My condolences - only 1 or 2 days!! My first time at the Tucson
shows left me in such confusion and awe that I didn't spend a penny
until half-way through the second day.
You asked: "What should I know about this overwhelming event? I
sort of know what I want- things I can't find in the Rio Grande
catalog. Cabs and beads of the same materials that make good
groupings, settable stones of all kinds, and things I have never seen
My advice would be to go to the website and get an idea of just how
many shows will be open during the days you will in in Tucson. Then
look at the map of the show locations. Time will be most important
for you, so the less you spend traveling from one arena to another,
Based on what you say you want, work one of the clusters of shows
like the Palo Verde, Downtown, Frontage Road & Congress, or Electric
Park areas. You can park for the day and wear your tootsies off
walking around the shows in that area. The shuttles are great, but
will take precious minutes from your day.
Definitely do the Catalog in Motion. I suggest driving to the Hilton
and be there early! It opens at 9:00, an hour earlier than almost
everything else. After you've enjoyed playing with the tools and
asking your questions and hearing some excellent speakers, leave and
plan to spend the rest of the day at one of the other areas.
Tucson traffic is a consideration, so have a detailed city map - AAA
sells an excellent one. You can plan your attack with the idea of
spending as little time on the road as possible.
Also pre-register NOW with G&LW, GLDA, and the Big Mama AGTA. Again,
a great time-saver to have the paperwork done ahead of time. The
websites will have buyer registration forms and Take
many, many copies of your sales tax certificate/business license.
The vendors will ask for that or a business card when you purchase
for the first time.
You may think this is silly, but I take a SMALL wheeled backpack so
that I can tote snacks and water bottles. I don't stop for meals or
drinks, which waste time while the shows are open. The backpack is
great for holding purchases - stones in quantity do get heavy. Also
carries my loupe and caliper, etc.
I think I've rambled on too long, so will simply wish you the best
of luck and, again, my condolences on your limited time in Tucson!
Judy in Kansas - Oh yes, take an umbrella, jacket, and your most
Judy M. Willingham, R.S.