Last year, I attended a lecture by Meg Cox where she discussed the future of the quilting industry as the age of the “average quilter” continues to increase. I’m about a decade behind the “average quilter” but I can relate to much of what she said. Generally speaking, the “average quilter” already has all the machines, notions, thread, books and other stuff he/she is likely to ever need. Said quilter also has a fair amount of disposable income to devote to his/her hobbies. Marketers are designing destination travel geared specifically toward this demographic.
That’s certainly something to look forward to when I retire, but hey, I’m interested in retreats I can attend NOW while I’m still working full-time!
Retreat organizers – consider scheduling week-long retreats from June to mid-July, or 3 day weekend retreats in late September to mid-October and again in mid-February to mid-March. You’re more likely to reach those quilters with disposable income who are still working full-time. You might even attract younger sewists who can manage 3 day retreats, but not an entire week.
Keep the costs reasonable. $2,000 for a weekend stitching retreat in New England in the fall is a bit beyond my budget (especially when I still have to factor in airfare and car rental). And no, I’m not going to pay $495 for a one day EPP class – regardless of the instructor. Yes, there are those who will, just not me.
Fortunately, someone has listened. I’m already signed-up for a FW retreat in 2020. It’s during a week in July that I can attend. It’s only a few hours away by car. Nationally known teachers conducting the classes. The best part? All accommodations, meals and fees combined are less than the registration fee I paid to attend a retreat last summer in Idaho.
This means more $$ in my pocket to spend on supplies and other sewing events during the year.
And a quilter hooked on destination travel who will have the time to attend those amazing retreats in 5-7 years!