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Hello, just curious if anyone has some personal experience at this show regarding the usual concerns. Such as load-in/out, what to expect as far as set-up, special circumstances, etc. This is my first swing at it for this particular show and was curious about the do's and don'ts that the show organizers don't really tell you about. It seems from reding their show material that a person is almost forced to hire their labor for drayage?

I'll have decorative ceramics, and don't really relish the idea of others (mis)handling my wares. Any potters (or others)here who've done this show and have advice, its greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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I am a potter, and it will be my first time doing this show as well. Had not come across the stuff about drayage, was not expecting any additional expenses, the booth fee is steep enough as it is.

If you guys are liberals I don't want to hear any whining. Those high prices are due to the convention centers using organized union laborers and their rules which, if you are a liberal, you support. You should be glad the show isn't in New York where you may have to have the union guy plug in your lights, too, at $75 an hour or whatever they get now. Those laws are more relaxed in places like St Paul, which is why those shows aren't in New York, Boston, or Philadelphia.

Btw, don't conclude from this little rant that I am pro or anti union, a Republican or Democrat. I'm just telling you what you are paying for.

Gregg, nice to see you are getting out of St Louis and venturing into the real world. Make sure you have breakfast at Mickey's Diner and drink some of the local beer. I'd be interested in how you do. One year, they featured me on the cover and the show was so crowded you could hardly get from one side of the isle to the other. Another time, the circus was in town at the arena which is attached to the convention center and we bought these funky pop guns and spent the whole time shooting each other with whatever it was that they shot. Another time the finals of college hockey tournament was there and I saw Harvard beat Wisconsin, I think. The first year of the show, they had a benefit for something or another and the spread was amazing. They had all the top restaurants in the area cater the event. They even let the artists in. Needless to say, that only lasted one more year. You'll have to let us all know how you did.

I just don't like when I am forced to use their labor to do things that I could easily do myself. That is just ridiculous protectionism, union or no. I am not looking forward to having to haul all my things into a building, as opposed to just backing the trailer up to the street. Well, at least I will not have to worry about weather.

C'mon Barry, Minneapolis is like my second hood. I don't think there is a gas station between St. Louis and St. Paul I have not stopped at. I have never been to Mickeys though.
Now I have to get back to enjoying the Utopia that is St. Louis.

Gregg, we are just going to have to get together and have a good conversation or two. If only they would let me back into some decent shows... You proved my point about not being allowed to do some simple labor that you have to pay someone to do because of a labor contract. Some things are just silly to the point of absurdity.

So, back to the original post-anyone have some insight on what to expect at this show?

Load/in/out, general set up and lighting, etc.

Good crowds? It's only 35 miles from my home, so getting there is easy. Does the St. Paul venue attract many out of town folks who follow the show?

This is all second hand from talking to other people. What I have been told is it does not draw huge crowds, but the people that do come are more serious buyers, and tend to be people that come year after year.  Demographics wise I don't really know.
 
I am in Booth 1119, I will stop by and say hi Chad.

I haven't done this one before, but I'm doing it for the first time this year too. I've done their Baltimore show and the San Francisco one before. Actually, I've done many indoor shows. and I've never had to pay drayage. You can almost always drive your car up to the loading dock and as long as you do unload it yourself, they let you carry your stuff in or use small hand carts. If the loading area is only union, then park nearby on a street and carry your stuff in by another door than the loading dock. You also don't need to use union labor to put up your booth as long as you don't use power tools. And if you need to ship anything, which is what I do--ship it to your hotel and hand carry it over because you do have to pay drayage on any shipments that go through the loading dock. See you there!

I got the straight info from one of the show organizers. I was mistaken. One does not need to hire labor for the St. Paul show, only the Baltimore show as there are union rules at that venue. Sorry for any confusion. Things just got a little easier for me!

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