What to Expect if You're a NEWBIE

This guide may answer some of your questions about what you can expect. If you don't see your question addressed here, always feel free to contact the APMM HQ office at info@modelmakers.org or 315-750-0803. There are no such things as "dumb questions" just unanswered ones...


  • "Is there a dress code?" Better pack your tuxedo or evening gown! Just kidding - all events are business-casual or shop-casual.
  • "I'm a little nervous about not knowing anyone." Model makers tend to be friendly types, but not ones to toot their own horns. Be prepared to reach out to people, introduce yourself to others, and plan to meet new people. All attendees are encouraged to wear one of those dorky name badges on an elastic cord. Dorky, yes, but very handy when you get to see what company they work for! Also easy to remember names that way.
  • "How do the workshops work?" We don't utilize sign-ups for the workshops because, well... we want you to be free to go to anything that intrigues you, even spur of the moment. Workshop sessions last about an hour followed by 30 minutes for Q&A, talking to other attendees, and leaving enough time to get to the next session.
  • "Will I have any free time?" Yes! We have evenings free for exploring downtown Grand Rapids on your own, or hanging out with people you just met. Grand Rapids' Pearl Street Entertainment District is within walking distance of the hotel. There are also lounges at the hotel so you don't need to wander far. During the workshop sessions, you'll still have time to grab a cup of coffee or some of the sweet or salty snacks that we provide.
  • "Which meals are provided?" Conference meals and snacks are:
    - Friday evening pizza (we provide locally-made pizza pies and we'll have a cash bar with a selection of locally-brewed beers);
    - Saturday morning workshop break (coffee, juices, pastries/muffins) if you want a full breakfast, you'll have to hit up the hotel restaurant or something nearby;
    - Saturday Keynote lunch (a delicious buffet meal);
    - Workshop Snacks (we stock a variety of sweet or salty snacks, like: pretzels, fruit, candy, crackers, or cookies that you can grab & go)
    - Saturday Industry Expo (hearty snacks and cash bar);
    - Sunday morning workshop break (coffee, juices, pastries/muffins);
    Sunday lunch (usually lighter fare like deli sandwiches/wraps, soup/salads).
    - If you're signing up for a Tour on Friday or Monday, you'll get a nice lunch during the tour.
  • "I'm looking for a job, what should I do?" We have career-related workshops that you will want to check out. You can sign up on-site for an informal portfolio review with a senior model maker, or look into internships and apprenticeship programs. Bring several copies of your resume to share with anyone who is interested. Don't be shy about casually letting it slip with people you meet that you are job-hunting. You never know what connections you'll make.
  • "What are the tours like?" Many attendees say that the tours are an awesome way to see what other model makers' shops look like and how they work. These behind-the-scenes, never-open-to-the-public tours are a great way to benchmark, get ideas, or just see some cool stuff. Tours depart by motorcoach from the hotel in the morning on Friday and Monday. It is really important to be there as the tours must leave on time to be able to get all the sights in. You'll head to the first location around 8:30 AM, tour that facility until about noon, when you'll head to a nearby restaurant for a lunch that we will provide. Then you'll hop back on the bus to go to the second (and final) location, which you'll tour for about 2-3 hours.We do try to get people back to the hotel by 5 PM, but we can't guarantee your arrival time so leave plenty of time if you're planning to do something directly after the tour.
  • "What if I am interested in a potential roommate for the hotel room?" We do have attendees who want to economize on the hotel accommodations so we'll put you in touch with others who are so inclined. Our rooms will be equipped with two double beds, so splitting the cost should be easy and comfortable. Contact us at info@modelmakers.org if you're interested in rooming with another attendee.
  • "What is the Student Model Competition all about?" We've got a whole page dedicated to this activity, so check it out here: Student Model Making Competition (SMMC) -  link to be added!
  • "What can I expect with the Industry Expo?" You won't want to miss this highlight of our Conferences! It is a fun and festive afternoon of meeting vendors who supply what you need for your job and getting to know other model makers. We'll keep you interested by providing some nice snacks, we'll have a cash bar for beverages, and there will be a whole bunch of prizes - anything from samples of vendor products, free loot, or great prizes from our participating member companies. Let's just say: be there. It could be worth your time!
  • "What's the Members Annual Meeting all about?" The APMM is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 for the purpose of uniting and representing professional model makers. We're governed by a Board of Directors. These are the folks who plan Conferences, keep the MILE running, and generally provide leadership for the organization. As a member, you have a right to vote, speak up about your concerns or questions, and perhaps even have a hand in the leadership of the organization. We encourage you to come to the meeting, it will last about an hour, and the added bonus is that you can weigh in on where you'd like us to hold our next Conference. Also, there may be cookies...
  • "Who are the Sponsors?" We couldn't do what we do without our sponsors! They underwrite events by providing funds to help us do what we do. In return, we give them heartfelt applause and a bit of recognition. If you find yourself in a position to be able to do something nice for the APMM and those who attend the Conference, check out the details here: Sponsorships

For more information or other questions, contact info@modelmakers.org


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