Saturday: Conference Week
Friday is always the day in which the conference hangs in balance.
We spend months planning and preparing everything from booths to audio visual equipment, display cases to name badges, speakers to workshop leaders, and special exhibits to hallway lighting.
And then, at noon on Friday, comes the toughest hour of the year for me, ticking down the final sixty minutes, seeing the fabulous array of booths, realizing all of the hours of preparation each exhibitor has put into their booth, and noticing the anxious looks on their faces as we all wonder:
“Will they come?”
As I alluded to in my opening remarks last night, the internet has provided us with the option of staying home, seeing a dealer’s or craftsperson’s entire inventory online, bidding on Ebay for a particular piece, and watching a U-tube video.
But as much as Arts and Crafts collectors have learned to use the internet, we also know that it is no substitute for personal contact.
And so we continue to seek out those opportunities to pick a piece up with our hands, to turn it over, inspecting the craftsmanship and the shopmark, talking about it with the craftsperson or dealer, learning about how it was made, where it was made, even why it was made, and we leave not just with a piece of art and craft for our home, but with a new friendship.
And so when the doors opened at one o’clock, they did come, laughing and anxious to see what all lay ahead of them, ready to mingle and to share, to ponder and to decide.
And as they streamed through the doors, I did what I learned 29 years ago that I needed to do:
I got out of the way.
We ended the day yesterday just as we will begin it today, with two seminars, then we return to the Grand Ballroom and the shows, checking to see what we overlooked yesterday.
Until tomorrow morning,
If you get the chance, come join us.