We all know Thursdays are synonymous in the social world with sharing past memories and events, with the hashtag #TBT. Well 3 months ago (I know, doesn't really qualify for a true throwback), I had the most amazing time attending the Intrigued Experience, hosted by Sarah Campbell of Intrigue Designs. This 3 day, hands-on floral and design conference essentially propelled me to chase my dreams even more, and I'm excited to share a few key takeaways with you today. Plus, tons of eye candy captured by Madison Short Photography...the gorgeous flowers and attention to detail were insane throughout the conference!
It's funny because I went to the conference with the expectation to further explore my new found love for floral design and how it could enhance my business, but left gaining so much more than that. The hands-on floral training was extremely valuable and mind blowing, but I think the business education and new relationships I built were just as amazing if not more. I was honored to receive a partial scholarship to attend the conference, and I remember feeling so humbled and excited when I received the note from Sarah, the owner of Intrigue Designs. It turns out, Sarah started her career in event planning, and later found that floral design was her true calling. Sarah's inspiring journey, as well as the insights of the other conference speakers and panelists were all so motivating, and reaffirmed that I made the right decision to invest in my education by attending this conference.
The Intrigued Experience brought together florists, wedding and event planners, photographers and other creatives from all over, all in the name of education and community. We gathered at the beautiful Chesapeake Bay Beach Club and The Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club; talk about beautiful and accommodating! The hands-on floral workshops were better than I could've imagined! I learned everything from creating a floral chandelier to botanical jewelry to floral crowns and so much more. The floral industry leaders who led each of the workshops were so giving of their knowledge and expertise, not to mention we had so much fun, too! The business education sessions were awesome as well, and a few things that really resonated with me were:
- Jamie Kutchman Wynne, owner of Marigold and Grey, encouraged us to do client gifting thoughtfully and systematically, along with describing our brand in 3 words. She was responsible for putting together all of the amazing swag at the conference, to include the cutest hard bound book where we could write notes.
- Natalie Franke, co-founder of the Rising Tide Society and international wedding photographer, shared tips on rocking social media, to include reaching millennials by being authentic and viewing social media as a micro blog.
- During the planner's panel, which I naturally loved, they reminded the fellow event planners in the room to take care of our vendors and they in turn will take care of us. We are all in this to win in business and for our clients!
- Krista and Davey Jones, co-founders of the Rising Tide Society and film photographers, shared that branding is how you make people feel and encouraged us to always be ourselves.
- Mandy Majerik, owner of Hot House Design Studio in Birmingham, reinforced the importance of charging your worth and educating the client throughout the process. She also encouraged us not to compare our beginnings to someone else's middle.
When I wasn't crafting beautiful floral arrangements or learning new ways to better my business, I was having the best time with my conference roomies, Shaunda of E'magine Wedding and Events based in Winston Salem, NC and Uche of Designs by Oochay based in Maryland. In addition to these fab ladies, I truly enjoyed getting to know so many of the ladies, several of which were my friends on social media, so finally connecting in person was even better. In my earlier years, introducing myself to others wasn't always my strong suit, but becoming a business owner completely changed that. Whether you are an introvert or not, I encourage you to make the most of networking and building new "friendor" relationships. Each attendee was gifted a pen pal set, so I can't wait to mail "hey, what's new" notes to my new gal pals.
To make 3 amazing days short, I had the best time at the Intrigued Experience, and I'm excited to attend more amazing conferences later this year. If you are a florist, planner or other creative in the wedding industry, I highly recommend attending this yearly conference and you can find out more details here. Share in the comments section what you love most about attending in-person conferences, and enjoy more photos all taken by Madison Short Photography.
* Photography Credit: Madison Short Photography