The first trade show that we attended in Denver, CO was the BIG Industry Show; more specifically we were there for the BIG Galleria component. Just to avoid confusion, the BIG Galleria is a component of the BIG Industry Show, meaning it is just one of the parts that make up the entirety of the show. We believe holding the show in this manner has both its positive and negative aspects.
By sectioning it off, it creates a more exclusive feel for the “heady” glass VS the production glass being sold in the main sections of the show (along with other standard products found in headshops such as rolling papers, piss cleaning kits, etc). While this does create desire for some buyers, it also excludes some buyers as they walk into the Galleria with the mindset that everything is too expensive in this area and they are just here to look at it. We believe this creates a divide between the shops as far as those who are “heady” buyers and those who buy mass-produced production glass, rather than trying to promote a mindset of all stores supporting heady glass.
We don’t particularly have a solution for this, just found it an interesting talking point as far as pros and cons to the way the show is held.
For us, on a PERSONAL note, we fully support the sectioning off because we do believe this art needs its own section. It does however get difficult as some artists in the main hall felt they deserved to be in the Galleria, another issue created by sectioning, ultimately though we do believe the pros outweigh the negatives in the sense of shining the light on real Functional Glass Art pieces.
Now as far as the Functional Glass Art pieces themselves at the BIG Galleria, these was plenty to see and appreciate! Our favorite artist cabinet was the Kurt B section; for a number of reasons. Kurt is an artist we really appreciate because he embodies the true meaning of an artist, he stays true to HIS vision and does not adjust just to please the market. Kurt has been exploring some fantastic and unique shapes, as well as working on his new line of mold-made pieces, the Elixir bottles. Not only were they affordable, but Kurt being able to continue his series of numbered and limited mold-made pieces without repeating the same concept just goes to show his ingenuity. We were very happy to get our hands on some and get them into the hands of our private clientele.
Some of the other highlights in the Galleria section included the amazing array of weapons brought by Robert Mickelsen, from bullet pendants to full-size functional glass guns. The SLOP team also brought some of their signature cup style pieces, which were a huge crowd favorite. Jred unveiled a new Quartz option for people by introducing his Diamond Knot nail; it received great reviews from users!
We want to congratulate all the staff that worked very hard at BIG to make for a very well organized and smoothly run event. Other than the small bit of confusion I saw from organizers the first hour of the first morning, the rest of the show seemed to have run flawlessly. People were registering, lines were moving, and to be honest the amount of collectors that somehow got in for wholesale seemed quite low. It is always a bit discouraging to see collectors get in under a stores wholesale license as these shows are suppose to be Business 2 Business, but BIG seemed to do a great job. Even with the High Times Cannabis Cup happening days after their event, they did a great job of filtering people. Our hats off to the BIG Staff.