I attended my first Surtex show this year and now that I'm on the other side of it I'd like to share my experience with you. I decided to attend Surtex about 5 weeks before the show. I wasn't sure how I was going to pull it off but in the end it was truly a great experience and I'm so glad I decided to attend. I met a lot of very kind and wonderful people. The other exhibitors in my area were so helpful, particularly since I was exhibiting alone. They helped me with my display, they watched my table for me when I needed a break and provided a lot of moral support. I'm blown away at how friendly and supportive they all were! I hope to stay in touch with them and hear about how the show has worked out for them.
I also met a lot of attended that said some very lovely things about my work. It filled my heart to know that these people found my work beautiful and used all the words to describe it that I wanted to invoke in the viewers of my work. It was also education in that I now have a better understanding of what elements of my work people are most interested in for their products. This will help me hone my future work.
The experience was wonderful and positive but that's not to say it was without stress and a true test of my dedication. When I arrived at the Javits Center the day before the show I found that all my displays and back drops that I had shipped to the warehouse for holding had been completely destroyed. The tubes had been crushed so my banners and back drops were not useable. In fact, the only thing still in tact was my portfolio. I spent many long hours walking back and forth between the Javits Center and Staples, spent one night up until past mid-night re-designing banners and spent more than I would like to admit on a completely new display for my table. There was a lot of restless nights, a lot of blisters and more than a few heavy sighs. I did it though and the table looked great. I learned a lot about the ins and outs of doing the show. In the end I'm so glad I did it and also so glad it's over and I can focus on forming relationships with new clients and focus on my artwork.