NAMTA Expands Education for Members


Demos, happy hours and educational seminars used to be limited to Art Materials World show week. Now, through your Namta membership, you can participate in Namta Connect, a program that broadcasts, on average, two virtual sessions each week. “In 2020, when our members were confronted with closures and cancellation, Namta found a way to safely create connection, networking and conversations to support and promote the art materials industry,” explains Leah Siffringer, Namta executive director.

Namta Connect sessions are divided into three categories: The Theater, The Café, and The Gallery and they are hosted on the Zoom platform.

The Theater features virtual education and product demonstrations. The expansive selection of relevant and timely topics ranges from brand building to content planning, and from online selling to social media strategies, and more. Frequently the sessions feature speakers who are industry experts, including David Pyle and Kizer & Bender.

The Café is a more casual opportunity for members to exchange ideas or provide feedback and opinions through roundtables or happy hours. Namta members look forward to our once-a-month happy hours, with their themed cocktail kits, trivia, guest speakers and more fun. Through the roundtables of the Café, we deliver vital information to and from our members on upcoming membership related items, such as the Art Materials World virtual show in partnership with AFCI Creativation+. Opening up this flow of communication between the association and the members has been absolutely vital in such an unprecedented year.

The Gallery is the only non-virtual platform in Namta Connect, our members-only forum. It’s an excellent resource that’s particularly perfect for people who have Zoom fatigue. Using The Gallery, members can ask questions and share ideas – ultimately collaborating and generating specific threads of information. We look forward to seeing this platform grow to become a vital source of information in the months to come.



After its launch in May, Namta Connect has received rave reviews. The new platform has given suppliers and manufacturers an opportunity to get their products demoed and described in front of an audience, and it has presented retailers with an opportunity to explore new product. All members agree that it’s a valuable forum for live and interactive questions and answers
and educational seminars.

Best of all, say members, all of the sessions are recorded and sent to anyone who registered for the event. The recordings are also archived, available at, so that members can access them any time. That particular feature is especially popular among retailers unable to leave their selling floor to tune in live. They have the ability to watch the videos later in the evening or over the weekend, and then use them as training videos for their staff to better understand the products they sell.

All sessions are facilitated by Namta’s director of meetings, Rick Munisteri. For information on participating in a Namta Connect session – as spectator or a presenter – contact Rick at To become a NAMTA member so that you can take advantage of the benefits of Namta Connect, visit
or contact

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