You have questions. We have answers.

This year, with an entirely different virtual format, we know you will have questions. This compilation is for those who have never attended a MAFA conference, as well as for regular attendees. These answers cover both nice- and need-to-knows.


Wait! What? How is MAFA 2021 different from our usual conference?

  • We’ve gone virtual! All classes, events, exhibits, and the Marketplace will be online and will be accessed through the online Attendee Hub. Once you log in, you will find all your classes, events, and the Marketplace. The Attendee Hub will open two weeks before the conference and you will receive a link by email.
  • Register for a Conference Pass to access all events and activities except optional classes, which have separate fees.
  • Classes will be in a mix-and-match format this year rather than one long workshop for the entire weekend. Choose one class, or choose a class for each time slot, mornings, afternoons, and evenings Thursday through Saturday, and morning and afternoon on Sunday.
  • Some classes will still be hands-on and you will work along with the instructor. Some will be lecture/demonstration-style and you will be able to interact with your instructor with audio and video. And some classes will be webinar-style where you will see and hear the instructor, use chat and Q&A, but students will not be visible or audible to the instructor.
  • All conference activities, Zoom links, and class handouts will be accessed through the Attendee Hub. No waiting for emails.

What is MAFA 2021?

  • MAFA 2021 is the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier fiber arts workshop weekend hosted by the MidAtlantic Fiber Association (MAFA).
  • Highlights include the keynote address, lectures, fashion show and exhibit, fiber art exhibit, towel exchange, and the Marketplace, which will host a variety of vendors and fiber arts demonstrations.
  • The four–day event offers attendees an opportunity to select from among nearly 80 classes in weaving, spinning, dyeing, felting, and other fiber arts and to be inspired by others’ creativity and projects.

When and Where is MAFA 2021?

  • Thursday, June 24 through Sunday June 27, 2021.
  • All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4).
  • The 2021 conference will be entirely virtual using Cvent and Zoom as our online event platforms.

How can I get updates about MAFA 2021?

  • Visit the conference website using the MAFA 2021 tab on mafafiber.org.
    Join the MAFA News email list by entering your email and clicking ‘Subscribe’ at the bottom of any page on mafafiber.org.
  • Follow MAFA on social media and use the hashtag #2021mafa. Links to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Ravelry are in every conference email, as well as at the top of MAFA web pages.

What’s New for 2021?

  • MAFA 2021 is entirely virtual.
  • Daily lectures at lunchtime and after classes in the afternoon.
  • Morning Coffee and Evening Drop-ins.

And Returning Favorites…

  • Online Registration: Know immediately if your first choice of class is available, and whether you’re in it.
  • Fashion Exhibit and Virtual Show for all attendees. Plan now to enter an original fiber art wearable. All entries will be in the exhibit and there will be a video Fashion Show of selected entries.
  • Fiber Art Exhibit with the theme “Escape.” A slideshow of all submissions will be available for viewing on a MAFA Conference webpage during and after the conference.
  • Yoga for Crafters in the morning and late afternoon.
  • The Marketplace: A hub of vendor activities including interactive booths and fiber arts demonstrations.

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Sample Session Videos

Wondering what virtual classes will be like at MAFA 2021? Watch the videos of two Sample Class Sessions we recorded on March 11th. The first session will show you what an interactive hands-on or lecture class will be like. The second session will be webinar-style so you can practice using chat and the Q&A features.

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Registration

Click here to visit the Registration Page


Membership

Am I a MAFA member?
If you are a member of a MAFA-affiliated guild OR an Associate member, then you are a member and are entitled to early registration and reduced class fees. Members can register for the conference two weeks earlier than non-members and pay $5 less for each 2-hour class session.

How do I know if my guild is a MAFA member?
Visit the Find a Guild page and see if your guild is listed as a member. In addition, the registration form will provide you a list of guilds. If your guild is not on this list, it is not a member.

My guild is in the greater Mid-Atlantic region but not a member. How do we join?
Joining MAFA is simple. Just fill out the guild application. Send any questions to our Membership Chair at membership@mafafiber.org.

My guild is not a MAFA member guild or I live outside the MAFA area. Can I join as an Associate Member?
Yes, you may join MAFA as an associate member even if you don’t live in the Mid-Atlantic region. Associate member dues are $20. The associate application is here.

