Saturday Conference Report
I must confess: Friday of the Arts and Crafts Conference is always the hardest day in my entire year.
And it’s not so much the work as it is the worry.
On Friday morning I worry about those two or three empty booths, wondering if the exhibitors who contracted them are not going to show up, leaving me with a major vacancy that I wouldn’t be able to fill at the last minute.
I worry that the crowd might not be as large as everyone is hoping – or expecting. That the weather might actually be too nice, prompting people to stay home to rake the leaves off their daffodils and their iris sprouts. Or that my advertising might have missed the crowd that our exhibitors needed.
And then I have six seminar speakers, one of whom had not checked in when I went to bed Thursday night. Even though I always have a back-up Power Point presentation loaded and ready in case of an emergency, that was enough to keep me from getting any real sleep, wondering what had happened to him and how disappointed everyone would be if I had to step to the podium and announce to 1000 attendees that the speaker they had come to hear wasn’t coming.
And then I worry about the parking, and if all of my staff would show up, and if the Grove Park Inn’s staff would be attentive to our needs and last minute changes, and if the audio-visual team would have everything loaded in the proper order, and if my dogs back home were okay, and I think you get the picture.
But, fortunately, my fears were unfounded. My speaker showed up and delivered one of two fantastic presentations last evening. The empty booths were filled by our 1:00pm opening, the audio visual team and every Grove Park Inn staff member, along with mine, were on their A game, parking was a challenge but we didn’t get many complaints, since it was free, and the crowds packed the hallways and rooms and aisles, not to the point where it was uncomfortable, but well to the point of saturation, resulting in the sprouting of red sold tags on large pieces of furniture and some major pieces of art pottery.
And so we start today on an optimistic note, looking for a solid second day of speakers and sales as we continue to celebrate – with champaign and chocolate – the 30th National Arts and Crafts Conference.
Together we grow stronger.