Great Expectations

Last week I ran into one of my good friends who works at the Grove Park Inn, and we started talking, quite naturally, about the February Arts and Crafts Conference.

“This will be number 26, right?” he asked. “Should be a piece of cake by now.”

Piece of cake.

The first Arts and Crafts Conference was a piece of cake, simply because no one had any great expectations. It was an experiment, with nothing to lose. If no one had come, we could simply have said, “Well, we tried.”

Twenty-six years later, people have expectations.

And expectations are fine. They keep us on our toes, they keep us thinking, working, planning.

You should expect to have fun, to be met by a staff that is attentive, courteous and friendly. You should expect to see the finest in Arts and Crafts, from new lighting, jewelry, artwork, furniture, pottery and tiles to vintage antiques by Stickley, Limbert, Rookwood, Roycroft, Kalo, Pewabic, and hundreds of others, from the rare and famous to the unknown and affordable.

You should expect your name to be spelled correctly on your name badge, and you should expect your tote bag, poster and catalog to be ready for you when you arrive.

You should expect the Small Group Discussions to be lively, for the Workshops to be well-organized and fulfilling, for the Tours to tell you the story behind the story, the little details that might otherwise have left you wondering why they hid the elevators inside the fireplaces or who put all the mottos on the rocks or where F. Scott Fitzgerald slept and if the Pink Lady really does float through the Palm Court at night, searching for her room….

You should expect not boring lectures, but visual presentations that open your eyes and send you out the door buzzing with excitement, debating the speakers’ theories, and seeing objects with a renewed appreciation for their design and craftsmanship.

Great expectations.

Its more than a classic novel by Dickens.

It’s a way to run an Arts and Crafts Conference.

Piece of cake.

Until next Monday,

Have a great week!


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