Thursday, August 05, 2010

PMC Guild Conference

I'm slowly recovering from my trip to the PMC Guild Conference at Purdue University. The best thing about the conference was meeting in person all the friends I've made over the internet, through this blog, forums or Facebook. The hardest thing about the conference was walking the long distances. For the first two days, I used my single crutch, which made me immediately recognizable to many. Everyone was incredibly supportive, slowing their pace to accompany my shortened gait. By two days into the conference, I chose to leave the crutch in my room, as it seemed always in the way. How do you pass through a buffet with a crutch, or eat what a kind friend might collect for you??

The good news is that my walking is much improved from the "conference therapy." This morning I actually took my father, who is visiting this week, out to one of my favorite walking loops. I made it about a quarter mile before I had to turn back (and took a short cut to the car), while he continued on.

My favorite presentations of the conference were those associated with retail sales. Bruce Baker gave two talks, one on trends and another on booth design and sales. Both were excellent, as he is very knowledgeable and extremely entertaining. I was reminded of a crafts workshop on business that I've wanted to take for a while, which he is part of. Now I'm more determined than ever to actually do it soon. I already own his three CDs on jurying, booth design and retail sales, but I need to go listen again. I actually attempted to load them onto my iPhone before I left, but somehow they didn't transfer, so I couldn't do my last minute prep before the Show & Sell.

Susan Dilger also gave an eye-opening presentation on pricing. I have to give some serious thought to pricing my work. It seems that I tend to make very labor intensive work, which makes it very expensive, especially if I followed the guidelines that Susan gave, which give higher prices than I usually choose. I either need to rethink my work so as to make some more inexpensive pieces, or find the appropriate clientèle that will appreciate my work enough to pay those high prices.

So, lots of food for thought.