Another Surtex, another good show. Actually, a really good show. We had a steady stream of attendees throughout the 3 days, although Monday was definitely the busiest, and we were still showing work at 6:15 on Tuesday as the place was being dismantled around us. I LOVE that. Traffic had the appearance of being down despite the fact that show management reported their registrations were up significantly over last year. One difference we did notice was that the clients were very focused, not many “looky-loos” this year. Almost everyone seemed to know what they wanted, what holes in their lines they needed to fill and what categories they wanted to expand upon. It was actually very refreshing – a yes or no answer is always better than a maybe.
We did not talk to many newbie artists this year, there were plenty in evidence but only a couple stopped by to ask about submitting, and as a group I have to say they were very respectful of the exhibitors. Kudos to you all.
I wish, however, I could say the same for some of the experienced ones.
It seems that a number of the artists and agents who have previously exhibited have arrived at the conclusion that, because of their many years of exhibiting, they now are entitled to walk the show and meet with the attendees. One even suggested to us they should be exempt from the fee charged to walk the show. Seriously? These are, mind you, the very same people who complained for years about the slew of artists who did exactly what they are doing before show mgmt finally made some effort to control it. Baffled only begins to tell you how I feel about this logic.
And then there was this: an artist (who has been in the business for 15 or 20 years but no longer exhibits) walks up to say hi to a client – who had just arrived at our booth – then proceeded to park herself there and chat. Eventually our client ran out of time and had to move along, and to add insult to injury the artist offers to walk with the client and off they went. Our meeting? Didn’t happen. Hard to believe we’re seeing this from our “professionals”.
On another note, the decision was made last week to discontinue the License and Design section of the Atlanta gift market. The unfortunate reality is that the AmericasMart is just not set up to accommodate a show of this type without it being a five day location in the temps – and a show that long was an unacceptable option for most exhibitors. It is a shame since the timing and location in THE major gift market of the year had huge potential, but the showroom structure of the market just didn’t work.
All for now, I need to get through this big stack of work that comes with a great show - and it’s how many (how few actually…) weeks till Licensing?