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Code of Conduct

MAFA is committed to inclusiveness as we pursue our objectives of supporting member guilds, promoting education in the fiber arts, and presenting our biennial conference. We welcome all who share our goals and who agree to treat others with respect and courtesy. We reserve the right to remove from the conference any attendee who does not comply with this code of conduct.
MAFA has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for harassment of any kind. If a person engages in harassing behavior, MAFA board or committee members will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including removal from any and all MAFA 2021 sessions and events with no refund. Our policy applies to EVERYONE at the virtual event. Attendees, instructors, speakers, vendors, and MAFA personnel will be held to the same standards and disciplinary actions.
Participants agree to this code of conduct by registering for and attending the conference.

      • Any behavior that is illegal, disruptive, unsafe, discriminatory, or that causes excessive discomfort to other attendees and guests is prohibited.
      • All instructions given by MAFA conference organizers must be followed.
      • Drugs, weapons, and items that may be mistaken for weapons are prohibited from all conference sessions and events.
      • Please respect the intellectual property of our instructors and lecturers. Do not record any class, lecture, or session without prior written permission of MAFA, and do not share any handouts or class materials without prior permission of the instructor.

We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable conference experience. If you believe a conference participant is not complying with the code of conduct, please text (preferred) or call the MAFA hotline number posted on the main  conference page. See Problem Resolution, below.

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How to participate

What are the technical specifications to participate?
You must be able to connect to our live classes, which will be held online using Zoom, with a computer, smartphone, or tablet and high speed internet connection. For smartphones and tablets, the Zoom app is available in the app store of your choice for all devices. For smartphone and tablet specifications, click here. For computer specifications, click here. Please upgrade to the latest version of Zoom.

Zoom suggests you have at least 2 Mbps of upload and download speed from your internet service provider to ensure robust connectivity and uninterrupted video. Click here to check your internet bandwidth.

When will I receive the instructions for attending the conference?
When you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a list of your registered sessions. In the Attendee Hub, you’ll be able to see all your registered classes, the Marketplace, and all other conference events and gatherings. A link to the Attendee Hub will be emailed to you two weeks before the conference.

What do I need to do on the days of the conference?
Make sure you have all supplies listed in the class description and have done any preparation requested by the instructor. Find a quiet space in your home and set up your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Headphones are suggested but not required. In the Attendee Hub, for each class session there will be a “Join Session” button. Please be sure to enter your classroom at least 15 minutes prior to the start of class to work out any technical issues you may have.

What if I am having issues connecting to my classes?
Exit the class and re-enter the room. If you are still having issues, restart your device and rejoin the class. If you continue to experience issues, please contact us at the helpline number posted on the Attendee Hub and MAFA website or email help@mafafiber.org. If you can’t get through on the phone, please text or email us. We will get back to you as soon as we can!

How do I visit vendors’ virtual booths?
You will join each vendor’s session to see their latest products by signing into the Attendee Hub. You will be able to purchase products through the vendors’ websites. Additional information will be provided in each vendor’s room.

Will you have practice sessions so I can be sure I can connect?
Yes. About a week before the conference, we will have check-in sessions so you can test logging in to the Attendee Hub and connecting to a session with your device. You will receive an email when we get the practice sessions scheduled.

Online Etiquette
In interactive sessions, the instructor is in charge of the room. This includes the ability to mute participants’ audio feed. This is standard practice for group meetings as small background sounds can be very distracting noise when magnified by 10 or 20 microphones. Typically, participants are invited to un-mute their audio during sharing times such as interactive chats and Q&As.
Some other guidelines to make your class experience a good one:

      • Prepare—The Attendee Hub will be open two weeks before the conference to access pre-class handouts and supplies lists, if you don’t already have them. The Zoom meeting links will be added just before the conference starts. We encourage you to check out the Attendee Hub so we can answer questions before the event begins. All classes will be accessed through the Attendee Hub: No Zoom links will be emailed to you.
      • Be Visible—During interactive classes, please enable your webcam so everyone will be able to see you and feel your energy, but be aware of your surroundings (for example, if you take your device to the restroom, be sure your audio and video is turned off). If you do not wish for people to see your surroundings, please use the virtual background feature in Zoom. You can learn more here. Note that for webinar sessions, the video is one-way and you are not seen by the instructor and other attendees.
      • Participate—This is a LIVE virtual event and you are an important part of the experience! Support your fellow students and the instructor by giving them your full attention. Remember, to minimize distractions, keep phones on ‘do not disturb’ and turn off text and email notifications. Class sessions will start on time, so check in a few minutes early. Sessions run 2 hours. Plan ahead to have snacks and liquids on hand.
      • Be Aware—Ambient noises in your background, such as the television playing or a dog barking might not bother you, but it can be very distracting and might bother your instructor and/or your classmates. When you’re not speaking, it is best to mute yourself. You can always unmute yourself—either by clicking on the ‘mic’ icon or quickly by holding down the spacebar—when the instructor permits it if you have a question or comment.
      • Be in Control—If you are unfamiliar with the Zoom platform, take some time to become acquainted with the platform. Look for the icons for audio (a microphone) and video (video camera), which are grouped together, and for the chat box. Zoom addresses most questions related to getting started here.

