I'm just wondering if someone can tell me about Twilight Madness and whether the deals make it seriously worth going to. My flight currently departs before Twilight Madness starts - is it worth staying over another night to take part in the shopping spree?
Well, you can always have your own personal shopping spree... but there are advertised specials during the madness. Depends on what you're looking for.
I have been wrestling with a response for you. This would be a *hard* decision for me if I were in your shoes!
If you have attended Convergence before, then it might make sense that you can check everything out on Thursday during the daytime (if you are not scheduled for seminars).
Newbies might have a bigger list of things they are looking for or have never seen, so they are going to be visiting far more vendors and probably would want more time than this.
Keep in mind, there are exhibitor demos going on, and the juried, mounted exhibits, too, so if you just have this one day to do it all, I like to spend a fair amount of time checking out the demos and studying the exhibits. The CD HGA provided in the past ranges in quality, and the DVD of the fashion show they sell in the fall is great, but it doesn't record the details that you may want to take note of in person.
Don't discount running into people or recognizing a famous weaver, and having an unexpected and engaging chat that suddenly eats up 30 minutes or an hour that you planned to be doing other things!
Also, I find the book sellers take up copious amounts of my time, because I like to page through books that have been on my radar, but I have waited to purchase until I can look at the content in person. (I also bring a list of hard-to-find, out-of- print, or missing issues of publications I am seeking). Unicorn has been a great source in the past. HGA, Interweave, and Yarn Barn typically have large booth spaces with books, and surprisingly, small vendors sometimes have that odd magazine or used book that you have been looking for. I don't know if any of them will have a coupon for X% off Thursday eve, but that is typically what I am looking for.
I would check out the conference bag when you register to see if any of the coupons or advertised specials match what you are seeking to find in the vendor hall. If there is something enticing, or you feel that you have run out of time and hadn't seen it all, you could decide to extend your stay and claim you "missed your flight" the next morning when you show up at the airport, as long as you are willing to flying standby. Your chances of getting on a flight are improved greatly if you do not have a checked bag. I would suspect the early morning flights on Friday are booked solid by business travelers like me (typically trying to get home), but you could probably land a seat on a 10 a.m. or beyond flight.
If you are just planning to attend as a day visitor, then staying might not be worth it, as the coupons and drawings may only apply to registered attendees. I have no idea if day visitors get the conference bag or not. Anyone know? If they stamp your hand, band your wrist, or provide a nametag for the day, then I assume you will able to get in Thursday eve for the special sale. There are sometimes drawings too.
If you have never attended, you might regret leaving early.
Sally has a lot of good points. Be sure that you have enough time in the vendor hall. Those who register for the conference will have classes and often find that they don't have enough time in the vendor hall. For some weavers, time in the vendor hall is more important than the speeches and classes. That may be the reason for the evening selling in the vendor hall.
Vendors really do not like these evening selling sessions as it makes the day too long. And sometimes, especially when it is one of the first conference days, there is just a lot of visiting and looking, so most vendors would really rather be sitting at a restaurant, relaxing their sore muscles. And, you may find that there are not that many vendors who have specials only for that evening. In fact, one conference that we plan to attend does not allow it. Most specials offered will be for the whole conference time. That is more fair for those who cannot attend the whole time.
Some vendors do not have any specials. The special thing about convergence is that you can touch, feel, see and compare. It is so much better than ordering from a catalog or website.
Those who want specials will usually plan to attend on the last day, as vendors often want to sell what they have brought. We always have a display model sale, as it is better if we do not have to pack up everything and take it back home. But to take advantage of that you need to be able to pick it up on that last day. For small items, there will be a UPS service available, but that does not work for big looms.
My plan, for now, for extending my time at the vendors and exhibits is to skip the last session at Complex Weavers Seminars and instead spend a half day at the Convergence vendors/exhibits.
I regret not booking a return flight on Saturday, to be able to attend all the CW Seminars and have two days at the vendors/exhibits, but at this point changing my flight isn't a practical option for me.
I am curious about the Twilight Madness as well but for me it's a question of if it's worth the taxi fare back, the buses in Albuquerque stop around 9:00pm, and the lost sleep, my flight back Friday is ever so early.
For what its worth, some vendors prefer to have a steady presence over the entire conference - presenting and showcasing what they offer without resorting to timed gimmicks.
On the first day, all stands should be well stocked.
Good to know about the buses stopping at 9pm. Is Albuquerque a safe place to walk about at night? My hostel is about 10 blocks away.
The Rapid Ride runs late on Friday and Saturday night. This isn't much help for Twilight Madness but could be helpful for people staying on through Friday and Saturday. Below is the information from the website.
Rapid After Dark
Rapid After Dark runs every Friday and Saturday night until 2:30 a.m. from June 4, 2010 through September 25, 2010. Learn more .
I'm kicking myself for not thinking of looking for a hostel :).
I was wondering about that, too. Having been in some sections of the city last fall, I am hoping a resident can weigh-in on this. Otherwise, I am hoping you can befriend someone with a car to give you a ride back if needed.
Thanks for the input everyone! I know one day is not very long to see everything at Convergence, but I have nothing else scheduled for the day, so I'm hoping to be able to get through the exhibits and the vendor hall! And I wasn't planning on buying much there (just bought 19 lbs of 30/2 silk, which has blown my stash budget for quite some time, even though it was a LOT cheaper in bulk!), so it probably doesn't make sense for me to stay just for "Twilight Madness".
I wish I could stay at Convergence for longer! But I get very little vacation time where I work, and the honeymoon ate up a lot of it, so it came down to a choice between Complex Weavers and Convergence. Which, for me, was a no-brainer: I'm totally into structure and have a loom with lots of shafts, so Complex Weavers was perfect for me. But since my dress is in the Fashion Show, I squeezed out one more day for Convergence.
I guess I could stay on Friday and work remotely, then hang out over the weekend, but it's really not in the budget right now, especially after the wedding expenses! Perhaps in two years things won't be quite so cramped and I'll be able to do both.
Cheers and see y'all in Albuquerque,
Route 66 Hostel: $20/night in the dorm.
I am not sure I would do that alone - maybe with a couple other people. My memory of anything that is within 10 blocks of the center is not somewhere I would walk alone at night
Okay, a cab it is. I'll leave all walking to daylight hours. Thanks for the tips.