What do you get when you combine hundreds
of artifact collectors, hundreds of thousands of dollars in relics and the
Drawbridge Inn in
The AACA National American Artifact Expo!
Recap of the 2003 National Expo
By Jim Bennett, AACA Founder
Thursday – “The Gathering Begins”
Although Expo 2003 didn’t officially start
until Friday night with the preview Party kick-off, Thursday found many
collectors arriving at the Drawbridge Inn Hotel to help set up as well as those
who had driven long hours and wanted some time before the main event to rest
up. Others collectors had flown in from various points across the
Friday – “Preparing For the Expo”
The pre-show staff of around a dozen AACA members met for breakfast and to review the plans of the day’s events. While many of us were still a tad “foggy” from our unplanned evening out which we hated to see end, the plans were laid for preparing the 13,500 square ft. show hall for the main event. The plans included trying to provide the “little things” that would probably go unnoticed by most, but would help to make the Expo a pleasurable experience for all. Items such as maximizing the hall lighting, skirting the tables, providing extra table coverings for the vendors, providing staff to help the vendors carry in their wares as well as directing them to their tables. By the huge Show Hall was decorated with table after table of artifacts, pottery and educational displays.
Friday Evening – “Preview Party”
As the doors opened to the line of people eagerly anticipating the beginning of the AACA’s inaugural Exposition, they were greeted with live music and hostesses serving complimentary wine and champagne. The turn out for the preview party was exceptional, and the Expo quickly came to life as collectors moved from table to table sipping wine, looking at relics, talking with friends and enjoying the music. Before we knew it, several hours had passed and the first event of the Expo weekend was drawing to a close. While some decided to retire for the evening at the close of the Preview Party, a large number of people were not ready for the evening to end quite so soon. It wasn’t long before another gathering had formed at the Crossbow Tavern, and the conversations and good-humored fun seemed to pick up right where it left off the night before.
Saturday – The Artifact Exposition Main Event Begins!
The doors opened right on time Saturday morning and a large crowd quickly filled the show hall. The day was filled with opportunities to view offerings on 100+ vendor tables as well as to attend Atlatl demonstrations, topical seminars, and to take a chance at winning prize raffles that took place throughout the day. Some people came to purchase relics, others to sell – some collectors were there mainly to hear the seminar speakers and learn more about the hobby they love, while others were just curious and interested in learning more about the ancient past. By the end of the day people from over 36 different states had showed up to help make the AACA Expo truly a National event!
Saturday Night – Cocktail Party
After the show closed for the day, and everyone had found some dinner and a chance to put their feet up for a spell, it was time to once again enjoy some more of the social nature of the Expo. It didn’t take long for 50 or so people to find themselves at the Saturday Night Cocktail Party listening to music, talking with friends or dancing. The party went on for hours, and it is safe to say that a good time was had by all.
Sunday – Expo Day Two
Again, as the doors opened on time the waiting crowd brought the show hall to life. Although Sunday crowds are not usually as large as a Saturday crowd, the turnout was exceptional as collectors continued to try to find another relic for their collection and again, the atl-atl demonstrations and seminars were well attended. By the end of the day everyone seemed to have enjoyed a grand weekend, and we all began looking forward to Expo 2004.