Road2Ca 2020- the Report


with this year’s Road to California in our rear view mirror, and considering that we’ve had plenty of time since getting home to think about how the show went it’s time to give you our official show report.

And here’s the thing… it’s always great to get out of the cold eastern Seaboard and head to sunny southern California in January, right? But this year it seemed like everything that could go wrong DID go wrong for the first couple of days that we were there!

First of all, it looked as though our freight box wasn’t going to arrive until Wednesday afternoon which would’ve been a near fatal blow considering that it takes every bit of 8-10 hours to set up our booth.

As it turned out, it didn’t even arrive at the terminal in Fontana, California until Tuesday morning at which time I immediately sprang into action trying to find someone… anyone who would agree to putting it on a truck for Ontario THAT DAY, which fortunately I was able to do, but then for reasons far too many to innumerate, our box had to be unloaded in the PARKING LOT of the convention center and then literally brought inside piece by piece by us, which wasn’t a great thing for my surgically repaired leg.

Who could complain though? We were just so happy to have our supplies! And believe me, it was truly by divine intervention that we got it on Tuesday!

So the show opened on Thursday, but even though our booth was set up it was NOT the end of our troubles because from the very 1st sale it was obvious that we were dealing with internet problems.

I normally use a ‘HotSpot’ to generate my own signal but it was only operating on an intermittent basis. At first I thought it was my phone (which admittedly it quite old), but since other vendors were complaining also, that wasn’t the case. So we spent the day alternating between having a signal and not, which meant we had to run a great many of our sales “offline” a majority of the day.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day I found that 5 of the sales that had been run “offline” had failed and we were out $263.00. Even with this loss however, we had the best opening day we’d ever had at Road2Ca, which made the loss a little easier to take.

By Friday I was determined to have a less stressful day and contracted with the Convention Center to use their Internet signal for the duration of the show (for a price of course). I’m still not convinced that their new broadcasting boxes weren’t the culprit since we’ve experienced no such difficulty in the 5 previous years, but by now I had no more fight left in me!

The rest of the Show passed fabulously & uneventfully & it turned out that 2020 was by far the most successful Road2Ca show EVER for us! And believe me, its a whole lot easier to forget the first few stressful days after a GREAT show than it would’ve been after a so-so show! We’re very thankful for this!

And by now I’m wondering if you happened to notice the BIG change we made to our Road2Ca display? I decided back at home to not bring our posters to this show. The reason was two-fold. First, our outer display is pretty tall for the most part and the posters are pretty much obscured, PLUS, I’ve been thinking that they actually could be a distraction from our display since they make for a very busy background as opposed to what the one-color curtains would provide. So what do YOU think? Should I continue to leave them at home?

And now for our EXCITING news!

Check out the 2021 Road2Ca Bookmark!

So… does anything about this bookmark look familiar?

You might remember a while back that I made a bag for Road2Ca in their 25th anniversary commemorative fabric, and I guess they liked it so much that they featured it on the backside of their 2021 bookmark! AND, you might also notice that Road2Ca will be having another “Bag Contest” next year with a $500 1st prize along with a Best Use of Fabric and a Director’s Choice award of $500 each!

Last time a similar contest was run there was only one bag entered from one of our patterns and I would sure love to see MORE next year. I’ll follow up on this and let you know more information when I have it but as far as I know now, the only stipulation is that you must use the Road2Ca Commemorative fabric for at least 50% of the project.

Soas you can see— even though we didn’t have the best of starts for Road2Ca2020, we had an excellent and exciting finish, proving once again that “all’s well that ends well”!

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what your thoughts are about our “posterless booth” AND next year’s bag contest at Road2Ca! And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.

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  1. Chris in South Jersey on February 11, 2020 at 7:36 am

    I ran my shops’s booth at a show in the Philly convention center last year. I’m convinced that if they could charge for the air we breathe they would. Sounds like R2C decided to monetize the internet this time around and prevent you from using your hot spot.

