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!
2 thoughts on “Quilt Retreats & Destination Travel”
Good point about keeping the costs reasonable. The “walking wallet” syndrome seems to have taken over the quilting industry. At some people quilters will rebel and say “enough’s enough!”.
For some things, I’ve already reached the “enough is enough” point. Certain designer quilt fabrics are listed at $4.50 per FQ in my area. As much as I want to support the shop, I am not paying $18 per yard of fabric. Unfortunately, I don’t think the “walking wallet syndrome” is going away anytime soon. According to the Quilting in America survey from 2017 (source:https://fabshopnet.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/qia_summary.pdf), the “average quilter” and the generation coming up have an average annual income of just under $100,000.
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