A "one-stop shop hop" is a lot like a quilt show without the quilts. Oh yes, the vendors have many, many quilts in their booths, but this isn't a guild show where quilts are a focus of the day. At an One-Stop Shop Hop, there will be many vendors in one center at one time, but in other ways, it is like a true shop hop. They often do offer a "block hop" – a chance to purchase blocks specially designed for the purpose.
This One-Stop Shop Hop also offered charms to collect and a chance to purchase red, white, and blue fat quarters to donate to Quilts of Valor. And, of course, there were door prizes.
The most important factor that came to light is traffic. One shop owner told me that she would see thousands of quilters on this weekend. While, in her Brick and Mortar store, she might get ten visitors a day. "Anywhere we can see people is an advantage," one owner told me.
Another noted that if they came up with a way to collect emails, it proved to be even better. Three retreat centers were also there to meet and greet the quilters.
I asked several quilters why they came. One told me it was a better chance to increase her stash without spending a lot of money on gas. She said there weren't the usual weather problems with traveling from store to store.
So, what advice would I give to shop owners? Here's a list.
- If you can, check out the One-Stop Shop Hop. If you are participating, ask a close friend to be a shopper. This prepares you to bring the right mix of goods to the show next year. Make sure you budget for a big enough booth. The small booths experienced less traffic.