This is my twice a year – introduction to Quilt Market. Enjoy! Spring Quilt Market is held in a different location every year and is in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May, 2010. This is a return trip for Market – and I can’t wait. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area is always on everyone’s top 10 list of places to live – and there is a reason for it. Here is all of the pertinent information you need to have a great visit.
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
Events – May 19, 2010
Fab Shop Dinner – May 19, 2010
School Houses – – May 20, 2010
Exhibits – May 21 – Friday – 9:30 – 6:00
22 – Saturday – 9:00 – 6:00
23 – Sunday– 9:00 – 4:00
Check the Spring International Quilt Market website for a complete list of events and classes. Website: www.quilts.com
During May the weather in Minneapolis is beautiful – highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s! Flowers will be blooming and everything will be the green of Spring!
Points of Interest
18.3 million people visit every year for a reason. It is people friendly! The city boasts 8 miles of sky ways one story above ground. These sky ways are – in effect- enclosed sidewalks so you can explore the city, rain or shine or snow! When the weather is beautiful, there are 51 miles of hiking and biking trails.
40,000 people call downtown Minneapolis home so there is always something going on and something to do. While everyone has heard of the Mall of America, the Nicollet Mall seems more inviting. It is the second pedestrian mall created in the United States and covers 11 blocks. This area has limited access to vehicles – mainly delivery trucks – so it is people friendly!
What is Quilt Market?
Quilt Market is the largest wholesale shopping experience for retailers, manufacturers, and the cottage industry. Fall market is always in Houston. Spring Market is hosted by different cities each year. At last count, there were over 550 vendors exhibiting – a true quilter’s dream!
How do I get in the door????
This show is not open to the general public. Therefore, you must submit your “credentials” to get a badge that will give you entrance into the exhibits. You need to have them with you when you enter the Convention Center unless you have signed up on-line or participated in a Quilt Market in the last year.
Credentials for Retailers/Manufacturers/Cottage Industry:
1) Copy of one 2008/2009 wholesale invoice from an industry supplier totaling $300 or more
2) Sales tax number; Resale number; OR Federal I.D. number
3) Business Card
All of the above except that a letter of reference from a Quilt Market Supplier – such as Checker – or a banker stating that you have a business account may be substituted for the $300 invoice. Checker will be glad to provide you with a letter of reference.
Where is Checker located?
The Checker booth – actually 14 booths – covers over 1,200 square feet – Booths #1813, 1815. 1817, 1821, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1920, 2012, 2014, 2016.
How do I make an Appointment with a Checker Rep to look at Fabric?
If you would like to make an appointment before you get to market, contact your sales rep directly.
You are welcome to stop by the booth at any time and we will find someone to help you – it just may not be the rep that you have come to know and love!
Can I get a head start by making a fabric appointment before Market officially opens?
Yes. For those of you on a tight schedule, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. On Saturday and Sunday you can meet with a sales rep between 8:00 – 9:00. BUT, the appointment has to be made in advance so that the sales rep can meet you at the convention door and escort you in – using his/her badge. You can stop by the booth on Friday to make the appointment or call ahead.
How do I buy books, patterns and notions at the Checker booth???
There are always Checker representatives in the booth – they will all be wearing clothing embroidered with the Checker logo. We try not to bug you – but welcome any questions that you may have.
We have found that our customers like to come and browse so take your time to check out all of the new merchandise.
But, keep in mind; our buyers are there to scope out the latest and greatest new things too. So over the course of the event, we will be adding new vendors and items every day. That is part of the excitement of market! With over 80,000 items in inventory, our “catalog” is forever changing! We will try to mark the new additions each day so you can tell at a glance what has been added.
Stop by each day and check out the new stuff – you are welcome to place more than one order – believe me, Rob won’t mind! So, you can place your order and have it delivered to your store the next week!
Can I buy items from Checker that I see at other vendors?
