When most people think of a convention, they think of a giant political convention like they see on TV. It’s not that. It is a large gathering, but only a fraction of the size of those big conventions, and everybody there wants to learn, make friends, connect with others, and get better at painting.
Before the convention we offer three optional pre-convention workshops, then we start by opening our giant Expo Hall of art materials, which tend to be plein air-specific. We offer a free orientation before the convention to let you know what’s about to happen and how to make the most of it, and, if you want, we connect you with some new friends so you can have a buddy or two for lunches and dinners. The convention starts with an opening ceremony where we tell you what’s going on, we give a Lifetime Achievement Award, have a couple of speakers, and we present the PleinAir Salon Grand Prize for the year. And this year we have a fun onstage painting demo. Then we have a cocktail party and some heavy hors d’oeuvres (you won’t need dinner).
The following morning we start with Art Marketing Boot Camp, which begins at 6:30 (stand-up breakfast at 6:15) and goes till 7:45. We have Home Room at 8 (we make announcements and give away prizes in Home Room), and after that you go off to one of four stages. You can move freely among all the stages. In the early afternoon, we all go painting together (which is a blast). We repeat this every day. And later we have more sessions if you want to fill your evening.
On Saturday we do a closing ceremony and announce where we’re going the following year, and offer you a discount price that’s good on that day only. Then we go out to paint again, and we’ll have a closing party that night. Sunday is a full day of painting, with no indoor sessions, and the Expo Hall is closed. We will go to Wine Country to paint. In all cases, when we go outdoors to paint, we have faculty there to work with you in the field (which is why we call them field painters).