Calling All Decorative Painters: IDAL Conference Heads to North Carolina

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By Cindy Howard

Decorative artisans, plaster pros, designers, builders, contractors and more are all welcomed to the International Decorative Artisans League (IDAL) 2107 Convention, to be held Oct. 17-22 at the Grandover Resort & Spa in Greensboro, N.C. It promises to be a high-energy event, with a full slate of hands-on learning, business growth planning, competitions and more. Additionally, High Point Furniture Market, which is the largest home furnishings trade event in the world, will be in full gear, thus offering all sorts of potential for decorative artisans and industry partners.

Rik Lazenby, current IDAL president, explains that the date of the convention was carefully planned to take advantage of all that High Point Market has to offer. “We will have access to up to 17,000 designers, 75,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors, with over 100 countries represented,” Lazenby says. “This market is held in 180 buildings with over 11.5 million square feet of space. As you can imagine, the opportunities are almost endless to establish professional relationships with those in the home furnishings arena. Networking! Networking! Networking!”

High Point Market is the starting point to rev up creativity and dive into the furnishing design world. Understanding trends can only benefit your business as clients see your efforts to keep them in the know. From there, take that knowledge to the trowel or brush and create new and exciting samples for your portfolio. IDAL workshops this year include a vast variety of decorative art and business topics, including Using Texture in New Ways; Chroma Karma; Reactive Metals & Patinas; Verre Eglomise; V-Mask Foils & Vinyl Stencils; Rustic and Reclaimed; Chinese Fakeout; NovaColor; The Human Form; How to Stencil Fabric Successfully; Niche Marketing; Trade Shows, Home Shows and Presentations; Alternative Revenue Streams for a Mature Market; and more.

“We will move right into a full schedule of business sessions, interactive discussions and workshops led by the well-respected Rebecca Slaton,” Lazenby reports. “Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned our vendor expo, live demonstrations, philanthropic activities, Designer Challenge, annual general meeting, cocktail party, silent auction and other special fun events for attendees.”

A highlight this year will be the “Designer Challenge” with cash prizes offered at the end. The contest will put artisans together to form a team that will use their combined skills to create the vision of their team leader, a designer.

The expo area will feature live demonstrations, vendor offerings, and hands-on philanthropic opportunities. After a “newbie” meetup, organizers will host a Game Night. Convention-goers are encouraged to check out the daily schedule to see the full lineup.

Convention registration details are available on the IDAL website,, with a complete listing of workshops, instructors, as well as a schedule of events. In addition, you can follow IDAL on Facebook  for up-to-date information on the convention and the organization.

Cindy Howard is a member of the IDAL board, managing Marketing & Education, and is co-owner of Decorative & Faux Finishes.

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