Here’s why you NEED to be at Bead Fest Philadelphia!

Top 10 Reasons to Attend

If you keep up with the latest creative trends, you’ll notice that handmade jewelry has been all the rage lately on Pinterest and Instagram. And if you’ve considered immersing yourself in the wonderful world of jewelry art, then there’s one event you simply cannot miss!

Bead Fest Philadelphia is just around the corner (hurry up August 16!), and if you’re new to the event, or if you’ve been on the fence about registering for a workshop or planning an Expo shopping day, we’ve helped narrow down the 10 top reasons to help you take the plunge.

Let’s jump right into our countdown of the 10 reasons why you need to join us!


Bead Fest Philadelphia is the LARGEST jewelry event on the East Coast. You read that correctly! Bead Fest Philadelphia has gained a loyal following during its 16+ years, and we’re always amazed by the number of jewelry enthusiasts who come back time and time again. So if you want the chance to shop nearly 200 unique exhibitors and artisans and have the chance to try out techniques in 160 + workshops, you have to be there! We are are immensely proud of what Bead Fest Philadelphia has become, and we would love it if you join us!


One thing we’ve picked up on over the years at Bead Fest Philadelphia is that you always end the weekend with more friends than you started with. Everyone at Bead Fest Philadelphia shares a strong passion for jewelry and creativity. You’ll be making friends left and right at the event, whether it’s a neighbor in one of your workshops, your favorite instructor, or even a member of Interweave’s editorial team. At Bead Fest Philadelphia, we all come together like one big family to support one another.

Here’s what Bead Fest instructor, Jean Van Brederode, has to say about the communal atmosphere:

“Bead Fest is like coming home for many students, because returning year after year to the same venue creates a familiar and welcoming atmosphere for learning new things.” —Jean Van Brederode


It doesn’t matter if you’re into metals, beading, mixed media, enameling, anodizing, metal clay, wire wrapping or any other technique under the sun, because Bead Fest Philadelphia has a workshop for all of them! Expert instructors who are highly skilled give you hands-on instruction and encouragement in each of the workshops offered. So, no matter which technique route you choose, you can be sure that you are receiving the highest quality education.


As if it isn’t great enough that Bead Fest Philadelphia has more than 160 workshops to choose from, you also get to personalize your experience based on your budget! Need to pinch pennies and spend less than $50 this year? We’ve got top-notch workshop options for you! Maybe you are looking to advance your education and splurge a little. We’ve got options for you, too! Perhaps you’re only attending the Expo, but you still want to get introduced to a new technique and walk away with your own handmade jewelry for under $10. We even have options for you!

As the event gets closer, we’ll be adding more budget-friendly workshops, demos, and make & takes to our roster, so stick around and be sure to register for your favorites before they sell out!


A cool aspect about Bead Fest Philadelphia that attracts hundreds of new attendees each year is the love we show for people of every skill level. First-timers who have never picked up a pair of pliers will feel just as welcome as the silversmithing veteran with 30+ years of experience under their belt. And a highly-experienced bead weaver can learn just as much as a brand-new maker. We love that our advanced attendees know they can rely on Bead Fest Philadelphia for learning a new technique or fine-tuning their existing skills. On the flip side, it also makes us smile ear-to-ear when a beginner walks away with a handmade treasure they created with their brand-new skills. So when we say all are welcome, we really mean it!


For anyone who has experienced Bead Fest Philadelphia’s famous Expo, they will tell you that it’s the definition of a jewelry lover’s heaven. We’re not just selling average strands of beads and gemstones here, folks. Our exhibitors and artisans arrive at the Expo armed with one-of-a-kind treasures that span from rare beads and gemstones, handmade pieces of jewelry, globally-inspired accessories, the latest innovative tools, completely unique findings and so much more. Everything is sparkly, and inspiration lingers in every corner of the Expo. Plus, we encourage a hands-on approach that allows shoppers to piece together their new jewelry findings while discovering new treasures!

Best of all, if you purchase your Event Expo Pass online, you’ll save $3! That means you get Expo admission for the ENTIRE WEEKEND for just $12! Talk about an affordable weekend getaway!


If you’ve been wanting to get the kids, a friend, or a relative interested in the world of jewelry art, Bead Fest Philadelphia is the place to do it! Sure, you could hand them a pre-made kit and send over a YouTube tutorial, but they will appreciate the interactive, family-friendly experience of Bead Fest Philadelphia so much more! It truly is an immersive weekend filled with inspiration and opportunities to learn, and it can bring out the creative side in anyone!


You’ve read their books, watched their DVD’s, shopped their websites and you even follow their carefully-curated Instagram pages, but what would it be like to meet your favorite instructors and exhibitors in real life?! In short, it’s magical! Bead Fest Philadelphia attracts A-list instructors who are determined to help you succeed, and the brightest exhibitors in the business who are committed to offering quality products. And they LOVE meeting you! You may have read our recent post starring Sarah James of Jesse James Beads–she has a fantastic quote about why she really loves exhibiting at Bead Fest.

“I just love the energy of the customers who are there. I love watching someone come into the booth and just taking a step back and seeing that awe-inspired look come across their face. It is so validating for what it is that I am doing with my career.” —Sarah James, Jesse James Beads


For all of our Bead Fest Philadelphia newcomers, we always advise giving yourself a few extra travel days to explore the historic and vibrant city of Philadelphia. We have an entire section of our website dedicated to fun and family-friendly ideas for things to see and do while you’re in the city of brotherly love. Check it out for yourself, and take some time to explore all of the charming small towns that surround the city!


This is what truly makes Bead Fest Philadelphia an experience and not just another jewelry event. From our Inspiration Playground featuring unbelievably affordable make & takes, our ever-popular door prize gift baskets, to the morning tailgate party before the Expo opens, you’ll find so much more than you could possibly wrap your mind around, all packed into one unforgettable weekend!

There you have it, friends! Ten solid reasons that prove Bead Fest Philadelphia is NOT optional if you’re passionate about jewelry. It’s an experience that you NEED to have at least once! So make 2017 the year that you treat yourself a little, and dedicate a whole weekend to learning more about your passion, shopping, meeting new friends, discovering new trends and filling your creative arsenal with all of the inspiration you could ever hope to have.

Bead Fest Philadelphia brings in attendees from across the nation, so if you’re ready to commit to the best weekend you’ll have all year, go ahead and grab your workshop seats before someone else does!

Bead Fest Philadelphia takes place August 16-20 in Oaks, PA, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Book your hotel, call all of your crafty pals and get ready for the highlight of your summer!



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