that make our business better too.
Authors and designers who couldn’t come sent trunk shows. We had over 150 completed quilts and projects hanging everywhere! It was a dazzling site! That isn’t counting the displays that the demonstrators brought! The latest and greatest samples for all of your favorite books and patterns were everywhere!
One woman stopped me and said she felt that it was a good use of her time if she learned ONE new thing at an event like this. She had already learned ten – and she wasn’t done yet – music to our ears!
But we all love food – and all of that shopping makes us hungry!!! Huge trays of Danish, donuts, and muffins made everyones’ mouths water. Four lunch times eliminated lines – barbecue for everyone! And it was delicious! And to be surrounded by quilts…..
The advance placement library was a great success. The publishers sent us advance copies of books that are going to premier at market. Sneak peaks are always fun! And, it was a great place to take a break in air-conditioned comfort and browse.
This year, Rob added a lounge too. We noticed last year that many of you brought men for “muscle” but they don’t really like to shop. A room with a T.V. and magazines was born.
Gina came up with the brilliant idea of giving restaurant beepers to people as they turned over their carts so they could be paged when they were “next in line”. This not only eliminated the cart traffic jams, it also gave the customers a chance to visit with the demonstrators and the advance copy library without having to “tend” their carts!
When you WERE next in line, the staff was ready and waiting to load your vehicle. Each account received a gift bag at checkout that included ordering information for all of the end caps and demonstrators as well as a gift to help compensate for the cost of gas.
The next day, Rob sent out a memo asking for improvements and ideas for next year! We’ll let you know the date for next year by Fall Market. Get it on your calendar now – it is just too much fun to miss! Enjoy more pictures by viewing the slide show: