Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Demos

Kinda a late post here today. Time seems to be completely running away with me. I don't know where the day went. And every moment that slips away, Bead Fest is seems like more of a dream. I hope the memories don't fade too fast!!

bead fest_demoing 1
For today's Twisted Tuesdays, I wanted to tell you more about demos! I remember back to the first time I was ever asked to demo, it was at JOOLZ a couple years ago during a trunk show. I remember being very nervous about it and spending some time chatting on the phone before hand with my beady friend and demo expert, Nancy Puffer Sells. With Nancy's advice ringing in my ears, I think I had a pretty successful demo and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was over. Since then, I have done demos at The Fine Craft Show, and Bead Fest Wire. I think it is my experience as a jewelry instructor that really helps me when I do a demo, because basically, I am teaching a mini class. Yeah, that's it... demos are mini classes!

bead fest_demoing 2
My past two demos, the one at Bead Fest Wire and then the one I did this past Friday at Bead Fest, have really been the easiest for me. I imagine that, as it is with most things, the more you do it, the easier it gets. I basically spend 30-45mins showing a project from start to finish, give pointers as I am creating the piece (ex: quick one liners that hopefully stick with the passers by), and answer any questions that come up along the way. It was recommended by my friends at Interweave the what ever I demo relate to Totally Twisted. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? I find the project that packs the most bang for it's buck is definitely Bang Gals! It is a project that works up quickly, is bold and colorful, plus lends itself to those quick one line pointers.

bead fest_demoing 3
Ha, it is funny, I wasn't sure where this post would go exactly when I started it. It would seem I should re-title it "Tips For Successful Demos!" Hey, why not?

~*Tips For Successful Demos*~

1) Seek sound advice from friends that have done similar demos.
2) Pick a project that has good bang for the buck. It should work up quickly, be bold and colorful, and teach a thing or two.
3) Give your crowd quick one liners to help remember what they saw. (ex: "Always cut in the direction the wire is traveling." or "1ft of wire = 1in of coil")
4) Relax, smile, and remember you are there to have some fun!

I think that last bit is the most important part. I notice I kinda take a deep breath and sigh just a bit before diving into the start of a demo. I try to remember that people are watching because they want to. They are interested in what I have to say and what I am showing them. Thankfully, I have yet to have a person get bored and wander off. (At least, not that I have noticed.) If you haven't done a demo, you should seriously consider giving it a try at your next show. What? You think the kind of shows you do aren't like big huge Bead Fest? Don't be silly! You could demo at your booth during a craft fair. Put a sign up and say "Demo @ 1pm". I am guessing you'll draw a crowd and increase sales!! Try it, I dare you... heck, I triple dog dare you.

If you have had experiences with doing demonstrations, I would love to hear about your tips and tricks! Feel free to leave comments.

And a special THANK YOU to Elisabeth, my marketing manager, for snapping these photos for me! You ROCK, Elisabeth!


mairedodd said...

look at all of those interested women! cannot wait to hear about the classes...

TesoriTrovati said...

You are so totally awesome! You are right...it does get easier with time. I love the idea of doing a demo at a craft show with a sign...that would draw people in! And I think your idea about one liners is a perfect way to think of it. In fact the 1 ft to 1 in is the perfect tip! I will remember that the next time I am trying to twist some wire!
Enjoy the day!

Nancy Sells Puffer said...

Look at you soar! You go gurl!

Jo said...

Great tips!
Looking forward to seeing you in action at Artisan in October!