Sometimes, in the jewelry section upstairs, where they just write
orders, it is like a tomb. In Jan. at the LA Gift show I talked to
some of the vendors in the "Handmade" section and they were dying.
That's funny to me, because I had my best LA show last Jan. I am
also in Handmade. I picked up about 15 new accounts, wrote tons of
reorders, and the majority of these stores have been reordering ever
I have discovered that show performance is flukey. People say "oh
it's busier on Saturday because all the intown buyers are here
reordering before they find new product", and "Monday is the best
day, you'll do great on Monday because the big-time buyers always
show up on Monday", etc... Everyone has their theories. I don't
believe in any of them.
I've tracked my sales from year to year, and they change from day 1
to day 4 during each show. No two shows even in the same venue are
the same. I usually do better in the July shows than I do the jan
shows. (But of course, as soon as I say that I have a great winter
show) People scoff at this but it's true. In July I write Christmas
to Valentine's Day orders! In Jan I write summer season orders, and
some Christmas. There have been shows that my neighbors have been
kicking butt, and I'm drowning. And there have been shows that are
the opposite. There's no rhyme or reason.
I think you have to give a show a chance, at least three times to
see if it's going to work for you. Some buyers want to see you more
than once before they order. I'm still writing first orders for
buyers that have come by my booth for the last 4 years and are
finally ordering. On the other hand, some buyers will buy immediately
I do think LA gift is slow and I think there's a heck of a lot of
jewelry in the handmade section so there's a lot of competition and
it's probably hard for a new jeweler to break into and write good
orders. (I do a lot of reorders at this show). But, I've also noticed
people doing the show one time and then not coming back. It seems to
have a high turnover rate.
Just my long-winded 2cents worth!