Monday Morning: Behind the Scenes
As the days have been ticking down, the pile of boxes and plastic crates brimming with books, name badges, tote bags, easel signs, envelopes, posters, workshop materials and file folders has turned our office, workshop and home into a virtual maze. My two office cats love it, as they have new tunnels to crawl through and cozy cardboard caves for their afternoon naps. It all makes the dogs nervous, as they suspect (quite correctly) we are about to desert them.
While I have always been an early riser, today I am writing with the Weather Channel playing in the background here in my office above our garage. My concern is not only what the weather will be like in Asheville over the weekend, but what challenges it could make for the exhibitors who are today either packing their trucks and vans or, in some cases, already driving down an interstate highway with Asheville logged into their dashboard G.P.S.
Right now it looks pretty good. The blast of cold air blowing through the South this past weekend should be followed by some warmer temperatures. While we may get a few spring showers, the forecasters are actually predicting daytime highs around sixty degrees during the conference. Although the weather has never been a deal-breaker for the Arts and Crafts Conference, it’s always nice to have some blue sky, bluebirds and daffodils in the background when you arrive.
But the secret to a successful conference, I have learned, is very simple:
It’s all in the details.
Right now there is no one major thing for me to do, just a hundred little things, like spelling your name right on your name badge, having signs to tell you where each Small Group Discussion will be held, making sure the Conference Catalog is printed, bound and delivered on time, making sure everyone on the Grove Park Inn’s staff and mine have the correct answers to your questions, and coordinating setup with security, the crew who assemble the pipe and draping for the booths, and the guys who bring in more than a hundred tables, pegboards and display cases for each of the 125 booths.
It’s all in the details.
Today, here in my office, the constant question without an answer is, “What did I forget?”
I have a large three-ring notebook with so many lists that I actually have one called “My List of Lists.” Each year the number of lists gets longer as we attempt to minimize any confusion when you arrive. So, today, I will spend part of my time walking through the maze of boxes, checking items off my list, sliding back into my office chair (where Percy is often perched) to type another sign, send another email or calm a worried exhibitor who can’t decide between a six-foot or an eight-foot table for her booth.
But I also know that the more I do here in my office today, the fewer problems I will have to handle at the Grove Park Inn later this week.
Check back tomorrow morning and I’ll let you know how it’s going.
Have a great Monday!