The other thread is a little long so I am starting a new one for 2012. Barb had a great explanation of what a shoebox swap is so I have pasted it here:
Many of the events are run a bit different, but in general they work like this.
Each person plans a card that meets the requirements set by the hostess (SU only, holiday theme, no vendor requirements, etc.). You make a sample card and then make a card kit for each of the other participants. The kit contains all of the cut cardstock and embellishments--the image is typically stamped at the event. All of the kits are in an individual baggie and all baggies are in a shoebox--that is how the name came about.
The day of the event, you set up your "station" with your sample, the shoebox with all of the kits, any additional needed items--ink, stamps, punch, etc. and directions for making your card if needed.
When the day starts, each person then moves from station to station and make each of the cards. If there are more than 20 participants, many times each person will make kits for half of the participants and pre-make the cards for the other half. Then, the hostess will swap out the pre-make cards for each person and you would then make the other half of the cards--that sounds a bit confusing, but is easy once you have done it.
Some shoebox swaps will have additional swaps that day--like a pair of 12x12 scrapbook pages, a swap for a certain type of card--like a Christmas card for a birthday card, some do an anything but a card--ABAC swap-so you might make a notebook, or bookmark, or box with candy, etx. Most of the time those swaps are optional, but the full card shoebox is required for everyone. Some do a rummage sale for a small amount of items for each person too.
The day is a great time--a long day of stamping, but it is fun. Oh yeah, each person has their own adhesive usually and takes that to each station to make their cards.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Hope you are able to come to one if held. It is scarey the first time............................. but like I said, it is a great day and you make some wonderful new friends!
If anyone has dates or stamping info they want to add feel free to post it here.