Conventions

What is a stamping convention?
A stamping convention is fun to attend, any true addict does not miss the one closest to home.
You can get to met your Internet friends there and have a picture taken and do lunch, talk stamps.
They are held through out the world. Vendors sell their stamps or stamping related wares, there are classes and demo’s and plenty of samples to look over besides filling up your bags and emptying your pocketbooks!

When you go to one, keep a budget in mind if you use a credit card. Or if you don’t trust yourself and your lack of control, bring a set amount of cash or your stingy spouse to prevent overspending.
If you know what vendors will be there, make a list of what you want to buy from them.
That way you stay focused on your purchase rather than looking at all the other stuff which can get distracting.
A notebook is a handy item to have also to jot down ideas or products you will purchase later on when you win megabucks.
Ask to take any pictures of samples. If you have a digital camera, even better.
Wear comfortable clothing and especially shoes!
Bring your lunch (saves time waiting in line or for a seat!).
And bring a strategy/plan on how you will spend your time.

You can check out where the stamp conventions are in each issue of RubberstampMadness or on their site.
There is also a Convention page here so you can check out what companies put on shows. 

What is pin swapping?
Pin swapping is done at conventions, usually before the doors are opened and people wait in line, gives everyone something to do before the mad rush. You create pins, tags, trading cards, magnets, business cards, all hand stamped with your name and email on the back of each one or bagged with that info in the bag. (those cello candy bags or trading card sleeves work well). 
I make about 100 items to trade. I start creating months before the convention and make a variety of items so I don’t get too bored with what I am doing. 
I make a lot, most people do 50 and some people do more than 100. You can do as many or as little as you like. When you are in line, some people just walk up and down the line and trade. Some people  will give pins to unsuspecting people to brighten their day, kids like this. Pin trading can go on anytime, you just need to ask around to anyone, talk to the air and someone will hear ya. Have fun!

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