Monday, October 18, 2010

Wedding Industry Love: Engage '10 Recap

I won't lie, I have been avoiding the writing of this post like the plague! It's just, I am afraid that what I want to say about my Engage!10 experience isn't easily described with words. Silly, I know, but so true. Engage'10 was the most amazing wedding industry conference I have ever attended. From the moment my cab pulled up to the stunning Breakers Hotel I was in awe.

Coming from the west coast it took me three flights and four airports to get to Palm Beach and yet for someone who is not the biggest fan of flying, I was thrilled to be attending this conference. I have been having some medical issues lately, and then when my grandpa passed away the Sunday before I was to leave, I thought about reaching out to Rebecca and Kathryn (their company Engaging Concepts created the Engage conferences) and seeing if I could postpone. My hubby and I chatted and realized that this trip might just be the R&R that the doctor ordered - away from the hum drum of every day, in beautiful sunny Palm Beach and focusing on my passion - weddings!

So once I pulled up to that gorgeous hotel and met some lovely friends in the bar, all was right in the world (maybe it was the amazing glass of chardonnay that was in my hand 5 seconds after exiting the cab or maybe it was the company I was surrounded by Harmony, Daniela, Paula, Alex and Lara you were a fantastic welcome wagon after a long day of travel!)

The next few days were a whirlwind of meeting wedding royalty, as well as the industry's up and comers, and then people like me, newbies trying to make a name for themselves in this fabulous industry. Every person I met, no matter what "level" they were at, was a kind and genuine person who seemed truly happy to meet me and chat. There were times I wanted to pinch myself (dinner with Marcy Blum, hanging bar side with Randy Fenoli, meeting Carley Rooney and Carol Poon, dancing up a storm with Tara Guérard and Todd Fiscus, photobooth fun with Bryan Rafanelli, chatting beachside with Lara Casey, discussing photography with Amy Atlas, I mean COME ON - SO darn cool!!)

I had two wonderful roomies, the fabulous Amy Nichols and the incredible Daniela Ferdico Faget. These two ladies were so much fun to be around and bounce ideas off of whether it was wedding related or simply what shoes look best with which dress. I know we had a blast on the dance floor late night and we took good care of each other making sure we all had heavily caffeinated morning lattes -- the three of us were damn good roommates!

A quick side note about The Breakers, the service at this hotel was AH-MAZING. Seriously. Unreal. It was almost as if, before I could think about needing it, these people made it happen. It was an incredible environment to be able to learn and play in.

I won't go on and on about all of the fabulous events and mind blowing surprises that Rebecca, Kathryn and The Breakers team created for us (the video can also show you a bit about that), but it was an experience of a lifetime, and at times allowed me look at event design and planning in completely new ways. The speakers were inspiring and fascinating - I could listen to Liene Stevens from Splendid Communications for hours....and David Beahm had tears glistening in the corners of my eyes...Tara Guérard and Liz Banfield had me giggling with bloody mary in hand while chatting about photography - the whole thing was such an unreal experience.

I have to give a ridiculously large shout out to two amazing people who demanded I go to Engage - Harmony and Ali, you are the best! Thank you for welcoming me into your worlds with open arms, lots of laughter and for letting me be your sidekick while I learned the ropes (and continue to do so!) It is talented, genuine people like the two of you that makes the wedding industry an incredible place to be.

And to all of the new friends I met, I can't wait to watch how our friendships unfold over time and how we will continue to inspire and support each other.

Seriously, this conference rocks. I know this was not the most eloquent and entertaining post I have written (and I use about a bajillion adjectives over and over) but just know that it was straight from the heart. Thank you Rebecca and Kathryn for an unforgettable experience. My goal is to contribute to your amazing conference in the future, some how, some way and I can't wait to experience my next Engage!

Take a peek at the awesome videos from Cloud Nine Creative that give you a little glimpse into my fun filled experience...

Photo sources: Amy Atlas, J Sandifer from Live Books (and also from Portland, Maine, not Portland Main), and Bruce Patterson of Cloud Nine Creative.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails