ART Executive Director Sharon Davis says New Orleans is the perfect place to host this year’s Conference, which carries the tagline “Thriving, Surviving and all that Jazz!”
“It’s New Orleans – there’s lot of fun touristy things to go, there’s great weather at that time, and everything is within walking distance,” Davis says.
This year’s Conference schedule is a busy one, with speakers John Gidding, host of HGTV’s  “Curb Appeal: The Block;” designer and author Barry Dixon ; Crystal Vilkaitis, Director of Social Media for SnapRetail ; and more.
“This program is completely packed this year,” Davis says. “We’re not doing a lot of break out sessions this time. Instead, we’re doing more inclusive sessions where we can talk to one another.”
Also new this year, Conference attendees will participate in a service project with Jericho Road , a local housing initiative helping to revitalize neighborhoods in New Orleans.
“We’ve done a retail exercise for a number of years, but with the location being in New Orleans this year, it’s a real opportunity for us to do something more community service-oriented instead of a workshop,” Davis says.
ART Conference is open to retailers, manufacturers, sales representatives and other home furnishings and design industry professionals. Registration for the Conference is $599 for ART members (and $299 for their guests), $299 for retail attendees and $799 for non-members (and $499 for their guests). The registration fee covers educational programming, group meals, cocktail parties and networking events. The special hotel rate at the Ritz Carlton is $189 for single or double occupancy.
Registration closes April 24, and participants are encouraged to register early. For more information on the Conference or to register, go to the ART Conference website .