Industry still strong despite economic downturn
Fall Quilt Market wrap-up
The recent fall edition of International Quilt Market proved that the quilting and soft crafts field has largely avoided the pitfalls which many other industries have encountered, as the hard numbers show.
A total of 3,321 attendees enrolled for Market—only a 6.5% decrease from last fall’s all-time record high—but very close to 2006’s number. And while the number of exhibitors (551) and booths (1,144) were also slightly down from 2007’s all-time records in both those categories, there were 60 new exhibitors on the show floor, proving that the recent influx of “fresh blood” to quilting is no fluke.
“That was the number which surprised me the most, and I enjoyed meeting many of these new exhibitors on the show floor,” says Market Director Karey Bresenhan.
She also noted that, during her regular welcome to attendees at the Schoolhouse Series, she was impressed by the number of people who raised their hand when she asked how many in the audience had never been to a Market before.
“People are still opening shops, manufacturers are still shipping product, and—most importantly—quilters are still quilting!” she added. “I always tell those new shopowners and managers who are attending their first Market that they have chosen a wonderful industry to get involved in, and I hope that they will bring fresh enthusiasm and new approaches to their customers.”
The next edition of International Quilt Market will be held May 15-17, 2009, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The fall edition will be held two weeks earlier than normal, on October 10-12 in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center.