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Editorial: Are They Cannibalizing Bead Shows?

Update: 2 July 2000

We may have gotten something good going. The editorial of 17 June (below) and the reactions that poured in within a few days (link below) have brought a vow of future cooperation between Bead Expo and Bead & Button.

While no changes are envisioned for this year, in future years these two show operators have agreed not to schedule their shows so close in time and to inform each other of their plans.

It is my hope that ALL those planning large bead shows that attract people from across the country and abroad similarly confer with ALL other sponsors.

 17 June 2000

Updated Reactions

It first happened in 1996. Bead Expo '96 had been announced well ahead of time to be held in San Antonio, Texas. Around the beginning of the year Quilts, Inc. announced that they were holding their Embellishments show in Dallas, Texas, a few weeks before Bead Expo '96.

Then it happened again. In July 1999 Bead and Button magazine announced that they were no longer going to do the Embellishments show with Quilts. There were two results. One was that there were two shows (Beads and Buttons and Embellishments) six weeks apart held in the same city (Portland, Oregon).

The other result was that the Wine Country Glass Art & Bead Festival, to be hosted by Crystal Myths and Soft Flex ®, planned since 1998 for northern California at about the same time, was canceled by the organizers. They realized that three big shows, close together in time and space was not good for anyone.

And now it is happening again. Bead Expo 2001, planned for Miami in May, is being trumped again by Bead and Button, with a show the week before in Milwaukee. No dealer could possibly participate in both shows. There is only three days between them. Dealers can't fly to a venue, as they have to bring stock.They could drive, but would be exhausted by the time they get to Miami.

What is the rational for this? Aren't there enough dates and enough places to hold bead shows that don't step on others? One show canceled, one ruined and now potentially two more ruined.

I (and, yes I have been associated with Bead Expo) urge all organizers of bead shows to communicate and to put a stop to this cannibalization. It is not good for the bead world.

What do you think? Email me here. Note: I may post your reaction. Let me know if that is OK and if I should use your name, initials, place or whatever to identify you.


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