Friday: Conference Week
Part Five of a Seven Day Series
Best Quote of the Day:
“How do you eat an elephant?”
“One bite at a time.”
Yesterday we took a big bite out of the elephant with a load-in of the exhibitors that went far more smoothly than I had anticipated, especially given the fact that our primary elevator was out of service.
But almost as if to prove that one elevator could not derail our primary setup day, the exhibitors doggedly made their way down the hall to a second set of elevators or climbed the flight of stairs up to the exhibition level carrying their boxes of art pottery, metalware, and textiles. I could say they did so with smiles on their faces, but that might be pushing it a little too far.
And the fact that many of them had just left a winter storm and drove straight into a brilliant day of Southern Sunshine, with temperatures already flirting with fifty and sixty degrees, certainly helped soften the blow of the silent elevator.
Our preconference events also started yesterday with stenciling, coppersmithing, and landscape design hands-on workshops, plus the Kick-Off Party hosted by the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms.
Despite all of our pre-planning and floorplans and diagrams and spread sheets, we also have last minute changes: swapping a six-foot table for an eight-foot, adding a pegboard, or turning a display case. But the Grove Park Inn’s staff did a fantastic job for us, moving tables when needed, providing power to all the booths, and helping exhibitors get their merchandise from the vans and trucks into their booths.
And as they do, the Grove Park Inn comes to life, like a sleeping giant awakening after a long winter’s nap. For many of our exhibitors, this is a reunion, some with friends they only see once year here at the Grove Park Inn. Others are heard making new friends, such as one whom I heard ask, “Where are you going now”
“To the Great Hall, you know, the room with the big fireplaces.”
And there they will sit and relax and enjoy the ambiance that guests at the Grove Park Inn have enjoyed since July 12, 1913. And as they do their friendships will grow even stronger, which is probably one of the main reasons why we are here experiencing our 29th National Arts and Crafts Conference, and already looking forward to next year’s 30th anniversary.
Until tomorrow morning,
Take a bite out of the elephant.