Brance and I had a busy week at IBMA earlier this month, but were not able to stay for the Fan Fest which ran that weekend (10/3-4). Our impression of the World Of Bluegrass trade show was that attendance was down, and several exhibitors and vendors expressed that their sales and interaction were also down from previous years.
We were delighted, however, to get this more positive report from painter Karen Cannon, who had a large booth in the exhibit area during Fan Fest.
“IBMA Fan Fest was a great show for me. Sales were brisk, some folks were returning customers and a number of them discovered my art for the first time this year. We were happy to see that the current economy debacle didn’t noticeably dampen spirits, everyone was happy and having a great time.
The Awards Show was very well done, and having it in The Ryman was a treat. The IBMA staff does a great job with all aspects of the convention.
An added bonus to the Nashville trip: we finalized plans with the Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman, and The Country Music Hall of Fame to carry our music art products. I’ll be doing custom work for The Opry and am looking forward to that. And I’m already planning my exhibit for Fan Fest 2009 and hope to have several new designs to debut there. It’s going to be a busy year.
Looks like I’d better learn how to paint with both hands at the same time!”
We would be interested in hearing from anyone else who exhibited at IBMA 2008, or anyone who attended in a professional capacity, with your own impressions of the event, how well it met your expectations, and how well you accomplished your goals.