|This was my first ASG conference, and I was not disappointed.
I thought the class choices (over 100) were extensive and interesting. Of course there were many classes related to garment sewing and fitting, but there were just as many for those who don't sew clothing. Among that type of class were inspiration related, handling of special fabrics, fabric dyeing, handbags, specialty scarves, Wool felting, beading, quilting, heirloom, fashion, color, teaching certification, and classes on many different sewing techniques. And, this doesn't cover half of it.
The teachers were an impressive bunch, which is to be expected. PR teachers such as Jennifer Stern-Haseman, Sarah Veblen and Susan Kalje were present, as well as many of the long time, well known sewing teachers like Coni Crawford, Peggy Sagers, Emma Seabrooke, Linda Lee, Louise Cutting, Lyla Messinger, and Nancy Nix-Rice.
There were some I wasn't as familiar with, but its always good to have new faces to teach us new things.
Among my favorite classes were those from Coni Crawford, Peggy Sagers and Sarah Veblen. They were all very informative. Coni provided great handouts, and interesting info on the sewing industry, as did Peggy Sagers, who gave door prizes at each class. Sarah made sure everyone got to see whatever it was she was demonstrating. I also enjoyed the class with Glenda Sparling on her Sure Fit Designs. There were no prima donnas here. All very down to earth, nice people. I like it when teachers know their subject well from years of experience, and aren't afraid to come out and say this or that way is the best way, and here is why. Most of these ladies have years in the industry to back up their methods, and the confidence they posses.
This years Hall of Fame award was presented to Claire Schaeffer. She gave an inspirational talk. Coni Crawford was a keynote speaker, and gave the fall fashion forecast, complete with an informational color handout that was several pages.
Two sewing machines were given away, and several door prizes. I won a silk scarf and set of silk dyes.
There was the usual fashion show, with Peggy Sagers as the announcer. She was a hoot, and made it lots of fun. They showed the film "Stitched" which was good, and the producers were there to answer questions. They served drinks, popcorn and candy for this. I was disappointed at the low attendance, but we were glad we went.
There were over 40 vendors this year. The vendors prices were fair, and I came home with many things I couldn't have gotten locally, or for less money than if I'd ordered online. Many unique things for sure. There were a couple of local sewing machine dealers, but Babylock, Janome and Juki were there as corporate entities. Janome had a TOL embroidery sewing machine at half off retail price. I'm not sure if that was only the one machine on display, or if it was a new in box deal. One of my friends bought a new 6600 and said she got a great new in box deal.
There were stage demonstrations throughout the afternoons for those whose schedule wasn't filled with classes.
I wished the vendor hall times could have been expanded somewhat. Then again, my wallet is thankful.
They also provide city tours for the significant others of the attendees, and attendees who are interested. This will be great next year in Arlington Va. My husband wants to go so he can tour the DC and Arlington areas.
Special thanks to the Houston chapter for providing great tote bags filled with all sorts of sewing goodies to each attendee. Everyone loved them!
Houston's Hilton Americas was a fabulous venue. The hotel was beautiful, the staff was very friendly and professional, and the rooms were large. We were served a proper breakfast with many choices. Lunch was deli style the first day of the annual meeting and leadership classes ( and those boxes were filled with so much we took most of it back to the room). After that, we had 3 days of hot lunch - buffet style or table served. And yes, the Texas BBQ was good! They did accommodate special diets.
My only complaint about the venue would be that the Internet service was expensive, but free in the public areas. Parking was high at $19 per day, but I felt safer with my car in a garage, and there were other less expensive options around. There were times when we were packed in for certain classes, or they had to bring in more chairs, but most of that is due to people switching classes once they got there.
For dinner, Houston has some really great restaurants within walking distance that won't break the budget.
Its obvious that the ASG HQ and staff and Houston chapter worked very hard for this conference. All 5 of those attending from our chapter thought it was great.