h+h Americas’24: the Recap

So… you might remember that all the trade shows in this country were closed during Covid. And slowly but surely they started cautiously re-opening in mid-2021, albeit with restrictions. But what you may know, is that even though the International Quilt Festivals have been back since Fall 2021, the Quilt Markets (the wholesale shows) didnt return until Fall of 2022, and believe it or not, the Spring version of the International Quilt Market has YET TO RETURN! … WHAT???

Maybe that’s why h+h Cologne, the largest wholesale trade show in Europe (specializing in various handicrafts & hobbies) decided to travel across the pond in 2023 for their very 1st h+h Americas show, but with one BIG addition!

They made the HUGE decision to reach out to the US Quilting Community!

I actually checked into vending at their 1st US show in 2023, but it was to be located in the Chicago area with no guarantee of how many Quilt Shops would actually show up, in this, the inaugural year. It was just too big a risk for me, so I stayed home!

But this year…

The good folks at Creative Retailer Magazine (thanks editor, Heidi Kaisand, at left) decided to sponsor a Pattern Designer Pavilion at h+h Americas’24, and I was fortunate enough to have been asked to participate. And get this, I didn’t even have to attend the show or set up my own display! How could I lose, right?

My assistants of course had their own opinions about how our display should look… but in the end, I had to “go with my gut” and set things up based on my experience vending at other shows. 🙂

I decided to include a sample of our Sling Along pattern (our most popular pattern) along with our 3 newest designs, the Double Take, the Bella BiFold, & our Easy Go Wallet!

So… I immediately set about figuring out the best way to display 3-4 of my patterns along with pattern covers and info about how store owners could get their hands on these patterns for their shops.

the h + h Americas Show

So…

Here’s a side-by-side look at how my display “suggestion” (at left) worked out in the “real world” of the show floor (at right).

I’m sure the good folks at Creative Retailer had really good reasons for changing the “anatomy” of my display and its totally unlikely that I would ever criticize their decision, because they’re the ones that are on the show floor in real time. I told them right up front that I trusted them to make the best decisions for me since I knew up front that I wouldn’t be there. 🙂

So what’s the verdict? Will we do this again next year?

That’s a really good question. it’s so tough to measure the results of a wholesale show because the decisions that wholesalers make about new products often takes place days or weeks AFTER the show, when store evaluate the information that they’ve taken away from the show. So we’ll see…. I’m certainly willing to consider it again.

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Kat

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