For the last 4 years, I have been providing door prizes and goody bag items for our state guild retreats twice a year. Though I have never even attended one of these retreats. They have always been booked up with the same people paying ahead for the retreat spots while attending the retreat. You know you pay at the Fall retreat to get your spot at the Spring retreat. I have always considered this WRONG on many levels, but it is what it is.
Anyway, I delivered the goody bag stuff to the chairperson yesterday and she told me if I wanted to go there was plenty of openings this year. Normally sold out at 150 people, there are only 106 paid thus far! The retreat is in March.
I was floored, that is a big gap in the number of people who usually attend. So we got to talking about it and I told her it really should not be that big of surprise with this economy and people having less disposable income for luxuries like retreats, it does not surprise me. I have seen many a quilt shop cancel the BOM programs this year because not enough people signed up and shops can not afford all that fabric if people are set to buy it...the internet has done just as much harm as good when it comes to things like that. While it does offer a FREE BOM so that people who live where there is no LQS to play at, it also allows that everyone who has internet can play with the FREE BOM, using up their stash instead of going to the LQS to play. I would rather save up and go to retreat though, it is good to play with friends instead of at home all the time!
Have you noticed changes in the way things are going with your LQS, sewing clubs, guilds, etc.