We want your first experience at the American Mosaic Summit to be inspiring, motivating and invigorating for your creative life! However, we realize, attending a conference for the first time can be intimidating as well. Our past attendees have shared some of their best tips for making the most of the conference experience. Also, check out the SAMA Facebook Event page for the conference where you can connect with attendees in advance of the conference as well as through the Guidebook Mobile App.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sheraton Music City, Lobby Bar
Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 7:00 am – 8:30 am, Sheraton Music City, Hermitage Foyer
Thursday, April 25, 2019, 8:30 pm, Sheraton Music City, Lobby Bar
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 or under SAMA American Mosaic Summit Nashville schedule, or on the SAMA American Mosaic Summit 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 for the Vendor Marketplace.
- NOTE: There’s a UPS booth in the Vendor Marketplace to make it easy to ship purchases home!
- Wear comfortable shoes and plan for layers; average Nashville temps are in the 60’s-70’s with possible rain.
- 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!
- Bring along any mosaic books by favorite artists to request author signatures in case she/he is there.
- 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 so that 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 Sheraton Music City and drop your bags in your room.
- Pick up your ATTENDEE PACKET at the SAMA Registration Booth in the Ballroom Lobby –registration hours are Tues 5pm-9pm, Wed 7am-5pm, Thurs & Fri 7am-5pm. Note: If you are attending a workshop on Tuesday, April 23rd your registration materials and sponsor gift bag will be brought to your workshop room shortly after the beginning of your workshop.
- *Remember to bring your Brown Bag Exchange bag* to drop off at the SAMA Registration Desk and pick up your ticket to participate.
**IMPORTANT! Your attendee packet contains your personal workshop schedule (if applicable), your badge holder, 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.
Depending on your arrival time, you may want to go volunteer at the Mosaic Marathon, view the Parthenon for the Mosaic Arts International, 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 2019 American Mosaic Summit:
Tues 5pm – 10pm; Wed & Thurs 8am – 10pm: Mosaic Marathon
Tues Night 7-8pm: Welcome Mixer (Included in ‘Full Registration’)
Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri 8am-5pm: Workshops (all optional and require additional fees)
Wed, Thurs: Cultural tours (all optional and require additional fees)
Wed evening: Mosaic Arts International (Included w registration)
Thurs evening: SAMA Cafe (Included w registration)
Fri morning: Breakfast with the Board: General Meeting (included w registration)
Fri evening: Mosaic Art Salon and Auction (Included w registration)
Sat Night: Closing Night Party and raffle (Included w 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’ General 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 Parthenon to view the Mosaic Arts International exhibit.
- Be sure to put your “Newbie” ID tag in your name badge. Other Newbies/Solos will feel more welcome striking up a conversation. Many ‘oldtimers’ like to make a special effort to get to know Newbies.
- Official conference “Welcomers” for Newbies/Solos will be easy to spot -Tami Macala and Krystie Rose Millich with our nametags and ribbons that say “I will be your friend” 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 Newbie/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?’
- 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!