With conventions come plans for next year and sometimes even the following year. It's a time when you actually get to flip through the physical books and visually "see" if a particular curriculum will work for you. In my opinion there is no better way to make sure you're getting what will be best for your family. I know, pray about it of course, but I mean to actually do your investigating first and make a prayful infomed decsion.
There has been a huge trend to online shopping and even "online conventions" over the last few years. While this is good it still doesn't substitute for the "real in person" convention. So if there is anyway you can, GO to one! You won't regret it.
With that said, here are my treid and true "tips" if you will for vendor hall shoppping: (Yes, even though I have my own booth for Total Langauge Plus, I still shop too!)
1. Ahead of time see who's going to be there and make a "Must See" list.
2. Before you go have your list (and don't forget to bring it) with three categories. "Buy", "Look at" and "Need to find".
- Buy is pretty clear, these are things you've already decided you want/need and you're just picking them up. I always put the best price I've found next to it. Don't forget to consider as well that there typically are no shipping charges at conventions so figure that into the cost.
- Look is for things that I'm thinking about but I need to actually see to make my decision. Usually I've looked at these online but I'm not sure yet. For me these are sometimes mostly things for not next year (13/14) but the following year as I need to plan well in advance.
- Need to find is usually for some add in type things that I'm on the look out for. For instance this year we'll be in the middle ages so I might pick-up things that would be interesting to supplement that. Last year one of those things was the "Navigating Egypt" DVD's and book. I was hoping to find something new/different to supplement our second time through Mystery of History One and the Egypt stuff I found fit nicely into our interests.
As a point of etiquette I do try to buy from vendors at the convention when I can. If we expect them to be there for us to look we need to support them with our dollars. Most of the time they are cheaper or even if it's a dollar or two more I'll still buy. I appreciate bringing the items for me to see and that makes it worth it for me.
Above all, have fun! So what are you shopping for this year? Me...stay tuned, I'll share that next.