    • Dawn King on February 11, 2020 at 7:43 am

      What show in Philly? I’d love to go. I’m in Trenton!

    • Kat on February 11, 2020 at 10:39 am

      well I really cant blame Road2Ca, because the Internet falls under the Convention Center’s jurisdiction.

  2. Cathy R on February 11, 2020 at 7:37 am

    In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t remember what your booth looks like with the posters. That being said, I really love the look of this year’s display… the solid blue really seems to make your products “pop” and stand out visually.

    I’m really sorry that people took your products and gave you bad credit cards.

    • Kat on February 11, 2020 at 10:40 am

      well— it really probably wasnt on purpose. Evidently I find out now that when you’re running in “offline” mode, you should NOT take debit cards, so that may have been the issue.

  3. Dawn King on February 11, 2020 at 7:43 am

    I think the booth looks better without the posters. Bummer about the bad credit cards. Glad it all worked out for you!

  4. Fran Clepper on February 11, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Kat, I visited your booth at nearly – reality 5:25 on Friday and your booth looked just great. And you, my dear, were as patient and kind and had a smile on your face as I asked the same questions I am sure you are asked ALL WEEK LONG…. “how hard is the pattern? Can I do this? Which one is our favorite?” See you can’t even identify me by the questions I asked. I would have NEVER known you had any problems getting ready for the show. Your demeanor and your attitude was great! I have worked shows in the past (for my work selling office furniture) and it is a long hard day in the best of circumstances Although I think your booth would be amazing to work in, obviously you had challenges too! Leave the posters at home. I had no idea ANYTHING was missing or amiss. Your smile and attitude and helpful suggestions I would have def missed if they were not “present.” We hope to come up next year before the show starts. If we see anyone hauling goods in piece by piece we will def pitch in. It is sad that the convention center is not able to provide RELIABLE internet. This happened 2 years ago on day one and we all had to run out and hit the ATM machines because no one could run our cards. I am certain y’all pay a pretty price for that space. The center should be ashamed they cannot provide better internet. How are you supposed to run your business??? See you next year, hopefully carrying my new Odyssey bag!

    • Kat on February 11, 2020 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words. And please dont wait until next year to show us your new Odyssey! 🙂

  5. Katie Neil on February 12, 2020 at 6:48 am

    Looking at what appears to be a perfect booth display, I agree that the plain walls show your merchandise to the best advantage. Just to be contrary, I would love to see a modest logo tastefully displayed at the top and in the middle of each wall. As an attendee, I often look for those over heads in aisle walking — and I love yours!

    • Kat on February 12, 2020 at 6:56 am

      Well we do have a sewn logo banner posted in the back corner of our booth but its just not showing in this photo. In looking at the photo though, I think you’re right. It never seems to show much in ANY of our photos. So I think when we’re in Hampton Virginia in a couple of weeks I’ll place it on the back wall where is can be seen better. Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

  6. Dee Winter on February 12, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Good to know that you had a great show. When I worked retail, if our system was offline, we would ask for the customer’s name and phone so if there was a problem we could contact them to resolve the problem. Hopefully the people who don’t find the charge on their card will step up and call you. Now, on the booth, I think it would be nice to have a poster of possibly your newest bag on that wall at the end of the table. Looks so bare.

  7. Karol on February 12, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    I agree 100% on no posters! More time and visual energy to look at what makes money. 🙂 I would guess that helped contribute to your additional sales also.

    • Kat on February 12, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      Could be…. you never know !

  8. vrenibc on February 12, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    I agree with all of the No Posters votes – the bag samples speak for themselves so much better than the posters did. I also agree with the logo in the center of each wall. It will allow people to know from whom they’re purchasing, without overpowering the bag samples! I think the plain walls make the bags pop.

    • Kat on February 12, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      in the end I know you guys are right! 🙂