What to Expect at Quilt Market – Hello Houston!

Houston International Quilt Market:

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George R. Brown Convention Center

Houston – an Overview

Fall Quilt Market is held every year in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  Houston has a population of over 2 million residents making it the fourth largest city in the United States.   The city covers over 600 square miles – everything is big in Texas!

Houston is famous for its energy, oil, and aeronautics industries.  Houston is located just 30 miles from Galveston and the Gulf Coast.  The “Port of Houston” is the largest international port in the United States and the sixth largest port in the world.

The Texas Medical Center also calls Houston home and is the largest research and healthcare institution in the world.

Quick Facts:

When:

Events – October 8, 2009

Classes Begin – October 9, 2009

Exhibits – October   10 -  Saturday – 9:30 – 6:00

October 11 -  Sunday– 9:00 – 6:00

October 12 -  Monday – 9:00 – 4:00

Check the Houston International Quilt Market website for a complete list of events and classes.  Website: www.quilts.com

Where:

George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida de las Americas
Houston, Texas 77010
Telephone:  1-800-427-4697
Website: www.houstonconventionctr.com

Other Contact Information: Houston Weather –www.wunderground.com/US/TX/Houston
Bush International Airport: 1-281-230-3100
Lost & Found: 1-281-230-3299

City Information:

Population: over 2 million
Elevation:  95 Feet
Average Temperature in October:  lows in the 60’s and highs in the 80’s
Time Zone:  Central Time/ Daylight Savings Time

Frequently Asked Questions:

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 2006/2007 wholesale invoice from an industry supplier totaling        $300 or more

2)      Sales tax number; Resale number; OR Federal I.D. number

3)      Business Card

Prospective Retailer:

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 – just contact Judy Parker at 1-800-537-1060 ext. 618 or creditmanager@checkerdist.com.

Where is Checker located?

The Checker booth – actually 12 booths – covers over 1,200 square feet – Booths #624, 626 ,628, 724, 725, 726, 727, 728, 729, 825, 827, 828, 829 and 830.

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, call Janis at 1-800-537-1060 ext. 624 or 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 her badge.  You can call Janis or stop by the booth on Friday to make the appointment.

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 – our booth alone covers 1,200 square feet – 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 every hour of the show.

  • 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.  The 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”!

At Market

  • Don’t forget to bring your name badge each day!  They will not let you in without it!

  • 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!

2 thoughts on “What to Expect at Quilt Market – Hello Houston!

  1. Pingback: True Up » Archive » Textile Stew: 10/2/09

  2. Well done! Looking forward to seeing you all there, but unfortunately I will not be wearing comfortable shoes…exhibitors don’t get to use that rule, do they?

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