World’s largest consumer bead show event now features more than 600 classes, competitions and exhibits for metal, bead and glass jewelry makers

WAUKESHA, WI/NEW YORK, N.Y. – Kalmbach Media, the content creator of such well-known and respected media brands as Bead&ButtonDiscover, Astronomy, and Model Railroader, today announced a brand-new lineup of features and events for the Bead&Button Show, which runs June 3-10 in Milwaukee.

Now in its 18th year, the Bead&Button Show is Kalmbach’s premier event for “modern makers” passionate about creating jewelry from crystals, gemstones, beads, metal and other materials. The show attracts over 11,000 attendees from across the globe and is considered the premier event for beaders, metalworkers, wirework artists, and makers who want to hone their skills with the best in the field.

Bead&Button Show attendees have an unprecedented opportunity to engage with expert instructors leading more than 600 classes; shop for premium materials and supplies at one of the world’s largest and most extensive Expos with over 300 exhibitor booths; and interact with like-minded creators from across the nation and around the world. The Expo also boasts an enormous selection of beads and handcrafted jewelry in all price ranges.

Among the new program elements this year include:

  • “Project Embellish,” Bead&Button’s take on reality-show runway challenges, in which six accomplished jewelry artists create designs before a live audience
  • An exhibit of stunning, award-winning beadwork creations from Ukraine
  • An exhibit by finalists in the International BeadDreams and Metal Jewelry & Artistry awards, representing some of the best bead and metal craftsmanship from around the world; and
  • New “make-and-take” opportunities from manufacturers demonstrating new products and from instructors teaching trending techniques. Participants will walk away with their own beautiful creations to make or to give.

“We continue to focus on innovative ways to expand the experiences our hyper-enthusiast audiences have with our brands and content,” says Dan Hickey, CEO, Kalmbach. “The Bead&Button Show reflects our ongoing strategy of enhancing those brand experiences while also growing our revenue streams.”

“Response to class offerings in both metal and beading has been tremendous,” said Show Director Sara Dumford. “Combine this with an outstanding Expo filled with beads, supplies, tools and handmade one-of-kind items, and jewelry makers will find everything they need at the Bead&Button Show.”

A Silent Auction of unique jewelry, beads, books, kits, and supplies will open for bidding Saturday, June 9, at 11:00am in the Expo. Proceeds raised benefit breast cancer research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Since its inception, the Bead&Button Show has raised nearly $300,000 for community causes and programs.

The show is recognized by VISIT Milwaukee as one of the city’s largest consumer shows of the year and has generated millions of dollars in economic impact for the Milwaukee area.

About Kalmbach Media:
Kalmbach Media is a leading independent media company that provides ideas and inspiration to avid hobbyists, enthusiasts and citizen scientists through its multichannel brands including Astronomy, Discover, Bead&Button, FineScale Modeler, Garden Railways, Scale Auto, Classic Toy Trains, Model Railroader, Model Railroader Video Plus, Trains, Classic Trains, and American Snowmobiler.

Press Inquiries: 
Patrick Taylor, 917-653-4785| 
Lindsey Von Busch,


For more information about the Bead&Button Show, contact Sara Dumford,, 262-798-6591