National Barbie Convention
Every year, the National Barbie Doll Convention is held in a different city in the United States. It is held in June or July and occassionally in August. We encourage every collector to attend. It is an amazing experience.
In recent years, they have limited the convention to around 800 attendees so it does fill up fast. Check the website for the Barbie Convention in July for information on registration. Registration for the next year starts immediately after the prior year's convention is concluded.
The registration form is posted on the site as soon as the registration period opens and they will add you to the wait list if you do not get immediately selected. They also offer a green option now at a reduced price where you receive all of your communications online. Pricing is based on how early you register, the rate goes up as the deadline for registration gets closer. After you register, you have to wait a few months (or so) for the registration book that will provide more details on the events. You also will receive information on how to book a room at the convention hotel. We encourage you to make reservations as soon as the hotel block opens up as rooms have sold out several times lately and some attendees have had to stay at an alternate hotel.
There is a Yahoo group set up each year so that attendees can share information and get tips. This year a Facebook group was also set up but it is by invitation only and limited to those registered for convention. One of the most talked about topics tends to be table gifts. In the early years of convention, people volunteered to host a table and provided the gifts to the people at their table. In more recent years, the convention provides great gifts but table hosts still tend to bring gifts for their table mates. The members of the table also tend to bring gifts for each other and some provide their hostess with an additional gift. There are ten people at each table. Some people provide a gift at each table event (usually three events but occasionally four) and others provide one gift. It is not a mandatory practice but has definitely become a customary one. These gifts do not have to be expensive. Many are homemade, some represent their home town/state/country and table hosts giving custom dolls has become quite common. We encourage small gifts as they are easier to transport home with the new baggage costs.
In addition to scheduled events like the fashion show, raffle room, competition room, workshops, meal functions, and the salesroom, there are also many unofficial activities. Our club hosts the Southern Event every year. We invite anyone interested to join us for a meal. We have hosted breakfast, lunch and dinner events since 2011. Some doll artists host parties and room sales are so much fun. People interested in selling from their hotel room, post a sign and you can then spend hours checking out all the items for sale. Room sales begin the weekend before convention and end on Wednesday night before the salesroom opens on Thursday. Some use the room sales to purchase their table gifts.
The 2015 convention will be held in Arlington, Virginia at the Hyatt Crystal City hotel from July 29, 2015 through August 1, 2015. Registration forms are being accepted now and can be found at www.barbieconvention.com. As of April 2015, there are still a few open spots due to cancellations.
The 2016 convention will be in Jacksonville, Florida. Registration will open following the 2015 convention.
In 2011, Lisa, entered into competition for the first time and won a ribbon for her beach diorama
2011 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention was held in Ft.
Lauderdale, Florida at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa from
July 27, 2011 through July 30, 2011. Ken turned 50 and celebrated with Barbie.
Our club donations to the raffle room featured dolls restyled by club members as well as fun Barbie gifts.
One of our club donations to the raffle room in 2010 was a Southern Sensation Gift Set pictured below:
There are also "mini-conventions" held. Several members of our club have had the opportunity to attend the Grant-A-Wish (GAW) annual convention in Livonia, Michigan. It is a three day event and includes meals, competition room, raffles, silent auction, room sales, salesroom and great gifts including a custom designed silkstone doll for each attendee. The event raises money for charity. In 2015, the auction raised over $35,000 for the selected charities.
They are now accepting applications for the 2016 event.
Visit http://www.gawfund.org/index.html for more details. It is limited to 230 attendees so you need to get your registration form in early. There is a Facebook page for the event you can join for more information.
Ken has his very own convention now. The He's A Doll club began hosting Kenvention in 2012. It was held in Chicago in September, 2012 and in Wisconsin in October, 2013. The 2014 convention was also held October in Chicago. 2015 is scheduled for Chicago as well. For information on registration, check their website. There is a Yahoo group and Facebook page for the event you can join for more information.
Many other countries also host Barbie events. Canada used to hold a convention ever year. There are conventions in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Spain and Italy as well as events in other countries.There is also a doll convention in France every that includes Barbie as well as other dolls.
There are many beautiful OOAK dolls available during the GAW auction every year. One of our members, Joyce, won the doll on the right in 2011.