Accessories Resource Team Holds 20th Conference in New Orleans

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The Accessories Resource Team (ART) will hold its 20th annual conference this May

Accessories Resource Team 2012 Conference held in New Orleans

The Accessories Resource Team (ART), the association for the home accent and accent furniture industry, will hold its 20th annual conference May 17-20 at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans.  This year the program has been enhanced to incorporate more speakers and – for the first time – attendees will participate in a community project.`

The program features:

  • John Gidding, the host of HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block, will present “The Role of Accessories in Curb Appeal” and detail his experiences in residential and urban design from the show and his private practice.
  • Barry Dixon, president of the interior design firm Barry Dixon, Inc., will discuss “The Bespoke Process to the Individual Interior”  and explain how the customizing process of interior design is unique for every client plus his experiences and how his program reflects those differences.
  • Mike Anderson, The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc., will present  “Elm Street Economics and How to Connect with Consumers and Cash-in on Consumer Trends”.  Mike’s research and interaction with retail on all levels puts him in the valuable position to report on consumer trends and strategies.
  • Donna Schroeder, Brand Marketing for Pratt & Lambert Paints (a division of Sherwin Williams), will offer a multi-media presentation – “Color collective™ 2013: Trends in Color in Design”.  Donna is responsible for interpreting the influences of consumer behavior into color marketing trends for this  powerhouse brand.
  • Jennifer Ledet, Ledet Management, will present “Time Matters.” A native of Louisiana, Jennifer will provide real world examples and stories with a Cajun flavor that make an otherwise everyday challenge much more fun.
  • Crystal Vilkaitis, Snap Retail, will reveal  “Proven Retailer & Vendor Success Using Social Media: How They Did It and How You Can Too!”  Crystal will present case studies and tools for implementing successful social marketing campaigns.

To celebrate its 20th Conference, ART will be “Giving Back to New Orleans” by partnering with the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative of New Orleans and installing home furnishings in four new construction houses. Currently, this organization is still working to place and provide for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Jericho Road (JR) focuses on serving the families through education for first- and long-time home ownership and community development.  Most placed families stay around five years and utilize the support the organization offers to help them be successful homeowners and community citizens.  JR is strategic in its decisions as they relate to neighborhood revitalization and is a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder that provides families with healthy and energy-efficient affordable housing opportunities.

We believe that ART Conference is in a unique position to offer assistance and can make a real difference to this new community. Here are the facts about “Giving Back to New Orleans:”

  • The project is located in “Central City” New Orleans.   The geographic boundaries are Martin Luther King Blvd and Thalia Street.  All houses are located on Saratoga Street, which runs perpendicular to both streets and of typical shotgun design found in New Orleans.  As stated in their mission, all construction will utilize green building practices.
  • Product and service donations are eligible for tax deduction.
  • The ART Conference project involves 4 new construction homes. We intend to provide furnishings for at least one living area of each home.
  • Each house has been assigned a design coordinator, who is responsible for the design aesthetic.
  • Conference attendees install the furnishings and participate in any other appropriate volunteer effort the afternoon of May 18.

Through the generous support of our conference sponsors, the conference has lower registration fees for attendees of $599 for ART member attendees and $299 for a retail store attendee.  The non-member attendee price is also reduced.    The Ritz Carlton’s nightly rate is $189 for a single/double room.

For further information about ART Conference or to register to attend, please visit  – click on the ART Conference tab.    To guarantee hotel reservations, conference registration ends April 24.

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