Friday Morning: Arts and Crafts Week
I was just recalling that a year ago right now we were awaiting an overnight delivery of showcases from New Jersey, hoping they would arrive in time for the exhibitors who had ordered them to get their antiques unpacked and displayed before the doors opened.
As it turned out, everything came together, and what seemed like a major problem at the time has now faded into a faint memory. Even so, it did prompt me to make a phone call last week, just double-checking (or was it triple-checking?) to make sure the right cases were being loaded onto the right semi-truck.
Load-in this year went more smoothly than last, which to an outsider might seem like a big deal over nothing. You open the doors and the dealers and craftsmen just roll their stuff in, right?
Well, that might be the case in a convention hall designed and constructed for weekly shows, but that’s not what its like trying to transform a hotel ballroom and several meeting rooms into an antiques and contemporary craftsfirms show for 125 exhibitors. Add to that the fact that this hotel is built into the side of a mountain. When you walk through the front doors into the main lobby, called the Great Hall, you are standing on the 10th floor! The hotel’s main loading dock is only large enough for one truck at a time, so we have to utilize public entrances, service elevators, the doors to the terrace, and the entry from the parking garage to get everyone into their booth in less than 24 hours.
What makes our load-in and Sunday night’s load-out flow smoothly is the fact that many of our exhibitors have done this show numerous times before now. Several, in fact, have been here either 24 or 25 years. That coupled with a returning crew of experienced porters who take time from their regular jobs to work the loading docks for us helps to insure a speedy, yet safe load-in.
As I write this at five on Friday morning, the showrooms are all locked, secured and patrolled, off-limits to even the exhibitors until setup resumes at eight and the doors open to the Contemporary Craftsfirms Show at one. The Antiques Show opens today at 3:00pm. For those of you coming in for the shows, the admission is $10 and your ticket is good for all three days. Saturday’s hours are Noon-6:00pm and on Sunday we are open 11:00am-4:00pm.
And if you would like to get a peak at some of the items in this weekend’s shows, go to www.Arts-CraftsConference.com and click on any of the Show Previews listed in the left column.
In addition, you can also see the Arts & Crafts antiques that California Historical Design has brought to the show by going to http://www.acstickley.com.
I hope you can come to see what still, after 25 years, lives up to its billing as “the most important weekend of the year for Arts and Crafts collectors.”
Until then, or until tomorrow morning,
Have a great Arts & Crafts day!