A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO QUILT MARKET
First, welcome to International Quilt Market! Since 1979, the show has been the trade show for the quilting and textile industries.
Market is a wholesale trade show, open only to credentialed attendees and those in the business. Here, you’ll be able to visit more than 1,000 booths to see all kinds of products both new and familiar ranging from fabrics, book, and patterns to sewing machines, notions, and supplies. You can also learn in dozens of Take & Teach classes and Business Seminars, and take that knowledge or class skills back home to your shop or business!
Here are some FAQs we’ve gathered that might help you make the most of your First Market Experience!
Why do my feet hurt?
Because at Market, there is a LOT of ground to cover. We always recommend that you wear comfortable shoes. We like to say that, indeed, “fashion stops at the knees!”
What is the Schoolhouse Series?
Schoolhouse Series is a great way for exhibitors and teachers to showcase, demonstrate, and educate potential customers about their newest products. It’s held the day before Market opens, and each “session” is 15-30 minutes. There are scores offered during the day, and some duplicated. Be sure to attend the first “Premier” Schoolhouse session at the start of the day to get important information and view a one-time-only special exhibitor presentation and see what giveaways are available. You can get a schedule with times and room numbers at the Schoolhouse check-in desk, or see the Market App for basic info.
What is Sample Spree?
The night before the Market show floor opens, dozens of exhibitors set up tables and offer samples of their products for sale – many that you can only place orders for at their booths – in a cash and carry basis. It does get a little frantic, but it’s one of Market’s most popular events. Also, rolling totes are not allowed in Sample Spree due to safety concerns.
Does Market have an App?
You bet we do! And you can get it free from the App Store or Google Play by searching “Quilt Inc.” The app contains several helpful sections: Exhibitor listings; schedule of classes, seminars, and events; Schoolhouse Series schedule; presenter information; show floor map; map of the area including nearby restaurants and businesses; and other general show information.
You can also use the app’s Favorites & Notes feature to “favorite” (mark) and take notes on exhibitor listings and new products, classes, seminars, and events. Then, easily access all of your saved information in the Favorites & Notes section for use at the show or after. The app also includes a fun Activity Stream, which allows users to post text and photos for all to see. Think of it like in-app social media for Market attendees! It’s a great way to share your show experience and connect with fellow Market-goers.
Should I take a Market Business Seminar? I don’t own a quilt shop.
Our seminars are planned to appeal to and provide valuable information for both shop owners and those in the industry, and are taught by experts. Topics can range from using social media and the internet to increasing your or your business’ profile, customer relations, financial matters, branding, publishing, and more. All things you can use even if you don’t own a brick and mortar store.
I have a question, concern, or comment. Where can I go at the show?
(Please note that our spring Market moves to different cities, which is why there are no specific locations shown below.)
- General show information: At our Houston show, there are two Information Desks – one in the center of the show floor under the large American flag, and once in the main lobby on the first floor in the George R. Brown concourse. At our spring show, which travels the country, information will be available at easily accessible locations. Also, please consult your Market Buyer’s Guide or the Market App.
- About the enrollment process, go to the Enrollment Desk in the lobby on the second floor near Hall C in Houston, or as noted in your Buyer’s Guide and on signage at our other Markets.
- About classes, go to the Education Office in room 340AB in Houston, or as designated in your Buyer’s Guide or on signage for other Markets.
- About media, go to the Press Room in room 215 in Houston, or check signage or your Buyer’s Guide for other Markets.
- About exhibitors, go to the Exhibitor Registration desk in the lobby on the second floor or check signage or your Buyer’s Guide for other Markets.
- You can also send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 713-781-6864 after Market.
And finally, we recently asked on Facebook what advice Market veterans would give a first-time attendee. Here are some selected responses:
- Bring a good bag on wheels, for walking around the show floor. All the catalogues, samples and other stuff is heavy. Well worth it, even if you are not allowed to bring it to Sample Spree!
- Pace yourself. I found it best to first walk the entire floor without really stopping in any of the booths. Make notes of the ones you want to explore further, and then go back to hit them. Otherwise, you’ll spend all of your budget long before you’ve seen everything, and might miss out on buying the stuff you want the most.
- Bring enough business cards!
- Note that the big name distributors often have reps who travel to shops, but the small independents don’t. Market may be the only time you get to see unique products from small, creative independents that can make your store stand out.
- You may feel overwhelmed, but that feeling is normal! Stop for a break, divide up the show floor into manageable “bites,” and take a “bite” each day! And remember. . .at your next Market, you’ll be a seasoned pro!