BLADE Show Do’s & Don’ts

BLADE Show Do’s & Don’ts

Follow these simple rules and you’re sure to have a great show.

If you’re among the throng of thousands going to the BLADE Show June 7-9 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, here are a few tips on how to make the world’s largest, most important knife event work for you:

What To Wear

If in doubt “go dark”—any one or more of black shirt, blue jeans or black hat. While tactical doesn’t rule the way it once did, black remains the color of choice among many knife fans. Whatever color you choose, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. If you want to overdo it, clip a knife to every pocket.

Comfortable shoes that provide full support against walking on concrete all weekend are an absolute must. Some bring two pair of such shoes. Bring a small backpack for snacks, a small plastic water bottle, etc. If you go outside for the BLADE University classes or free seminars, a ballcap helps protect against a June Georgia sun that has fried thousands of BLADE Show patron scalps over the years.

Party Proof Yourself

If you join the revelry and revel too much in The Pit (page 24), the lobby bar of the host Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel, take some kind of headache relief before bedtime to reduce the dreaded post-Pit hangover. And, if you stay in the Waverly, bring some earplugs. The Pit can get raucous even into the wee hours and the noise can carry up to the hotel rooms, including the top floor.

Show Etiquette

  • Try to avoid walking fast and making sudden stops and U-turns in the exhibitor halls. Thousands of knife fans like you are moving, too, often closer to each other than they should. Any abrupt moves can result in collisions, so take it slow and easy. You’ll see more knives that way, too.
  • Never ask a maker how long it took him/her to make a specific knife. It’s natural to be amazed at some of the fabulous works of art and to be curious about how long it took to make one, but many makers bristle at the question. It’s not as important to know why they resent the query so much as the fact that they do, so don’t ask.
  • Don’t interrupt a maker/customer conversation. Patiently wait your turn or come back later when the maker is free to talk.
  • Ask the maker before you pick up a knife. If it’s a folder, it doesn’t hurt to ask permission to open it. The maker may want to open it for you. If a multi-blade folder, don’t open it so two or more blades are open at once. This puts undue pressure on one or more of the backsprings. It’s also a good way to cut yourself if you’re not careful. If you’re wanting to see what kind of clearance there is between opening/closing blades, ask the maker to demonstrate it for you. And when you finish examining the knife, return it the way it was handed to you—carefully, whether open or closed.
  • While it may seem courteous to wipe the blades off before returning knives to the makers, don’t. Let the makers do it instead. They are fully equipped to do so and are going to check the knife for any spots you may miss anyhow. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring a chamois for your own purposes. However, if there’s any wiping down of their knives to be done, let the makers do it.
  • Don’t use a loupe/magnifying glass to examine a custom knife. It’s a good way to make the maker mad. There are going to be imperfections on custom knives—if not, they’re probably not custom—so some minute imperfections are to be expected.
  • After you finish talking to the maker and are ready to leave, even if you intend to return to his/her table, don’t say, “I’ll be back.” Chances are you won’t. It also implies you’ll be back to buy a knife when you may have no intention whatsoever of doing so. Don’t be an “I’ll Be Backer!”
  • One thing to be sure to do: have fun. If you’re going, see you there!

Check Out BLADE Custom Award Winners:

Download BLADE's Knife Guide Issue!NEXT STEP: Download Your Free KNIFE GUIDE Issue of BLADE Magazine

BLADE’s annual Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.

Get your FREE digital PDF instant download of the annual Knife Guide. No, really! We will email it to you right now when you subscribe to the BLADE email newsletter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here