Welcome to your first SAMA American Mosaic Summit!
We are so excited that you will be joining us in Boston, Massachusetts this year!
We want to give you a heads up that there will be designated areas at special events + special activities programmed for first-time attendees – as well as solo attendees – that we think will make your attendance especially enjoyable and satisfying. You might be interested to know there will be approximately 90 first time attendees this year!
It can be challenging to be a newcomer amongst established friends and acquaintances. If you’d enjoy meeting and interacting with others to develop new companions, the Welcoming Committee is there for you at the conference! In addition to scheduled newcomers activities, we will be posting on the Guidebook conference app, social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and the onsite bulletin board to connect, address questions, or just find someone to hang out with. The SAMA Welcoming Committee wants to make sure everyone has access to productive and satisfying experiences all week long!
No pressure, no expectations. If you want the company, it’s available. We’re there for you.
New attendees will find a First Time Attendee ribbon on your neck wallet, in your registration package. The ribbon lets others know you’re attending your first Summit. As Welcoming Committee members, we will also be wearing blinking lights on our badges to help you identify us.
Additional conference tips & details about the Newbie hospitality area, meet-&-greets, happy hours, and meal opportunities will be sent shortly.
First Tip: One of the best and most fun ways for new attendees to meet other members and get into the spirit of the conference is volunteering. The easiest volunteer opportunity – and one of the most meaningful – is signing up for the Mosaic Marathon. Each year, SAMA members collaboratively create a beautiful mosaic for a local charity in the region in which the conference is held. It’s a fun, low key and the surprisingly social way to all work together on a beautiful mosaic project. You may even learn a new technique or pick up a helpful tip! Then later, you can stop back in to add more or just check on its progress.
This year’s Mosaic Marathon project is led by Cynthia Fisher, and we’re honored to be working for Boston Harbor Now ‘s installation at the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center. Once again the Mosaic Marathon is being made possible by Mosaic Marathon
To sign up, email Marathon Volunteer Coordinator, Christine Kenneally and she’ll advise re: open shifts. You are also very welcome to just stop in and lend a hand (if you don’t have a reserved time slot). There’ll be A LOT to accomplish in 3 short days and they can use all the help they can get – so, come lend a hand!
Mosaic Marathon hours are Tues 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Wed & Thurs 8:00 am – 10:00 pm.
The email for general conference volunteering is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out all volunteer activities/time slots available. Many require only short time periods and can be easily accomplished (e.g., taking lunch tickets). There’s always a need for additional helpers – many hands make for quick work! – and volunteering gives you insider information on how the conference is run. Who knows, maybe next year you’ll be the one hanging with the First Time Attendees!
More coming soon ~
Deb Durant & Sharice Rolando,
Welcoming Committee Tag Team
BEFORE LEAVING HOME:
PREPARATION & PACKING
Get a good understanding of all the activities & events – there’s a lot going on! – and you won’t want to miss out on anything. Please be sure to carefully review all descriptions on the SAMA website under “2018 Conference Schedule”, in the ATTENDEE BOSTON GUIDE, or on the SAMA Facebook Page – and be sure to let us know if we can help!
Leave space in your suitcase, or bring an extra checked bag for items from the Vendor Marketplace.
Wear comfortable shoes and plan for layers; average Boston March temps are in the 30-40’s.
Casual clothes are fine for all events, but you may want to bring dressier items for the Welcome Mixer, Mosaic Art Salon, MAI Artists Reception, and Closing Night Party.
Along with your camera, bring photos of your work to share with other mosaic artists – we’d all like to see!
Bring a small notebook dedicated to the SAMA conference to create your own schedule timeline, to take notes in workshops & presentations, and for the vendor show, it’s also handy for quick sketches.
If you have business cards, bring at least 50-100. You don’t want to run out while making contacts!
Brown Bag Exchange: This is a voluntary tesserae exchange – you must bring a bag to take a bag. Remember: this is a gift! Include special items you’d be excited to receive & a note to the recipient can contact you. Wrap items in a separate sturdy plastic bag inside – these get tossed around – you don’t want your bag to tear.
Check in at the Westin Boston Waterfront and drop your bags in your room. *Remember to bring your Brown Bag Exchange bag* to drop off at the SAMA Registration Desk and pick up your ticket to participate.
