I am back from the M.A.T.E. gathering in Fredericksburg, VA where I had an awesome time connecting with old friends and making new friends as well. Now that we are about a week removed from the show, I have a few thoughts.
When vendors get together at these shows, it turns into a "family reunion" of sorts and we have a great time catching up, talking shop, and advancing our craft. Until I got to the event, I didn't realize just how badly I needed this weekend. These shows are always a ton of fun and I leave revitalized and full of ideas. It is a great break from everyday life and a temporary escape from the rest of the world.
The VIP night kicked off the event where it was great to meet show attendees and get a preview for what was going to be offered at the show. Saturday and Sunday were filled with a plethora of demos and discussions to further turning, shop, business, and other skills and facets related to the workshop.
The Mid-Atlantic Turners Expo was extremely well organized and the show appeared to be very successful. (Thanks Michael and Michelle for all of your hard work!) I had a great time connecting with vendors and customers, learning new skills, and getting validation in what I'm doing with Cross Cut Creations being worth the time and effort.
Miracle Maker Update: At the show, I set up a dedicated Miracle Maker display (pictured below) and I was able to sell a couple blocks worth of Miracle Maker blanks. After talking to one of the vendors about the how and why of the Miracle Maker blank, the vendor made an additional donation to go with the current donation. I am extremely humbled and appreciative of everyone who has supported this cause and I hope to sell many more Miracle Maker blanks. If you missed the story on these blanks, or want to pick up a few blanks to support a great cause, click here.
My next show is scheduled for June 10-11 in Nashville, TN at the Music City Pen Turners Gathering and I hope to develop a couple more new mixes in time to bring to the show. More importantly, I hope to meet a lot of new people there and reconnect with current friends. In a day and age where an online presence is such a big part of what a lot of people do, its great to meet face to face with customers that have ordered in the past and connect with new customers. Putting a face to a name really personalizes any business and it makes the next sale not feel purely transactional or like "just another number." Going to these types of shows to meet people and make connections has been extremely valuable and I am grateful for every person that stops by my table to say hi!