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Events and Get-togethers

Are there times when attendees can meet?
For informal social gatherings we have scheduled Morning Coffee each morning from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and Evening Drop-in each evening from 7 to 10 p.m.
If your group or organization wishes to meet during the conference, please contact the Conference Chair to arrange a time and Zoom meeting.

How will we know what’s going on and when during the conference?
The Attendee Hub will have a schedule of all conference activities, as well as any classes you are taking. Also find the conference schedule online at mafafiber.org.

Help! There’s no downtime in the schedule!
There’s lots to do at the conference, so pace yourself. You may not be able to attend every gathering and lecture, or sign up for classes in all the blocks. That’s OK. And we’ve tried to help by recording all the lunchtime and afternoon lectures; planning short breaks between class times and lectures; and scheduling a dinner break with no events planned.

What activities are open to the public?
The 2021 conference is not open to the general public. The Conference Pass gives you access to the keynote address; lunchtime and afternoon lectures; exhibits; vendor hall; demonstrations; social gatherings; and chair yoga. Registration for classes is optional and incurs additional fees. See the conference schedule.

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Accessibility

Will Closed Captions be available on video sessions?
Closed captions will not be available on live sessions at this time, but Cvent is frequently adding new features. We are exploring options to have captions available on recordings available after the conference.

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Photo/Video Release

What is MAFA’s Photo and Video Release Policy?
NOTE: All sessions and events at the MAFA 2021 conference will be recorded by Cvent. Attendees at a MidAtlantic Fiber Association (MAFA) conference must agree to the following photography release before their registration will be processed:

      • As a participant, I understand that my image may be used in association with additional editorial or promotional materials without compensation or credit. In consideration of my appearance, and without my further consideration, I hereby grant permission to utilize my image in connection with said promotional and editorial materials in any and all manner and media through the world in perpetuity.
      • I expressly release MAFA and its volunteers from and against any claims that I have or may have for invasion of privacy, defamation, or any other cause of action arising out of production, distribution, broadcast, or exhibition of this event.
      • I agree that all resulting intellectual property is the sole property of MAFA.

Why do I need to agree to this photo release policy?
While we would like to ensure that no one who wishes not to be photographed or recorded will not be, we simply cannot offer that guarantee in the public setting of our conference. The burden must be on the individual not the conference.
If you do not want your image or video to be recorded, please ensure your video is off during interactive sessions.

What if I later see a photo of myself online that I don’t want there?
If, at any time after the conference, you see a photo on the MAFA website and wish it taken down, please contact the Conference Chair at conference@mafafiber.org and we will ensure that it is removed.

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Problem Resolution

What if I have a question?
Start with the FAQs and help videos on the conference website at mafafiber.org.

What if I still have a problem and don’t know how to resolve it?
Text (preferred) or call the MAFA hotline number posted on the conference website and we will respond between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. (EDT). If leaving a message, clearly state your name, your problem, and how we can best reach you (e.g. by phone, text, email). One of the MAFA organizers will attempt to get resolution to your problem and get back to you.
Alternatively, look for a MAFA board member or conference committee member in one of the Morning Coffees or Evening Drop-ins. Feel free to talk to any of them, and they will help get your issue to the correct person for resolution.

Will I have a chance to give MAFA feedback?
Yes, MAFA always sends a survey to attendees after the conference. Survey results will be studied by board members and conference volunteers and serve to inform the next conference committee on ways to improve MAFA 2023.

What if I want to report a problem after the conference?
Post-conference problem reporting can be done on the feedback form, or can be directed to the Conference Chair at conference@mafafiber.org. We are always looking for constructive feedback, so please do give us your suggestions for improvement.
Please understand, however, that if you only report a problem after the conference is over, you have not given us a chance to resolve it in a timely manner. We can’t fix what we don’t know is broken.

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Get Involved—Volunteer!

Have some experience with Zoom? Then there are ways you can assist at the virtual conference. After registration opens, we will send out a call for volunteer moderators for virtual classes, lectures, and gatherings. Questions on volunteering? Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer.coordinator@mafafiber.org.