Yes. Checker already represents the majority of the vendors at market. As a shop owner, I learned very quickly that if Checker carried it, it was much easier to have one account than over 200 individual ones – and Checker offers free shipping on books, patterns, and notions – so many times we are the best price in town!
Will everything be available immediately after Market?
Many of the books, patterns and notions you order are not yet available and will be released over the next few months. Remember, at Market, you are seeing the latest and greatest of EVERYTHING! Many times the publishers and manufacturers wait to see how a product sells before printing or manufacturing. Therefore, we will ship as soon as we get them. Ask the vendors when the product will be available before scheduling classes, etc.
Helpful Hints from the Veterans who have attended Markets for years:
Before you go to Market:
- Check our newsletter at www.checkernewsletter.com for an update of booth demonstrations and author signings. The buyers are talking to your favorite designers daily. There are Creative Grids demonstrations going on at three different stations in our booth the entire show. There are also author demonstrations and product demonstrations going on through out.
- Trade cell phone numbers with everyone in your party and program them into your phone. Then, when you get separated from your group on the sales floor, you can call and re-unite! This is a great thing to do in the airport when you are killing time! Heaven forbid we waste a minute!
- If you have set up appointments in advance, ask for the cell phone numbers of the person you are meeting and program those numbers in too. Then, if you are running late, you can let the sales reps know.
Don’t forget to include the numbers of old friends that you would like to see – it is always fun to meet someone for lunch or dinner!
- And, consider scheduling appointments in the afternoon. Most people want morning appointments. I prefer the afternoon because I am starting to get tired – and you get to SIT DOWN! There will be water and snacks available at the Checker booth! So, come and sit down, take the time to REALLY look at the fabric – and rest those feet!
- Pack comfortable clothes and shoes. Quilt.com site says that the fashion show at Market stops at the knees! You will be on your feet for 9 or 10 hours a day for three days – dress your feet accordingly!
- You may want to have home contact information and medical insurance info for everyone in your party. If someone hyperventilates and passes out from all of the excitement, you will have the necessary information – with you – to handle that medical emergency! Remember, every group needs a “Mom”!
- Don’t forget to bring your name badge each day! They will not let you in without it!
- Contact your credit card company and let them know that you will be making multiple purchases in Minneapolis so they don’t freeze your card. This is a sign of the times – and something that wasn’t necessary a few short years ago – but it could save you a lot of grief!
- If you carry a clipboard or binder, put your contact information inside the front cover. Include your cell phone number! If you leave it in someone’s booth, they will be able to call you to return it.
- Take business cards to pass out to the vendors. Remember, they will use this information to bill and ship your merchandise. Are your billing and shipping addresses the same as your shop?
- Resist the temptation to buy anything until you have seen everything. When a booth interests you, make a note of it on the map included in your program. Then you can return to it later. Unless you have an unlimited budget, now is not the time for impulse buying – unless you are at the Checker booth!!!!!
- And, you will be offered a lot of handouts and freebies. Do not take anything unless you really want it! The vendors pay good money for them – and you have to carry everything you take around ALL DAY! Those free magazines look great at 10:00 – but are darn heavy by 6:00!
- Make sure you take a bag to carry everything you buy and pick up along the way. I prefer to leave my purse at home. Stash your credit card, business cards, and cell phone in your tote bag or a fannie pack. Believe me; you will be using them often!
- Enjoy the experience! You are going to be in a room with 10,000 people who love the same things that you do. Last year, I passed Nancy Halvorsen, Marie Osmond, AND Ricky Tims walking from the entrance to the Checker Booths – where else would that happen???
- Take pictures and enjoy the moment! But ask first! Most of them will let you take pictures of their booths – and them – to share with friends or use on your website. But, be polite – and ask first. And, if you do use a picture of a project or a quilt, make sure that you give the maker and designer credit! Lord knows they have earned it!
- But, most of all, stop by the Checker booth and meet everyone. They are the most honest, ethical, hard-working group of people that you will ever meet and they are there to make your market experience a positive one! Take advantage of their 60 plus years of experience in this business. You’ll be glad you did!