|Expo was at Pheasant Run in St. Charles (Oct. 11, 12 & 13th). I'd not been to one of these before. I'd definitely advise that you wear good walking shoes, bring a backpack (a strong teenager to carry it helps a lot) and a bottle of water.
I had a list of exhibitors I wished to visit and did manage to see all but one (I got caught up in Vogue Fabrics with lots of interesting trims, beautiful brocades and lots of designer cuts). My daughters also went with me (ages 12 & 14) and had an excellent time. There are lots of Make & Take Spots with many of the exhibits, some cost, some free. My 12 year old learned to make Yo-Yos, and was so excited, she made two! My 14 year old is a beginning knitter and took her knitting loom (she's making wristwarmers) with her. We had many conversations with both exhibitors and visitors about that! All the sewing machine companies have large booths with displays of the latest machines, many you can sit down and work with (we even tried out one of those very large quilting machines--WOW). I stopped at several booths selling show-only fabrics and bought some yardage you just don't find at your local fabrics store. Even Hancock Fabrics, who have a store in Rockford, IL, had fabrics they told me would not be at their stores. Then there were booths of buttons, charms, ribbons, trims, embroidery, iron-on studs and rhinestones ... oh my! Stuff that you don't see locally, but find in the magazines and online stores. I can say that it takes more than an afternoon to see everything. I arrived at noon and stayed until 5. I would definitely want to arrive sooner next time. I did not take any classes or watch any demos or shows, since I remembered too late to register for any.
Pheasant Run did a nice job with the set up. Even arriving at noon, we still were able to get a parking place not far from the expo building. And getting in around Pheasant Run was easy. I can't wait for next year, but I plan on putting money aside for about three months before!