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How to use ART at conferences!

Do you do paint parties or art workshops? I have been doing in-home paint parties and kid's birthday parties for over ten years now and have enjoyed doing them. But bringing art into the conference and retreat space has really taken my business up another level. Not just because it pays more, but because art is impactful for conferences.

YES, we all know about the pandemic and social gathering restrictions, however, the event industry is waking back up and pre-covid I had already been working in the conference space and the game plan is to continue building this segment of our business back up.

For five years now I have been invited to bring art to a marriage conference. Typically this event has about 300 participants. This year my event was scaled down to 120 participants BUT instead of one event, now I'll be doing six of them each year!

I want to share some insights with you because art matters. It always has, but more importantly, art connects, and as an art ambassador (that's you!) you can help conference and event planners.

I'll share my most recent project with you, it is ONE of my classics and can work for so many types of events!

I call this project "Casitas" I bring wood and all the supplies for a couple to create their little neighborhood block. I have two versions, one is with four houses mounted on a wood plank and then one with five houses to match the conference topic "Five Stages of Marriage." Both versions are pictured. For both projects I use custom cut angled woodblocks, painted and embellished with hardware accents. We do this event as a date night before they head into a weekend marriage retreat.

Below are the supplies I used, tips for working a large event, a PDF copy of the Pinterest inspiration I gave to each couple, and ideas on how to grow your business into the conference space!


Wood Casitas: I order from a vendor on Etsy he is fantastic. From the listing just message the seller to create the combo or custom order you need. tell him I sent you! (Maria from Artsy!) Another option is to buy your own wood and cut it.

Paint & Brushes: I use simple acrylic paint. I give each couple a water cup and 4 brushes to share, a palette filled with paint, and additional accent colors for them to choose from.

Wood Glue & Hardware: You'll need hammers, nails, and glue. You can purchase all of these things at the hardware store - they are cheaper there!

Sawtooth Hangers & Keyhooks: I offered sawtooth hangers for hanging and key hooks to transform the casitas into key holders. Both the sawtooth hangers and key hooks are easy to hammer in. Here are the links:

Washi Tape: Washi tape is such a fun accent to make windows or designs. You'll want to provide Mod Podge to make sure the washi tape doesn't roll up. I bought a couple of varieties of these multi-packs from Hobby Lobby.



In the past, this event used round tables, with 6-8 people. I would create community supplies for each table to use. This year, all of the couples sat two to a table, so I created community supply stations all around the room. Each table I covered with table cloths, thankfully the hotel did not require me to lay down drop cloths.

Then each couple at the table had:

  • Casita - wood houses

  • Water cup

  • Four brushes

  • Napkins

  • Palette with pre-dispensed paint

  • Sample Pinterest Inspiration Sheet

Each community supply table had the following supplies:

  • Wood Glue

  • Nails, Hammers, Hardware

  • Metallic Paint

  • Washi Tape

  • Sharpies

  • Accent Paint

  • Mod Podge

  • Additional napkins & wipes

At this particular event, I had 60 couples, I had one additional support person helping me, plus the conference organizers helped me with set up and clean up. The project is pretty easy and self-explanatory, our job is simply to help pour out more paint, and encourage them to be creative!

Normally I would have one support person for every 20 couples. Per the agreement, the organization offered additional help to keep the costs down. Hotels are great to accommodate water and staff to help as well.



First, you should join Artsy if you aren't yet a member! We provide so many resources to help you to provide confident and professional services including proposals, images, projects, and insurance! YES to host events of this size you often need an insurance policy!

We can help you with all of these resources for an annual membership price! If you want to own a paint party or art-based business, these resources will help save you time and money! Enrollment is now open, click the join page!

The best place to find conference-based customers are on Linked In, hotel, and conference centers, ask them how to be added to their vendor and entertainment list. Networking and professional associations are fantastic and consider attending a conference for meeting and event planners. Simply google "Meeting and event planner conference in your city".

For our Artsy Members, I share pricing strategy, my personal proposals, and one on one coaching! We're here to help you creatively make money! Join us today!

-Cheers, Maria

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