That time of year is coming around again. Yes scrapbookers, the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington, Texas has opened registration for its annual stop in North Texas. It’s 3 paper packed days of shopping, workshops, and crop parties.
This will be my first year back for some serious cropping and shopping. I have A LOT of catching up to do (famous words of ALL scrapbookers). I just wanted to share some tips to enhance your experience.
1. Pre-register – other than the cost savings, if you are unable to attend all 3 days you can plan accordingly to get the most out of your time. The workshops are typically offered once each day. However, if there is a “hot” class, sign up right away. In the event you can’t go to it, you can always sell your spot at the convention. They have a board for you to do that.
2. Print labels in advance – just about every booth has some sort of drawing or giveaway. Save yourself precious time and print your info on address labels ahead of time so you can just stick it to the entry form and move on. My step mom and I got lots of “That’s a good idea!” or “Wish I thought of that!” comments as we zipped through prize entries.
3. Stay at the hotel – if you can afford to, it’s SO much more convenient to stay at the convention center hotel. Call the hotel AND check online to compare prices. At the time of our booking it was cheaper to book online. To help reduce cost grab 3-4 of your scrapbooking girlfriends and split the room cost. You’re not going to be sleeping much anyway. The other advantage to staying at the hotel is if you’re planning on attending on Thursday or Friday you will avoid traffic. Great American Scrapbook Convention’s location right off I30 in Arlington (by The Ballpark) can make it prone to back ups. The show room floor doesn’t open til 10am, however, some of the workshops begin at 8am, so plan accordingly so you don’t miss your class.
4. Organize your supplies – if you plan to crop at the convention (either during the day at their shop ‘n crop or the late night crops) start planning and organizing now to get the most out of your time. I buy zipper style bags to put my pictures, paper, and embellishments for a layout or project together, I label it with a sticky note so when I shop before the crop I can get stuff to go with it. I have a Crop In Style XXL that I file all my “paper packs” in once I’ve put them together (fyi – you won’t be able to bring it with you on the show floor).
5. Bring a reusable shopping bag (A BIG one) – Instead of carrying around a million smaller bags, bring a reusable shopping tote to stick the bags in or just stick the items in your bag (just make sure you keep your receipts). I try to bring one that I can put the strap across my body so my shoulder and back doesn’t start hurting. Paper gets VERY heavy.
6. Get an ID holder & lanyard – Instead of carrying my purse or wallet I use an ID holder & lanyard I got from Great American Scrapbook Convention several years ago. It has a spot for a name tag (great if you’re helping with classes and make ‘n takes), a small pouch, and a large zipper pouch. It will hold my ID, debit cards, and cash. It makes paying easier too, since some of the lines on the show floor can get pretty long and crowded.
7. GET THERE EARLY!!! – If you aren’t staying at the hotel, get to the show early. The convention center parking lot will fill quickly causing you to park in the outer parking lots. NOT a fun walk after you’ve been shopping all day and have purchases to tote back. Also some of the vendors have freebies, giveaways, and specials for a limited number of “first” customers.
Online registration for GASC Arlington, TX closes Monday May 5th at 1pm, so don’t wait too long. Once registration closes you will have to wait til the show and wait in the lines on top of paying higher prices. If you see me at the show, say “Hi!”