Well, three weeks from now Alex and I will begin our annual migration from our office here above my garage in the country to the historic Grove Park Inn overlooking Asheville, bringing with us truckloads of conference catalogs, posters, signs, envelopes, notebooks, workshop materials, floor plans, books, tote bags, displays, and, of course, name badges.
Speaking of which, if you are registered at the Grove Park Inn but have not yet received a large packet from my office, please email me your mailing address right now. The staff at the G.P.I. is still transitioning into a new reservation system and sometimes we don’t get every name and address.
And if you have your packet but have not yet mailed or faxed in your name badge form, please do so. It will save you from standing and waiting for us to type it at the registration desk.
And as all experienced travelers have learned, call your hotel in advance to make sure they have the correct arrival and departure dates in the system for you. The G.P.I. number is (828) 252-2711.
Behind the scenes, the first event for me at the Grove Park Inn is a meeting early in the week with all of the department heads. With two changes of ownership in less than three years, I will be standing in front of many fresh, new faces. While the majority of the department heads will not have yet experienced anything like our Arts and Crafts Conference (as no group comes close to matching our passion and excitement), they have been hearing about it from those who have been at the hotel for several years, and are looking forward to it.
As I look back over my 27 years with the Arts and Crafts Conference, I wonder how we ever did it without email and websites. Of course, back then it took lots of postage stamps, long-distance telephone calls, and overnight mailing that have been reduced now by our computers, software programs, and websites.
And, of course, those same websites and computers have made it possible for you to buy anything you want, vintage or contemporary, online without ever leaving home.
So why is it, then, that so many of you continue to come to the Arts and Crafts Conference in Asheville — in February?
Obviously, the Grove Park Inn is a builder’s marvel and an Arts and Crafts mecca. Asheville is on nearly every Top Ten list of places to visit, shop, play, brew beer, eat, or retire.
And the weather in late February is more apt to be Early Spring rather than Late Winter.
But you can find all of that other places, too.
Which leaves the obvious answer: we long for and love the personal interaction with antiques dealers, with craftspeople, and with other collectors who share our interest and our passion for all things Arts and Crafts.
And for those of you who have never attended the Arts and Crafts Conference or have not come in several years, just ask someone who has and they will tell you this: it is an experience you will never forget.
And if you have a question, just call us!
Until next Monday,
“Think Spring at the G.P.I. !”
Office Phone Number: (828) 628-1915