What a busy week! From Altanta, I headed north to another show — Printsource New York.  The first thing I thought when my plane touched down was how much more civilized the flight from Atlanta to New York is, compared to coming from Oregon — that is an all day event!  The weather was cold but sunny and I got my normal adrenaline shot just from being in the city — I love it!

The show was in the Hotel Pennsylvania, right across from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. (The location proved to be great when I was tired and hungry at night — a quick trip across the street to find food!)

printsource-hotelHaving never been to this show, I didn’t really know what to expect.  It is a much more intimate show that Surtex or Licensing International — the two that I have done in the past, and a far cry from the 3 building location in Atlanta.  Contained on the 18th floor of the hotel, the commute was fabulous — going up!  Floor 11 to 18 – no running to shuttles and leaving time for traffic.  (The show is moving a few blocks next year so you would need a coat and to walk a block or two…)

Printsource, as I’ve said before, is traditionally a show where apparel and textile companies come to buy designs outright. It was pretty cool to see people with “Tommy Hillfiger”, “Banana Republic”, “Osh Kosh”, “Vera Bradley” and the like walking by. Booths at this show were quite different than traditional art licensing show booths as well — selling designs outright means you can create individual patterns — you don’t have to worry about collections.

Have an idea?  Paint or design it online, print it and you’re all set.  Art seemed to go for $250-$600 per pattern on average.  But I was doing a bit of eves-dropping and consider myself anything but an expert.  Where are the people teaching the ropes for this way of making money with art?  Anyone…

This year they added licensing companies, since the show was noticing some licensing deals being made in the past.  We were scattered throughout the show and not in one specific section.  I think that was good and bad — many exhibitors don’t quite ‘get’ licensing so they may have skipped the area if we were in a clump.  This way, I had the opportunity to talk with people.

I made quite a few good contacts, for both regular and flat-fee licensing (accept a set $ amount up front for a particular product for a period of time–instead of waiting for royalties).  Of course follow-up is 80% of the game when you do a trade show so it’s up to me to turn my leads into clients.  As well as attendee contacts, I followed my own advice and networked and learned from artists in the booths around me and throughout the show.  This is one of the best ways to learn “the inside scoop” — just keep looking to make sure they don’t miss any potential business when you are asking questions!  I think it was a good learning experience that should turn into some new business for my art… I’ll keep you posted.

My sister came to help me (Christine — many of you have met her if you have come by my booth at Surtex) so that was an added bonus!  She lives in Pennsylvania so sometimes I only see her in New York at shows.

The main reason she came in was to cover my booth while I taught my first live version of “How to Get Started in Art Licensing”. I am happy to report that it went well and I got a lot of good feedback.  Based on my eBook by the same name, I had a PowerPoint and entertaining stories to share, as well as educating people about the reality of licensing and how to go about it.  Many were as confused by licensing as I was by selling designs for apparel.  🙂

printsource-boothI’m currently planning a teleseminar series to give more in-depth information, by phone, in the comfort of your (and my) own home. No planes to catch, baggage fees to pay or security lines to undress in.  (Don’t you feel like you get half undressed at the airport, or is that just me?)  Stay tuned for more information — my goal is an April class with info ready by March 1 at the latest.  My sister has been kind enough to agree to facilitate the Q&A.  (There will be one night of information and the next night will be answering questions about the previous night.)

The crazy part about my trip — I flew out of La Guardia the day after the plane went into the Hudson. Stressful!  I can have my, shall we say “issues” about flying, so being in the city when everything was taking place and taking the same runway the next day wasn’t my favorite way to end my trip.

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza at the airport the night before — which is where the passengers were housed.  When I arrived at the hotel about an hour after the crash, there were barricades keeping reporters at the street and what seemed like about 30 NYPD officers on the property and in the hotel.  It was an amazing thing to see — they were incredibly organized, ready to help and make sure everyone was ok, as was the staff at the hotel.  Hats off to the whole operation!

I am happy to say I made it home safe and sound without any panic. (On my part)  Now on to follow-up before heading out to exhibit at CHA next week.

Have a creative day!

~ Tara