Posted by Cindy Bracker, Communications Director

Today I am going to focus this article on one single survey comment:

We had 5000 brochures printed for the exhibition but it was a waste of resources.

In case you didn’t know, NCECA has always offered up empty tables for any venue or organization that wishes to leave free brochures about their programs, events, etc.  For the past 3 years at least, the NCECA board & staff have been discussing that practice and whether it continues to be appropriate.  At the end of the conference, I would suspect that about 80% of what is brought and placed on that table is thrown out.

As an organization that tries to embrace and demonstrate green practices, this past year, I have been investigating and developing a digital option that would take the place of the platforms of paper paraphernalia.  As we head into planning for our 51st meeting, the year that leads our conference into the future, do NCECA members still want tables full of brochures and postcards?  I’d truly love to hear some thoughts and opinions.  Please comment below or discuss in the NCECA Facebook Group

Categories: Featured, Inside NCECA

19 Responses so far.

  1. My guess is people will still bring things .In KC things seemed to be spread all over .
    Maybe one thought would be to have things placed according to region ..southeast—southwest etc.
    Maybe suggest people are responsible for picking up extras ..

  2. Lorie says:

    Personally, I love the printed materials. It gives me something to go back and reference after the conference once I’m back in the studio without having to be online. I was kicking myself for not picking up more, truthfully…..

  3. Meredith Chernick says:

    This is a tough question. If there were no phamlets I think they would be missed, however there did seem to be too many in terms of quantity. (Variety good, quantity overload) Perhaps the donors need to be asked to scale it back by at least half. I did enjoy perusing through a few of them, but mostly took a photo of the cards that were pertinent to me.

  4. I would rather see the online options than brochures littering the tables and left behind. Cindy, when you say “We had 5000 brochures printed for the exhibition but it was a waste of resources”. Are you referring to the brochures that filled our bags or the brochures on tables?

    I think the brochures that are part of the NCECA registration bag are fine.

  5. Mo Dickens says:

    We had just the opposite problem. We ran out of flyers and brochures. Which tells me people want them. But 5,000 does seem like WAY too many, unless you’re making them for the official conference packets. – Mo Dickens, Gallery Assistant, Belger Arts Center

  6. Ryan says:

    I love the posters and postcards! Great way to meet and learn about other artists across the globe!

  7. I continue to primarily *listen* to responses here, but I feel I should also mention that as we head to Portland, a city known for its green practices, (the convention center we have contracted is a leader in sustainability. see here: that there may be fines or fees that NCECA might incur for excessive waste following our conference. See this policy:

    Please continue discussion!!!

  8. Lenny Dowhie says:

    Seems a simple solution to the “excess extras” is to arrange for a recycling company come and pick up those items not taken. Or, if no company wishes to pick them up, NCECA can PAY for a local, on site person(s) to collect and take the items to the local recycling center(s). Disposal in a “green” manner isn’t rocket science, it simply requires some extra effort and a little spending.

    When I was teaching, I picked up many of the cards, posters, brochures and the like so I could give them to those students who couldn’t come to NCECA for various reasons. This way, they got a “sense” of what other work is being made; places they could study and people they could potentially study under. Most of the students I gave these to would post them in their work areas as a reminder and a visual bulletin board of work they enjoyed.

    — I do find it rather ironic that on the one hand we applaud (and some even worship) at the feet of the “wood kiln” works and at the same time are worried about “paper” flyers at the conference. Just a thought that crossed my mind while sitting here. Cheers to all.

  9. Cat Stasevich says:

    The free paper paraphernalia tables seem like a big waste to me. Though at RI, I did pick up a sweet hardcover book. That’s a keeper. I’m sure that was a rare occurrence, though, and the only reason I pick anything off of those tables is if the design is interesting, and it’s something I might want to remember.

  10. Deb Green says:

    First time at NCECA this year. I enjoyed the postcards and posters I picked up from glaze vendors and gallery booths and have hung some in my studio for inspiration.

    The round tables in hall way I didn’t stop at but thought they were being littered with flyers/marketing that attendees had discarded after reading. They always looked in a perpetual state of disarray.

    However I think it would be ideal if there is wall space to hang posters for attendees to snap a pic of their “keepers”. Maybe even sell the wall space at nominal fee to help know and organize that space in advance better?

    I would think from a business/gallery wanting to be seen that paying a small wall space fee would be less than paying for even 2000 flyers header for recycling.

  11. Katie Queen says:

    Although the issue of waste is a concern, I do not agree that we should eliminate posters, postcards and pamphlets that have valuable information and resources. Many of the people who attend NCECA are coming to collect information, idea and trends in the ceramic arts not just for themselves but for peers and students who do not have the resources to attend. Having the ability to physically bring back images, resources etc. that would not be availble or discovered otherwise. As a visual ad, I think it is very important to continue. My two cents.

  12. Jim Lummel says:

    Having been a first timer at K.C., I enjoyed a lot of the printed material and even those round tables that were strewn with post cards and banners and picked up quite a few for friends and students when I returned home. Several friends and students have already ordered material and tools from the cards brought back. Yes, figure out a way to re-cycle if this seems to be a problem.

  13. Teri Frame says:

    Thank you for bringing up this topic. Sustainability is arguably the most pressing matter of our time. However, I appreciate being able to bring back hard copy images of excellent artwork. Hanging them up in the studio and office every year is one of the best way to impact my students’ education.

  14. Rimas VisGirda says:

    I started teaching around 1973 and over about 30 or so years I picked up postcards and posters to hang in the ceramics studio. I found that a good visual resource for the students and in pre-internet days pamphlets and brochures were an important source for finding residency, summer workshop listings and other opportunities interesting ceramically. I also had an extensive slide library to show students examples of contemporary work. Since the internet, if I were still teaching, I think I find all that unnecessary and available on my laptop. I suggest eliminating pamphlets and brochures but keeping the (visual) posters and postcards available. Perhaps NCECA could collect internet addresses for the pamphleteers and print them on a single page to be included in the registration packet…

  15. Deb Bedwell says:

    Rimas speaks my mind. A quick search of “Contemporary Porcelain” on Google indicates 17,100,100 sites, and that’s just starting. Do we really need messy, chaotic tables for these odd paper flyers and postcards? NCECA’s carrybag and vendor tables in the Resource Hall are great places for institutions, galleries, and artists to market themselves in print with the best chance of materials actually making it home with the members. Let’s make NCECA’s footprint in Portland cleaner and greener.