Further to professionalism...
One of the jobs required if you are to be a professional is that of marketing.
Since I have several income streams, I have to 'market' all of them, at one point or another.
The first thing was to come up with a logo. A visual that people would come to associate with me, with my name.
At my first (and only, but that's another story) solo art exhibit, viewers noticed that I had repeatedly used the butterfly as a symbol in my work. Many commented that obviously I needed to use the butterfly to represent myself. I took heed. Over the years my logo has changed, evolved, and for the past - oh - nearly 20 years? I have used the logo above.
This little butterfly tends to get incorporated in various ways. It is used on my hang tags, my business cards, on my letterhead.
But what, you ask, is marketing, anyway?
In the 1990's I took a marketing class and one of the presenters defined marketing simply as sharing information.
It's all well and good if you build a better mousetrap, but if no one knows that you do? You won't sell very many!
So. Marketing. Sharing information. Letting people know that you have a product, an event, something they might be interested in, either purchasing the product, or signing up for the event.
I have gotten pretty good at it. People say I write well (thank you!) and since I was an early adopter of the internet, have gotten pretty savvy with various chat groups, social media sites and blogs.
But marketing is not something one person can really do, all by themselves. And so people like me rely on others to spread the word.
Such as this conference I'm involved with. My hope for this conference is broad. The obvious one is that everyone who comes has a great time. Just as important is that the conference be financially successful. In order to be financially successful, people have to attend. We are still gathering information on how much it is going to cost - which is making budgeting a bit of a challenge.
We are also attempting to pay our instructors a fee that respects their knowledge, commitment and the effort it takes to put on a good workshop, present an interesting seminar. But we are also, as hosting guild, hoping to make a profit. The association keeps 20% of the profit but hopefully even after that is paid there will be sufficient money left over to benefit the guild.
For any guild that is considering hosting a conference, feel free to contact me. You don't have to be a huge guild in a large metropolitan centre to host a conference. Our town is small, our resources limited. We are not aiming for bigger is better, but to have a quality experience for all. Sometimes smaller is better. Sometimes you just have to get a little creative in how you plan.
The ANWG conference happens every two years. The conference after ours will be held at Salem, Or. There are rumours that 2023 might be further afield. But ultimately, conferences need hosts. Do think about being one of them, where ever you live.
The internet is all well and good, but nothing beats meeting the textiles - and other weavers - in real life!