By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Yes, fellow beaders, it is one of the most wonderful times of the year! We get to visit with lots of friends, go shopping for bright and shiny things, and witness lots new and amazing things. No, Virgina, it’s not Christmas, but for beaders, it’s just as near and dear to our hearts. It’s time for the annual Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee!

Walking into the Bead Marketplace

Walking into the Bead Marketplace

Whether this is your first trip or you are a seasoned veteran, here are a few tips, tricks, and who to make sure to see while shopping in the Bead Marketplace.

What To Bring

Bead and Button Show Supplies

Few of the items to help you have a happy trip to the Bead & Button Show.

Sweatshirt or sweater – The classrooms and Bead Marketplace can vary in temperature. One classroom can be freezing while the next will be quite warm. Dressing in layers will help.

Rolling Bag – Having a bag on wheels will be useful for caring your supplies from classroom to classroom, which can be on complete opposite ends of the convention center. Also, your arms will thank you for the rolling bag when caring all your purchases from the Bead Marketplace.

Comfortable Shoes – If you have never been to the Bead and Button Show before, this is the one tip you should make sure to follow! Walking from hotels, in between classes, and around the Bead Marketplace will put your feet through their paces.

Business Cards – Business cards are a great way to easily exchange information with the new friends you make at the show. Even simple ones can be printed at home and brought with.

Tax ID – If you have a Tax ID, make sure to bring it with you to the show. Some sellers at the Bead Marketplace do offer wholesale pricing with proof of a Tax ID.

Notebook/Pen/Highlighter – Great for taking notes during class and writing down booth numbers you might want to return to. I use my highlighter to mark on the show floor map which booths I want to make sure that I stop by.

Glasses – For any close-up work that you may be doing.

Jewelry Making Tools and supplies – Some classes require you bring specific tools and supplies. I like to bring some extra supplies with me just in case the beading bug hits. Don’t worry if you forget anything, you can always pick up anything you might need in a beading station in the Hyatt or on the Show Floor.

Your Designs – Be proud of your work! Wear your creations and , if you can, carry pictures on your phone or in a portfolio. You never know when you might be discovered!