I’m writing this week’s column on Monday morning, the first day of our 28-day virtual 34th annual National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows.
As of right now the shows are both open, as we have nearly 100 exhibitors, equally divided between antiques dealers and contemporary craftsfirms, exhibiting in our virtual show. The shows are free to everyone, simply by going to www.Arts-CraftsConference.com and following the link to the shows. You will discover that each of the exhibitors has their own Exhibitor Profile Box with their contact information, a brief description of their merchandise, and a button to click to take you directly to their website or ecommerce store.
Once there you can see what hours they are available to speak with you. Some are even setting up live chat sessions and show specials, so be sure to check back often during the month. And like our live shows at the Grove Park Inn, this will give you an opportunity to browse through the inventory of many exhibitors you would not have met any other way.
And like at the Omni Grove Park Inn, it will give you the opportunity to forge a friendship with an antiques dealer or contemporary craftsperson – each an expert in their field — that will last for years to come.
Speaking of experts, don’t miss the opportunity that will be taking place each weekday at 1:00pm (EST) when a select group of individuals, both antiques dealers and contemporary craftspeople, will be leading live Small Group Discussions. Just as at the Grove Park Inn, these live discussions will give you the opportunity to ask questions and listen to other collectors who share your particular passion for the Arts and Crafts style and lifestyle. The complete list and daily schedule is also posted at our new website, www.Arts-CraftsConference.com.
While we lament not being able to meet in person at the Omni Grove Park Inn Resort, a virtual conference does have unique advantages. For starters, the Zoom Small Group Discussion sessions will enable you to hold up a piece of art pottery, a tile, a textile, or whatever in front of the camera on your computer for everyone in the group to see and to help answer your questions about it. I hope to be sitting in one every one of them, as I have some questions of my own.
If you haven’t signed up yet for your Participants Pass for the nearly 75 different conference events, it’s not too late, for once each seminar or tour is released, it will remain available for all registered participants to view the rest of the month. The Small Group Discussions will also be recorded, so you can watch any of the ones you missed at your leisure.
Here in the office we aren’t waiting for February to end to begin making plans for the 35th National Arts and Crafts Conference, which we planning to again host in person at the Omni Grove Park Inn on February 18-20, 2022.
We are also taking a close look at the virtual aspects of this year’s conference and will undoubtedly be utilizing them in our future Arts and Crafts Conferences as we continue to encourage everyone’s support of the Arts and Crafts revival.
Until next week,
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” – Elbert Hubbard
P.S. Thank you to Ray Stubblebine for all the high quality photos over the years at the National Arts and Crafts Conference