Conference Week: Tuesday Update

As much as I would like to think that the National Arts and Crafts Conference is the highlight of the year for the Grove Park Inn, I was reminded yesterday that we are just one weekend for them in a very busy year.

But as most of the staff will tell you, we are still their favorite.

Trust me, as someone who has seen those “other” groups – doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, contractors, and corporate retreats – they whine about what we relish:  original Arts and Crafts furniture, rooms that feel like its 1913, towering granite walls, and lighting you can’t read beneath.

But back to yesterday….

I drove in with my truck and trailer loaded with boxes and tubs, and was welcomed with open arms by the staff, even while they were dealing with a ballroom full of restaurants for the annual one-day food fest sponsored by Sysco, “the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home.”

I’m sure they appreciated the 1913 Roycroft clocks and the hand-hammered lighting fixtures in the Great Hall….

So, I unloaded my truck and trailer, took a lap around the hotel, set up the Registration Desk for Kate, met a few department heads, and drove back home, all before noon. Kate and I wrapped up name badges, floor plans, show programs, and seminar files, then she headed home. I took Jasper and Daisy for my last walk with them for the week, and Leigh Ann and I got in a workout at the gym, another last for the week.

Today, while Sysco is cooking in the Grand Ballroom, I’ll set up one of our exhibits in the Great Hall, then Kate will start organizing the list of exhibitors for load-in on Thursday.

And once we get Sysco out tonight, I’ll layout the booths on the carpet in the Grand Ballroom (above) and first thing tomorrow morning the crews will start setting pipe-and-draping, 37 display cases, 49 pegboards, and 87 tables for the booths, not to mention several hundred chairs in the Heritage Ballroom where we hold our seminars. So that twenty-four hours later, it will look like this:

And Heritage Ballroom will look like this:

As for me, well, tomorrow I go from ballroom to ballroom, meeting room to meeting room, booth to booth with floor plans, lists, tape measure, and notebooks under my arms, checking to make sure every one of more than 100 booths are each set perfectly before the exhibitors start streaming in on Thursday.

But now I’m a day ahead of myself, so it’s time to close this out and get to work.

Check back tomorrow for another update?