Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Annual Conference 2009--Indianapolis

Wow, for once, I didn't have to fly to get to the Annual Conference of the Association of Bridal Consultants! I have attended past conferences in Orlando, New Orleans, San Antonio, San Diego, and a couple of other locations and it's always been a major trip. This was terrific to drive to Indy for the conference. The Indiana team did a fabulous job with it too!
Megan and I attended a number of educational sessions on a wide variety of topics. We were both very impressed with a session on"Branding" presented by Mark Kingsdorf from Phillidelphia. His company, "Queen of Hearts" does some amazing events in Philly, and Marc has taken the task of branding his company to a whole new level! Amazing!
We both really enjoyed the three keynote speakers--Frank Andonoplas from Chicago presented a very entertaining talk on how he went from being a banker to a wedding consultant, complete with slides of many of the weddings that inspired him to go in that direction, as well as slides of some of his work. Peggy Post presented a talk on wedding etiquette and how it has changed over the years, the things that confuse brides, and such. By the way, the website for the Emily Post Institute is a great place to find answers to just about any etiquette question you can think up!
The final keynote speaker was the Queen of Cakes, Sylvia Weinstock, live and in the flesh! What a spunky little thing she was! (I have a picture somewhere in my Blackberry of me with Sylvia, however I can't seem to bring it up in the Blackberry. If I find it, I will post it later.) For any of you gals who would like to order an authentic Sylvia Weinstock cake, I would be happy to obtain that for you. Her cakes START at $17 per serving. That doesn't include shipping and handling. Eek! She actually ships cakes all over the world. Each one has a little white chocolate disk on the base with her logo--the big black round glasses that she wears. Too cute. Her cakes have been an inspiration to bakers all over for many years. The gum paste flowers that her company creates are absolutely amazing. It was really a thrill to see her in person!

The breakfasts and luncheons that were presented were each an inspiration onto themselves. Different themes, decorations, and favors, menu cards, the whole nine yards. We had a great time checking out all the centerpieces and specialty linens.

Oh, I almost forgot! We attended a 2 hour session on Sunday presented by "Sandals"! What a beautiful group of properties they have in the Caribbean!! Megan and I are both ready to pack and go visit! We have the brochures and literature in the shop, and will be setting up an area shortly that will have all the Sandals information for our couples as well as phone numbers to call for the best deals. The all inclusive concept is such a great way to go. Sandals prefers to call it the "luxury included vacation". No muss no fuss, everything is already paid for, and you just go and have a fabulous time. (Kind of like Aberdeen Manor :) They also offer a line of properties under the "Beaches" name that are family friendly resorts. Those are some pretty amazing places as well! Stop in and see us, we'll tell you all about it!

It was a terrific experience, and we are both looking forward to the 2010 conference in Phoenix, Arizona!

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