Monday Morning: Conference Week
Well, if you could see my workshop right now, you might consider canceling your reservation.
At last count, there are eight tubs of materials just for the Stains, Dyes, and Finishes Workshop alone (and just three openings left, if you’re interested), three tubs destined for the Grand Ballroom where the antiques show will be held, six boxes of directional easel signs for the daily Small Group Discussions, a tub of banners to be hung, a small stack of wood for one of the exhibitors’ booth, five tubs of file folders containing name badges and information sheets, six boxes of books, ten cases of canvas tote bags, five tubs of clipboards and materials for the Silent Auction, four cases of posters and envelopes, a half-eaten bag of Snickers bars, and, well, you get the picture.
Alex walked into the office Friday, took one look around, and said, “I think we had better hold an Arts and Crafts Conference.”
And it never fails that just about now I think back to a Monday 27 years ago when I loaded all of the conference materials I needed into the back of my Dodge Caravan and made just one trip up to the Grove Park Inn.
Life was simple then: just 30 antiques dealers, 2 contemporary craftsfirms, 7 speakers, and that’s it. No Small Group Discussions, no walking tours, no workshops, no house tours, no art museum reception, no demonstrations, no Craftsman Farms banquet, no Saturday night movie, and just two assistants.
This week we will have more than 100 exhibitors and at last count I have 15 people ready to make sure the Arts and Crafts Conference flows smoothly, and that’s not counting the Grove Park Inn’s staff, which is looking forward to this weekend more than any other they host.
Because no other group appreciates the furnishings, the history, and the heritage of the 1913 Grove Park Inn like a hotel full of Arts and Crafts enthusiasts.
Which is truly the biggest reason why, after 27 years, I continue to love organizing this event, even with all the stress worrying over the weather (not just here in North Carolina, but wherever you are right now, too), as well as worrying about the seminar speakers, the exhibitors, the hotel staff, my own staff, and anything I might have forgotten, from someone’s name badge to ordering lunch for the porters who unload the trucks all day Thursday.
And I’m excited about this year’s conference, and ready for you to get here.
Just give me two more days to get everything unpacked and set up, okay?
Check in tomorrow and see how our Monday went.
Thanks for stopping by!