Houseparties and Conventions

What is a Houseparty or Convention?

We're glad you asked. A Houseparty or Convention is a gathering of like minded miniature enthusiasts who come together to play and learn all about the miniatures world. It is an opportunity to meet others with the same passion; those who want to learn new techniques, view fantastic exhibits, take workshops from world renowned artisans, and exchange ideas about building and collecting miniatures. There are souvenir gifts, wonderful centerpieces, table favors and door prizes. Click (below) on any of the listed Houseparties or Conventions to learn when and where these events will be held. Then scroll down further for information. If you have questions, we will be most happy to answer them. You can phone (800) 571-6263 for more information or to join our great organization.

More Info

  • You must be a NAME member to go to a Houseparty/Convention!
    • Why not sign up today?
  • So what exactly IS a Houseparty/Convention?
    • A Houseparty/Convention is much, much more than a gathering of Miniaturists. There are LOTS of wonderful and fun things for everyone!

There are two basic types of Houseparties/Conventions:

  • National

    • Every Summer, NAME holds a National Convention. The official start of the National is on Thursday, and ends on Sunday, but other activities begin on Monday.
  • Regional

    • Regional Houseparties officially begin on Friday and also end Sunday, but like the National, other activities start up early, generally on Thursday.

Applying for a Houseparty/Convention

Applying for a Houseparty/Convention is easy. The NAME Gazette will have an application form for the next upcoming Houseparty/Convention.

As Houseparties are limited to a certain number of registrants (Nationals usually from 500-600, Regional Houseparties from 250-350), it is wise to mail your registration as soon as possible.

When there are more applications than the registration limit, one of the criteria for selection is based on how long you have been a NAME member - good reason to join today

Pre-Convention Workshops

A Pre-Convention Workshop is one that begins before the official start of the Houseparty/Convention. They are usually at least one full day - up to three full days at a National.

Workshops are taught by nationally recognized artisans who have submitted an application and a sample to the Houseparty/Convention Committee for selection.

Registered Workshops

A Registered Workshop goes on sometime during the official days of the Houseparty/Convention. They are usually 4 or 8 hours long. Like Pre-Registered Workshops, instructors submit applications to the Houseparty/Convention committee who decides on which workshops to include at the Houseparty/Convention.

Sales Room

Every Houseparty/Convention has a Sales Room that is a miniaturists dream come true. Top artisans from around the country are selected by the Houseparty/Convention committee to provide a wide variety of miniatures - from kits to finished rooms and everything in between.

Collectors and builders of all levels and interests can always find something that they "just can't go home without".

Exhibit Room

The exhibit room is full of miniature displays of all shapes and sizes that have been brought by registrants at the Houseparty/Convention. Exhibits are great for getting new ideas and are one of the many ways NAME members "share their treasures".


At the National Convention and at some Regional Houseparties, tours will be planned that will take you out of the "Miniature Zone" and into the local area to visit local attractions. Tours at the National in Arlington Virginia included a Nighttime Tour of Washington DC monuments and a dinner cruise down the Potomac.

Houseparty/Convention Meal Functions

costumesEvery Houseparty/Convention has a certain number of Meal Functions. For example, a Regional usually has a Friday night dessert, a Saturday night banquet and a Sunday morning brunch.

The Saturday night banquet is always festive as registrants are encouraged to dress up in costume to fit the theme of the Houseparty/Convention. At the Portland regional the theme was Holidays On Parade and here are a few of the costumes:

Roundtable Workshops

Another of the traditional events at a Houseparty/Convention are Roundtable Workshops. They are called Roundtables because each teacher sets up to teach a project at one of 15 to 50 round tables in one of the hotel ballrooms. Projects can not cost over $5 and are designed to be completed in 15 to 30 minutes.

Eager registrants line up for the doors to open at Roundtables. Some scurry from table to table adding to their personal 'unfinished' kit collections while others select a few Roundtables to attend during the session and sit down at each one, completing one project before going to the next. Applications to teach a Roundtable Workshop are included in the registration packet which each member gets after being accepted to the Houseparty/Convention.

Theme Luncheons

Most often seen at the National Convention, but also at some Regional Houseparties, is the Theme Luncheon. Registrants sign up for a noon time meal in conjunction with a program presented by a top miniaturist. The program may be anything from a slide show to a series of hints and tips of the trade. All are worthwhile. Even an expert can pick up a new tidbit at a theme luncheon. You will receive a special gift from the Theme Luncheon presenter made especially for this Luncheon.


One of the great thrills at each Houseparty/Convention is opening of Souvenirs. Every Houseparty/Convention contracts with various artisans to create unique souvenirs for each registrant. Typically there are three souvenirs given out at each Houseparty/Convention. These gifts, which are included in the registration fee, are made exclusively for the Houseparty/Convention by the artisan. Souvenirs are one more element that makes a NAME Houseparty/Convention an event well worth attending.


A long standing tradition at Houseparties/Conventions is the centerpiece. Usually displayed at each meal function, each table has a centerpiece that will delight any miniaturist. Typically at the Sunday brunch, one lucky person at each table wins the centerpiece to take home - treasure to remember and cherish forever.

Houseparty/Convention Helpers

NAME members really do like to share their treasures. At every Houseparty/Convention there will be any number of miniature items that have been donated by individuals to raffle off at the Houseparty/Convention. These treasures are generally valued at $150 so winning one is definitely a treat! Sometimes, instead of a miniature item - a member will donate cash so the lucky winner can pick their own treasure in the Sales Room.

Exchange Gifts

An optional activity at Houseparties/Conventions is the Exchange Gift. Everyone who wants to participate brings a wrapped miniature gift (usually around $10 value) to one of the meal functions (which one will be announced). At the appropriate time, each person at the table who has brought a gift passes it around to the next participant so that no one ends up with what they brought. This is a fun activity that truly embodies the NAME spirit of sharing.

Table Favors

Another optional tradition is the Table Favor. Like the Exhange Gift, Table Favors are handed out at one of the meal functions. Those who care to participate bring 9 inexpensive gifts to hand out to each of their table mates (there are a total of ten people at each table). This is one more way of 'sharing' our miniature treasures.

Door Prizes

Door Prizes are miniature items donated to the Houseparty/Convention by registrants.  They are given at meal functions by a drawing of table/seat number.

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