If you do not already know, the difference between quilt MARKET and quilt FESTIVAL is that market is a trade show open to shops and "industry only" type people. There's alot of networking and wholesale shopping. Festival is open to the general public with only a few wholesalers staying through to do both shows. Its more like a traditional quilt show, only super-sized. In fact, there are over 1000 vendors at festival for your retail shopping pleasure. Both events are adjacent to the uber-competive gorgeous juried quilt show in the George R Brown Convention center, in Houston TX.
Other than the differences on paper- let me tell you, Market was very young, hip and fashion forward, as far as colors and styles. There's much more modern appeal and bright, in-your-face color shades represented. Festival, however, concentrates on the traditional quilter with only a dozen or so "young" looking booths. It's really quite surprising to me. I know there's the big whole Modern Quilt Guild movement and a complete SURGE in younger people sewing/quilting- but it just hasn't made it over to the festival side yet. That was reflected in the attendees as well as the booths. As a younger person, I wasn't totally jazzed about the festival.
Having said that... I did manage to throw a good bit of things in the shopping cart. =)
More festival reports coming soon-