Tucson Gem Show 2011 -- or Bust!

After many many years of making my own handmade jewelry, I am finally committed to making the journey to the Shangri-la of beads and stones... the (almost mythical) Tucson Gem Show!

This mass meeting of gem and lapidary shows from around the globe converges on Tucson Arizona every year in late January, early February. I'd love to hear stories and TIPS PLEASE from any beaders/jewelers out there who have gone to the show. How to get around? Where to stay? Which shows are not to be missed?

I'm looking forward to meeting fellow designers, meeting new supply vendors, and visiting the massive spreads of my current vendor friends.

Tips I've gathered so far:

1) Book lodging in advance. Well in advance. Many of the shows happen in local hotels and there is shuttle service between many of them.
2) Register as a wholesale seller in advance of the shows.
3) Have plenty of copies of your wholesale paperwork to show to vendors
4) Watch your belongings carefully! It's a big crowd with a lot of cash floating around -- and when there's cash, there's theft.
5) Bring a wheelie bag or other means of carrying your goodies around. There's lots of walking!
6) Remember the basics of visiting a gem show.

I'll keep posting on any updates or cool resources as I research more into the journey (can you say ROAD TRIP???). It's a *little* early to start planning, but I am determined to get there this time. Won't you join me?



AFlyOnTheWall said...

It is NOT too early to start planning! ...and I've done a lot of the footwork for you!

Check out the resource lists on my Tucson Gem Show - Live! blog.

Join the Facebook page - lots of people will offer advise!

If you are on Twitter there is a #TucsonGemShow hashtag - check out last years chatter here!

Hope to run into you in the desert ;-p

Robyn AKA @aflyonthewall

plcpeggy said...

Thanks Robyn! I'll be sure to check out your blog.

Gaye Fields said...

Peggy, Every bit of studying about the Tucson Show will help. After going for 4 years, I offer this advice. Match up the venues you'll attend to what you are trying to find/buy. Ask past attendees which shos they like best, and why. The whole city is full shows and many will NOT be worth your while. But they'll add to how tired you will get.
PIck your top three venues and go to them 1st. Read through the exhibitor list to see if it helps you narrow down the hundreds of vendor booths you will see. "Overwhelming" is what I hear most from attendees. So, pace yourself. I limit to 3 venues a day, at most.
If you would like some suggestions for great vendors, I would do that with you via email, vs using a public blog.
My email is gaye@gayefields.com. My website is www.gayefieldsjewelry.com.
You can check the site to see I'm legit. :) I have wonderful vendor relationships made in Tucson and would be happy to share those with you. And tell you my fav. shows.
Thanks, Gaye Fields

Anonymous said...

Check out this years Jewelry and Gem Expo off the frontage road next to Intergem and GJX. This show will set the new standard for Gem and Jewelry shows in Tucson. www.jewelryandgemexpo.com