The Novi, Michigan show has always been one of my favorites. We had no idea what to expect when our good friend “Auntie Amy” Wright held the first show at the old Novi Expo Center in 1998 – but we learned fast. It grew year after year after year, and reached the point where the lines in the morning before the show opened started forming at 7:30 and soon stretched all the way around the building in two directions. One year, it took over an hour to get everyone inside – we were using dark green plastic bags and people who still weren’t inside saw others headed to their cars with heavy green bags and thought the show was lousy and they must be headed home.
Well time passed, and the new Rock Financial Showplace (now called Suburban Collection Showplace) was built down the road about 2006 or so. The show moved there – we were told that the Novi Expo Center had been closed and would soon be torn down. But every year, we came back and it was still standing . . .
. . . until this year. I noticed that the heavy equipment was at work when we drove by on Friday, so Sunday morning I drove back to get a last picture before it was all gone.
Now we go to a fancy place with a big electronic sign next to I-96 . . .
And the long lines on Saturday morning are inside the building where it’s nice and cool!
I often stand about halfway back in the hall to watch the crowd start to pour in on Saturday morning – it is always fun to watch Dave Carlson from Heirloom Productions (standing next to the table) disappear.
I posted this picture on our Facebook page on Friday evening. What happens when we get to the convention hall and find out that our booth space is six feet longer than it was supposed to be? We fill it! I had to shoot the picture from an angle and walk about two booths away just to get it all in the viewfinder.
Joe Rotella was sitting in for Sue at the USArtQuest table. Joe is extremely talented and drew a big crowd all weekend – but he was quite nervous since this was his first time trying to fill Sue’s pumps! But I caught a shot of him doing something I have rarely seen before – he came out from behind the table and down to a customer’s level to give her some personalized instruction.
I swiped these three shots from Heirloom’s Facebook page – they got great views of Joe demoing at the USArtQuest table, Mike Saul demoing his Glitter Fast glitter, and Robin Arnold demoing Ten Seconds Studio’s VerDay Paints.
Joe has his own line of chipboard albums that we had displayed in our booth, and he had one “blinged up” on the table in front of him. Robin saw it on Sunday and wondered what one might look like given the Cheryl Darrow “VerDay Touch” . . .
It was a whole different look that might appeal to other customers!
I enjoy reading the messages on the t-shirts and sweatshirts I see during a weekend. This was my favorite – then I saw the same sweatshirt on Heirloom’s Facebook page and realized that Dave had noticed it, too!
Two other images that should be noted, for laughs if nothing else. The first is the packaging on a USArtQuest tool – I have always been an editor at heart – these things just jump out at me. The second is Robin’s foot during teardown – you may recall that Robin is usually seen barefoot when we’re setting up and tearing down the booth, but she has been suffering from plantar fasciitis lately, so I guess she was going for a dose of double protection . . .