Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 AAW Symposium - Thursday afternoon and early evening; June 23

Thursday is a very busy day at the AAW symposium.  There are a lot of details to sort out prior to the start of registration, and there is a lot going on behind-the-scenes to set up the demonstration rooms, galleries, and trade show.  This blog post shows some of the stuff that most attendees are not aware of, which is as it should be for a well organized symposium.

The staff and volunteers work very hard to make things run smoothly, which means they do a lot of running around to meet the needs of different people.  Linda Ferber (in pink) was one of the primary "go to" people on Thursday.

Meanwhile, on the lower level of the convention center there is a lot of frantic activity to put booths in the proper location, move goods to the proper areas, and for setting up the trade show.

Each vendor has their own special needs to display their wares.  I found it pretty interesting to do a walkabout during this hectic phase of the setup.

Goods and equipment are scattered all across the eventual aisles as vendors organize their display areas.

There must be a pretty good system for keeping track of all the shipments that are sent ahead to be delivered to a specific area of the trade show. 

 Stuart Batty's booth was totally awesome.  High tech video, HD monitors, great sound, dedicated video and sound technicians.  I'm kicking myself that I didn't get a shot of the booth after it was set up and before the crowds of people arrived.  I have to tell you that this booth was the buzz of the trade show.  It was always packed, and there were demonstrations constantly going on throughout the day.

I talked to Stuart about this venture and he said that the business was about marketing his brand.  This includes his line of training videos, tools, etc.  Given all the excitement at the trade show, perhaps this will be the wave of the future.  I have to admit that I was suitably impressed.

Ruth Niles organized a co-op gallery as part of her space.  Unfortunately, Ruth could not be at the symposium due to a sudden illness.  We really missed having her around.  Somehow the trade show just isn't as cheerful when she's not there.

My part of the co-op gallery included lots of dangle earrings that I carved.  The parts are sterling silver and each pair is unique.  I sold quite a few pairs, and I've kept track of which kinds of dangles were most popular.

I also made four pendant/necklace and matching earring sets.   The lower three sets sold during the symposium.  I'll probably wear the top set.

Sometime I need to make some more - probably before October.  These are very fun to make, for sure.

Also behind the scenes are several meetings.  The AAW board meets for a couple of days earlier in the week and the Monday after the symposium.  The POP committee (shown here) meets on Thursday.  They do a lot of decision making with regards to the theme of future POP exhibits, the POP merit award nominees, and emerging artists for the next symposium demonstrations.

The other bit of hectic activity occurs in the Youth Turning room.  Dozens of Jet minilathes are set up to be ready for the first rotation of Friday morning.  This room is such an exciting place to visit, especially to watch the kids learn to turn.

Each station has the same gear: lathe, tools, face shield.  Some are set up with platforms for the shorter kids.

After a long day of work, the room is ready to go.  I would like to congratulate all the volunteers and demonstrators who make this happen.  We witness the future of turning in this room.

Another bunch of hard working volunteers are to be found at the registration area.  These ladies and gents are kept very, very busy as soon as registration opens at 3 pm.

There are three areas of registration - regular attendees, demonstrators, and vendors.  The AAW staff members are kept very busy sorting out all the details and tackling any challenges that arise.

Now that one has all the registration packets and info, it's time to decide on who to see demonstrate.  Sorting through the schedule seems pretty daunting at the beginning of the symposium.

During registration there is a "Learn to Turn" session.  This is a pretty active area and there is a lot to see and do.  The local chapters take on this activity.

One of the big fund raisers is a raffle for one or more lathes.  Tickets are $10 each, and the prize this year included a decorated Powermatic lathe (painted by Binh Pho), and a Jet mini lathe.

Here's a close-up of part of the lathe that was decorated with this year's theme artwork.  Binh Pho was very generous with his time and talent to help AAW with this fundraiser.  Thanks, Binh!

The opening reception for all of the symposium exhibits started at 4:30 or 5:00 pm - I can't remember the details.  There were three exhibits this year:  Turning 25, which featured entries from AAW chapters; an exhibit of work by David Ellsworth, this year's POP merit award recipient; and Roots, an invitational POP exhibit.  It was well attended and very crowded in there!

Demonstrators were whisked off to a Thursday evening dinner where we had a chance to visit with one another and to hear the final instructions from the board of directors.  I like this tradition - it's about the only time demonstrators have some time to see each other throughout the weekend.

For more photos see the album on my Facebook page.

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