Education in Atlanta

stud d

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Did you reister for classes? What is the $250 three day pass for? Does this allow one to go to classes for free or what? I am confused on that.Some one who knows more than I, would love to hear from you.

I know Jim Miller is out there and he is a teacher maybe he will know.

PL
 
G

Gumbogirl

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Well. That's quite a different line up of instructors from last year's. Lots of familiar names and faces.

Several grumblers teaching this year!
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by Patrick Leeland:
What is the $250 three day pass for? Does this allow one to go to classes for free or what?
I called the toll-free phone number at the end of the course catalog, and got some clarification for you, Patrick.

The $250 registration fee is for attendees who are not buyers -- that's mostly for non-framing visitors who want to solicit the exhibitors. Anyone who is a framer is considered a "Buyer" and eligible for free advance registration.

There is no special all-you-can-learn deal for the classes. Register and pay for your selected classes individually.

A word to the wise: The popular classes fill up quickly. At every show we hear from framers who were disappointed that they couldn't get into the classes they wanted, because they waited too long.
 

Jay H

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I hope this is accepted as a plea for more/better and not an insult to anybody.

The lineup for the second year in a row is very tilted.

If my math is right I count 9 classes that Decor has labeled "Business". If you were to ask me I count about 2 business classes, 4 that have a very liberal definition of the word "business" and 3 fantasies.

I must say though that the balance is much better this year in that most that is teaching business classes actually run a retail business. Last year I think there was 11 teaching a business class and 2 had any day to day dealings with a store.

My perspective might be a bit askew as I was exposed to this industry at a very young age. There is PLENTY I don't know about the technical side of this ever-changing industry. Still I don't feel that the execution of quality framing is rocket surgery and yet I counted 44 technical and sales lectures.

Thankfully two years ago I was able to take classes by Carter, Markoff, Bluestone, and Goltz in one show! I'm very skeptical that small group stands alone in the industry but with another questionable line-up of business classes, I guess they are. Fortunately we have 2 of them as regulars here.

If the decor lineup is representative of the way the framing industry is going there is two possibilities.

One! We are such sharp business people that we need to compliment our overwhelming financial success with some of our lacking technical know how.

Two! We are going to be selling some really pretty V Grooves at MICHAELS not too far in the future.

I know that not everybody shares my take on this. Still I do think many shares my desire to learn more about how businesses operate. Not many of us are quick to claim that we have the best marketing and pricing scheme in the universe like we are quick to boast our knowledge of backing papers and hanging systems. For those of us that do have this concern, Décor in Atlanta probably won’t help much.

Again this isn’t to suggest that the technical courses aren’t quality. If you take this rant as a reprimand of those that have mastered that side of framing (and are willing to share), then you are making a comparison I am not willing to make.

But hey, if they are filling up quick then I have yet again opened my big fat mouth about something that I have no idea what I'm talking about. This freedom speech thing has it's pitfalls for sure.
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by Jay H:
[QB] ...If you were to ask me I count about 2 business classes, 4 that have a very liberal definition of the word "business" and 3 fantasies....QB]
Business is a pretty broad topic, Jay. Some classes just fit better there than in other categories. What exactly do you feel is missing from the lineup? Accounting? Buying? Employee relations? Dealing with suppliers? Negotiating a lease? Site selection? Any one of those topics could fill a 2-hour class, but would framers attend?

...Thankfully two years ago I was able to take classes by Carter, Markoff, Bluestone, and Goltz in one show!...
If you can keep up with the classes these four continue to develop, I can't imagine you would be missing much in the "Business" category.

Courses scheduled are those that make money for the organizers. They do it for profit, not for fun, and the instructors have to at least break even. Framers have been clamoring for more business courses for several years, and the education providers are trying to respond. But I guess new business classes are inhibited by reasons like these:

1. The existing instructors and their classes are very good -- a hard act for newcomers to follow.

2. Credibility is everything in that category of courses. Business gurus from other industries are available to teach, but their classes are often too general and do not sell well. Framers do not respect them, as they do the successful business instructors from within the industry.

3. The successful business instructors are successful business leaders, and accustomed to making money. As such, they may command a higher price than typical instructors in other course categories. To put it another way, it costs more for them to step awqay from their routine business activities to teach.

4. Good technical courses attract corporate sponsors who make or sell the products involved. Business courses attract fewer sponsors, because they may be more costly and less obviously beneficial to the sponsors. Kudos to the few corporate sponsors who understand that framers who operate better businesses will eventually buy more of their stuff.

5. The pool of potential business instructors is small. Of the four you mentioned above, I think only Mr. Markoff has daily work in the back room. The others concentrate on running the business, and leave the hands-on framing work to their technical people.

...I don't feel that the execution of quality framing is rocket surgery and yet I counted 44 technical and sales lectures.
Rocket surgery? I love it! :D Quality framing is either like that or brain science, I guess.

Seriously, Framers traditionally are good technicians, and are naturally attracted to the topics they can relate to. That's where framing education started about three decades ago. The prevailing wisdom was that better, more creative framing would most directly result in building a stronger, more profitable framing business. To this day, it's easier to strike up a conversation among famers about mat decoration than about cedit card discount rates & fees.

Those traditional framers are not necessarily good business operators, and until the past five years, that didn't seem to matter much. They just threw out the "OPEN" sign and customers flocked in. Times change, and many of those traditional framers are retiring to more profitable or relaxing adventures.

Today's successful frame shop owners, the newcomers and those who are staying in, are more concerned and knowledgeable about running profitable businesses, because the industry has evolved in ways favorable to the better operators. That may explain the relatively new demand for business courses.

[ 06-21-2006, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: Jim Miller ]
 

stud d

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Thanks guys for the info. I thought I put something in the buyer catagory, guess not. So will go back and fill it in correctly. Then get down to business.

I would like to know things that Jim listed, like negotiating a lease, but I think it is hard to do in a class. Just meaning that everyones situation is different. Unless the classes are smaller and more expensive, I think it is hard to cover all listed in the class descriptions. Like high school, if some are a little slower than the herd, than you will be overlooked and forced to figure it out alone.


Pl
 

Jay H

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KY
I think Jim is right exactly in that there are few that have the authority to teach that type of class. That doesn't mean it’s not possible. In fact I know for certain it is very possible!

Heck we have 2 classes on how to hang a frame, 2 on digital prints, 3 on shadowboxes and no telling how many on mounting (that’s just a quick glance). Why the heck not one on buying or advertising (not networking or art shows)? Another topic to add to your list is pricing. I think dealing with suppliers is a great idea.

I'm absolutely shocked that they can make money off of 3 shadowbox classes and barely even offer 3 business classes. I whined about it last year and probably will again next. It might become an annual event for me.

However unlike last year I do see one that I think I'll take. I wished there was dozens to choose from.
 
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