In September I went to Paris to visit Indigo – a creative textile and surface design show.
My designs made it to the show through a collaboration with Believe Creative Studio and I couldn’t resist the temptation to go and have a peek. It was very exciting to be part of an international show like this.
Some of my classmates from ‘The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design’ online course were also collaborating with the studio and a few of them decided to come and see the show too. I met them for the first time ever and it was fantastic to see them in real life. We had spent so many months communicating through the web that I felt at home in their company! And I have to say, they were all as lovely as I had imagined…
I spent only one day at the show as I have 2 little ones that were waiting desperately at home for me. I arrived on the morning of the opening and the queues were gigantic. I thought I was gonna be in line all day but amazingly it moved really fast. It was all very well-organized. I was given a pass which you have to wear while walking the show. The pass shows your name and position and I imagine it’s mainly used by exhibitors to discern who they pay attention to the most!
When I went in I was bewildered by the sheer size of it. If you wanted to visit the whole exhibition, you would have to come on all 3 days and have feet of iron… I went straight to the Indigo area which is the one that specializes in surface pattern design.
First I went to say hello to Rosie from Believe Creative Studio. The stand was looking really nice and the tables were laid out with all our lovely designs. I met my classmates there and we all went for drinks. After a nice long chat we started the long stroll.
There were just under 200 exhibitors covering a broad range of activities: women, infants, children, junior, men, lingerie, knit, swimwear, embroideries, accessories, fashion designing, computer graphics, transfer paper, archives and vintage.
Some stands were very busy, some not so much and each had hundreds if not thousands of designs. It seems that the first day is mostly dedicated to appointments that visitors have made in advance with their favourite studios.
The people showing the designs have to present them very swiftly, not only to save time and get more customers in, but to avoid any ideas being copied. The viewer has just a couple of seconds to assess a design. This is the land of love at first sight…
After a whole day of wandering and wondering, the first day of the show ended and it left me with a few lessons: your stand needs to stand out if you want buyers to approach it, a couple of hundred designs won’t do – bring loads, and if your design gets bought consider your self lucky, that buyer just found a needle in a haystack!
Tips for future visitors:
- The exhibition place is about 30 mins on a train from the center of Paris but there are a couple of hotels in the exhibition center area. Beware though, you have a 15 mins walk on a very badly lit and desolate road and through some awfully dark woods! I had to call my husband to keep me company on the phone…
- There are a few eating places inside the exhibition center but they close when the show closes. There are not many eating/drinking places around the area so plan carefully in case you get peckish.
- Photographs of the stands/designs are strictly forbidden, so don’t bother.
- Bring flat shoes and an absorbent brain, your mind is gonna be blown to smithereens!
Have you got some great tips for exhibiting at surface design shows? Please share them!