Pick up your ATTENDEE PACKET at the SAMA Registration Booth in the Harbor Foyer, on the Harbor Wing, Concourse level –registration hours are Tues 5pm-9pm, Wed 7am-7pm, Thurs & Fri 7am-5pm. Note: If you are attending a workshop on Tuesday, March 13th, your registration materials, and sponsor gift bag will be brought to your workshop room shortly after the beginning of your workshop.
**IMPORTANT! Your attendee packet includes your neck wallet, a conference program, MAI members’ choice ballot, MAI exhibit catalog, and several important documents – ALL in a canvas gift bag filled with sponsor donations for you to use throughout the conference. Keep your Brown Bag Exchange ticket in your badge holder, you must have that to participate.
SUGGESTIONS: Depending on your arrival time, you may want to go volunteer at the Mosaic Marathon, view the MAI exhibit at the BSA, view the MAI Invitational at SAC, visit the lobby bar to meet other attendees, check the message board for updates
Here’s a BIG PICTURE overview of the main social events of the 2018 American Mosaic Summit:
Tues 5pm – 10pm; Wed & Thurs 8am – 10pm: Mosaic Marathon
Tues Night 7-8pm: Welcome Mixer (included with registration)
Tues, Wed, Thurs: 8am-5pm: workshops (all optional and require additional fees)
Wed, Thurs, Sun: bus tours (all optional and require additional fees)
Wed evening: SAMA Café speaker presentations (included w registration)
Thurs evening: Mosaic Art Salon with silent auction (included with registration)
Fri evening: Mosaic Art International (MAI) Artist Reception (included with registration)
Sat morning: SAMA members’ meeting (open to all current SAMA members)
Sat Night: Raffle and Closing Night Party (included with registration)
Try to partake in as many activities, presentations, etc. as you can –this opportunity to be immersed in an environment full of other passionate mosaics artists occurs only once a year!
Having said that… take time to rest each day. A too-packed schedule may leave you snoozing during presentations, so take a relaxing coffee break or catch a catnap, as needed.
Check the message board to find out about interesting activities and local attractions. Be assured that there are many other first-timers who would enjoy partnering up for an activity.
Be sure to attend the Vendor Marketplace to check out the great selection of materials and tools — there are beautiful tesserae to see and usually some really good bargains. Be sure to examine the contents of your Gift Bag, there may be vendor coupons inside! (plus once you’ve used your new materials back home consider entering your work in next year’s juried art show or Mosaic Art Salon.)
Attend the Members’ Meeting Friday morning to learn more about SAMA, how it benefits you, and how you can be involved all year long!
If you find you have free time, check the message board or social media posts for last minute workshop/tour openings, or visit the SAC/ BSA to view the Mosaic Arts International exhibit.
Official conference “Welcomers” for First Time Attendees/Solos will be easy to spot – Deb (Durant) and Sharice (Rolando) we will have small blinking lights on our name tags and look forward to helping – just ask!
Also, look for nametag ribbons identifying Board Members & Volunteers if you have questions.
We’ll be sending you a separate schedule of First Time Attendee/Solo gatherings in upcoming emails/posts
Look for your Regional Table sign at Breakfasts, and check name badges to find people from your area to strike up a conversation.
…or try having breakfast with new people each day! Feel free to sit down at a table, introduce yourself, and ask about/share what kind of mosaics they/you do – you’ll be surprised how easy it will be!
Help remember people’s details/specialties by writing notes on their business cards. Over the years you’ll get to know them personally, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by 300+ new friends your first time!
SAMA members are tremendously generous in sharing technical info and how-to tips: take advantage of opportunities to speak to/learn from exhibiting MAI artists: ‘Tell me more about how you did it?’
Be sure to stop by the SAMA Store in the Vendor Marketplace and meet your SAMA board members. Board members love to meet attendees and are happy to suggest ways to help you get actively involved in SAMA.
PREPARE to learn, be inspired, and have the most fun you’ve had in a long time!
SAVOR every moment because it will be over before you know it!
RESPOND to our online post-conference survey – we need your answers, questions, and vital feedback to continue making the SAMA conferences the very best that they can be!