Reports on shows, trends, and more
TNNA Summer Market Report
A busy, productive weekend for
by Heather Gooch (July 6, 2009)
The National NeedleArts Association’s (TNNA’s) Summer Market
took place June 10-13 at the Greater Columbus (OH) Convention Center
with lots to see, do, learn – and buy.
Before the event, TNNA reached out to members to see what would
help entice show attendees to make the trip. As a result of the
feedback, a "reward plan" was created. Among a number of
incentives, every attendee was given the opportunity to attend a
class (up to $50 value), which certainly contributed to most of the
classes’ sold-out status and the Market’s mere 6% decrease in
The eagerly anticipated Great Wall of Yarn display and the
ever-growing Discover What’s New display were overwhelmed by
attendees – even before the show floor opened.
Numerous major cash and prize giveaways were also presented
throughout the trade show’s three days. Many people took home
fantastic items from the Yarn Group’s Silent Auction, as well as a
Chinese Auction offered by this year’s Pathways into Professional
NeedleArts (PiPN) students. In addition, there were free food
vouchers – donated by the convention center vendors – for anyone
wanting a snack throughout the event.
The show floor itself was busy, with attendees in a buying mood.
There was an enormous amount of new products for yarn, needlepoint,
and counted-thread retailers to get excited about, and most vendors
reported being pleased with both turnout and sales.
In addition to the trade show and class portions of the program,
there were several other events of note from TNNA:
After the Retailers Luncheon and Chinese Auction Friday
afternoon, retail sales and marketing guru (and psychologist) Jim
Dion gave a moving keynote presentation, "Thriving in Tough
Early Friday evening, in addition to the annual Sample It!, TNNA
presented two new features: Teacher Meet & Greet and the
Needlepoint Premiere & Silent Auction. The teachers were on hand
during the meet-and-greet to speak one on one with attendees and
highlight their new techniques. The auction, supported by TNNA’s
Needlepoint Group, was an array of new canvases, products, and
accessories enticing retailers to both bid and network at the
Later that evening, the very well-attended Yarn Group’s Fashion
Show highlighted the hot new fashions for fall. It was during this
event that TNNA honored this year’s Tribute to Excellence in
Needlework (TEN) Award winner, Carol Gantz -- a needlepoint designer
and past president of TNNA. (Note: A video of the fashion
show is available at www.yarngroup.org.)
On Friday evening, TNNA’s PiPN students also got their first
in-person look at the industry. Several of the college interns met
their hosts for the first time, and were able to, as one student
quipped, "see them in their element." The classroom
portion of PiPN has just finished June 19, and the students have now
dispersed to work with their respective host companies from June 22
to Aug. 14.
After a busy Saturday in classes and on the trade show floor,
many TNNA attendees and exhibitors enjoyed Saturday evening’s
Stitch N’ Pitch minor league baseball game. The event, pitting the
Columbus Clippers against the Louisville (KY) Bats, was a major
league success: Three busloads carried attendees to nearby
Huntington Park for all the action. The hometown crowd was let down,
though: Bats claimed victory 7-2.
On Sunday, after each of TNNA’s Product Segment Groups held
their meetings, Yarn Group and Yarn Market News magazine
presented retail marketing consultants Rich Kizer and Georganne
Bender, who spoke on "Creating Connections: Straightforward
Solutions for Uncertain Times." The pair is known for their
entertaining interaction with the audience, and by the end of their
presentation, everyone was on their feet with applause and laughter.
A Walk to WIN Against Breast Cancer event also took place
throughout the Market. Participants wore the provided pedometer to
record their steps throughout the Market, with prizes awarded for
the most steps walked. Proceeds raised from the event this year
support the Love/Avon Army of Women organization.
(Note: Future TNNA dates: The Fall Needlecraft Market is
Sept. 26-27 in St. Charles, MO; the Winter Trade Show is Jan. 9-11,
2010, in Long Beach, CA; and the Nashville Needlework Market is Feb.
20-21, 2010. Visit www.tnna.org
for info. Heather is an editorial and marketing specialist
for the needlework and crafts industries. Contact her at email@example.com
or visit www.positiveyarn.com.)