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Organizing a Shop Hop?

Organizing a Shop Hop?

Old 12-07-2015, 05:50 AM
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Question Organizing a Shop Hop?

I have recently been given the task of organizing a Spring Shop Hop. I live in Northeastern WI and would like any suggestions you may have. Have you done anything fun on the shop hops you have attended? We plan on using a bus to get around to the various shops.
If you have any suggestions for shops in the area I would sure appreciate it if you would share with me.
I thank you for any suggestions!
Nancy
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:01 AM
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Never done one before, just went with a friends on a few. Sounds like fun. Be sure to figure out the cost and if you have enough members to put a deposit down to pay for expenses. Picking out a lunch venue can sometimes be a problem with a larger group.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:43 AM
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I have never done this, but I wonder... if you contacted all the shops you plan to visit and tell them how many you will be bringing, would they accommodate your group in some special way? (discounts? mini-classes? food treats? freebies?) At least they would know that you are coming and would be prepared.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:30 AM
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Yes I will plan on contacting the shops. We had one this past Spring and all the shops offered door prizes and discounts. I am hoping to visits several other shops this Spring.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:53 AM
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Lots of things you could do, some depending on how involved the quilt shops are willing to be. Some that I have been too have each shop give out a block pattern and will make up a quilt using all of the blocks. Do you already plan on getting "shop hop" totes?

Since you'll be traveling by bus put together some games to pass the time while traveling. If the bus is able to play movies you could play different tutorials for those who want to watch. If the shops don't offer, you'll want to see about drinks and snacks and as Maniac, mentioned a lunch venue or a box lunch pick up will require additional planning.

I'm sure it's going to be a lot of work but they are so much fun! Good luck!
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Old 12-07-2015, 01:57 PM
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Thank you SuziSew! All good suggestions. I am looking forward to planning and contacting the shops.
Nancy
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:52 PM
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Bus thoughts: make sure the parking is available (either in their lot or on street) for the bus. Buses are large and can be a challenge for parking. Unless the parking area for a shop is large, many don't want buses taking up the few spots they have. Add in the driver's tip (yes, you have to tip them) when figuring your price for the trip. Make sure bus has a bathroom (even though most won't use it...it WILL come in handy for some). If you need help filling the bus, open the trip up to local guilds. Post info at the LQS. Try to keep the trip to reasonable time frame, as many people tire easily and don't want long, long days (even if it is to quilt shops!). See if you can rent a "handicapped" accessible (front stairs lower to ground level) bus for those of us who have trouble climbing stairs. Have a cancellation policy: full refund if cancelled in X days before the trip, 1/2 refund if cancelled 2 weeks prior, no refund if no show. (Of course, use your discretion here. You know your members...)

Lunch: Either choose a restaurant (or two) and notify them that you will be bringing a group of "X #" of people at such and such a day and time (in other words make a reservation). You probably would also want to notify them that you will need "separate checks" for the entire party (I've never gone on a quilt hop where group check is done). Best idea I believe is to have people bring their own lunch/snacks - cheaper in the long run, so more money (and time) to spend at the quilt shops! Do check with the bus company if they allow eating/drinking on the bus, though.

Entertainment: Buses nowadays, have DVD players (driver controls it), so bring along different quilt show/tutorial DVD's. (Ask members to lend them).

Participating shops: Definitely give them a "head's up" on the date/approximate time you will be visiting and how many people will be there. Many shops will give discounts/goody bags/snacks if they know ahead of time. Many will even advertise the hop for you (you may get more participants this way).

Lastly, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Hope this helps.

Last edited by ILoveToQuilt; 12-07-2015 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:30 AM
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You are brave! Good luck. Charge more than enough to cover expenses. There will be some that you did not allow for. Better safe than stuck. Charge a deposit up front. People back out.

Sandy
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:35 AM
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All great suggestions!
Does anyone have any suggestions for a tutorial/DVD that I could bring along to play on the bus for experienced quilters? Maybe something that has recently come out.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:23 AM
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Double check their hours. At one I arranged, the owner was going to open early as it was the first stop on the trip. We got there and she wasn't. Worked around it, but got me that it was the first stop of the day. Don't plan for too many in one day. A good meal with a lot of variety is great for those with dietary issues and they can choose from the menu. The restaurants should get a heads up in case they have to bring in more help. Brown bags are also fun. Good luck. You are a brave person!
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