Busy Bee: Conference Wrap-up, Business Tips and Upcoming Events

I'm almost done recovering from my conference in Anaheim last week. It usually takes me a few days to physically and mentally recover since we spend over a year preparing and planning for an event of this scale. We had over 200 speakers and conference sessions, an exhibit hall with over 500 companies, and many special networking events for our customers. The top reasons people go to a conference is to network with other professionals in their industry, and for the learning opportunities.

Early morning view as I headed to the Anaheim Convention Center. This convention center is so cool and very modern with lots of glass and windows. It hosts lots of huge expos year round.

Onsite during the week of the show I work closely with the photographer to make sure we capture everything the event offers visually, plus I work the special events since I'm in a marketing and branding role. I spend a lot of time answering questions about our show and industry to our attendees so they have the best experience possible and return for future events. My personal goal is to make sure our customers have a great time and fall in love with our shows and brands.

Waiting for the General Session to start.

The presentation theater under construction the day before the exhibit hall opened.

This year we did a rebrand so we had to have all new graphics and messaging updated on all of our materials - ads, website, banners, signage, trade show graphics, etc.

I volunteered to work in Innovation Park, an area in the exhibit hall where we offered complimentary education such as meet-ups and campfire sessions.

I had an enjoyable time getting our customers to participate in the games and meet-ups.

Our new attendee orientation was a sell out! This event helps guide newcomers through the conference experience and presents their first networking opportunity.

One of the Monday night awards shows. This prestigious event honors individuals from the global society. After I received my Alumni of the Year Award in 2016, it really changed my perspective to how important this night is to our awardees and their families. 

Some of my favorite details about the special events is the decor and lighting. I just love how these autumn table sets turned out!

Business Tips I Learned this Week 

One of the events I found very valuable was the Mentorship Breakfast for Young Professionals. We had several experienced mid-late career mentor panelists from different backgrounds such as business development/sales, technical personnel, a young man who founded a start-up, someone from academia, a couple people from government, and a few individuals who started their own businesses and consulting firms. At one point they were discussing if advanced degrees and education were necessary to be successful. I took this opportunity and asked "What do you recommend for someone who is more entrepreneurial, or someone who wants to start their own business?" The responses I got were so valuable to me. The first was to start as soon as you can, most people's biggest regret was not starting soon enough. It's ok to make products out of your garage. The second part which also resonated with me, was that the story you have to tell matters more than an advanced degree or education - the story and ideas is what you will focus on when pitching to investors and applying for grant funding. I was so excited to have these two points reaffirmed since I've been wishy-washy about going back to school for business. A few years after graduating college (and when I felt stuck in my early career) I debated whether I wanted to go back to school for an MBA, but the thought of going through an entire program made (and still makes) me cringe.

Some of the food at the Young Professionals breakfast.

Desert at one of the events.

Got to enjoy the breakfast buffet (with my sister who came out to visit) during my late start Monday.

Some appetizers at one of the meet-ups at Grasslands BBQ Meat Market. I will have to go back if I'm ever in that area again.

The hotel had a pizzeria in the lobby. I added spinach, artichokes, tomatoes, sausage, pepperoni and ham to my pie.

Reminder! Upcoming Exhibit Receptions - October 5 and 6, 2019

Now that my big conference is over its time to focus all my creative energy on the art events! This coming weekend we have two exhibit receptions - Dia de Los Muertos: Eternal Roots on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 1:00-3:00 pm, and the West End Photo Open (WEPO) exhibit reception and awards presentation on Sunday, Oct. 6 from 2:00-4:00 pm. (I think) I finished reconciling all of our joint business accounts and we even started an instagram account (I know, its way overdue!) You can find us @tomandreaarts. We are looking forward to all the fun stuff happening in October! 😁

Reception Flyer for Saturday

Exhibit flyer for Dia de Los Muertos exhibit. On display at the Ontario Museum from October 3 through November 10, 2019.

On Friday we went to check out the West End Photo Open (WEPO) at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art since it runs September 19-November 9, 2019

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