Even though it’s been a week since I was in sunny south Florida, my mind is still reeling from everything I experienced and learned at Engage!12. This event was unlike anything I’ve ever been to, so I’m going to do my best to share my heart and what it meant to me. (Above is a little collage from some of my favorite Instagrams. Fun fact: There were over 2000 photos on Instagram with the hashtag #Engage12 !) I’m breaking down my experience into 3 meaningful parts, highlighting my favorite speakers and lessons along the way:

1. The Presentation

2. The Practical

3. The Purpose

Watch this fun video to get a feel for what it was like. :]

engage!12 | Day1 | The Breakers from I Do Films on Vimeo.

•••

Part 1: The Presentation – It’s all in the details

In short, Engage happens twice a year, and it is an exclusive event for vendors at the top of the wedding industry. It is called a “Luxury Wedding Business Summit,” but it’s really so much more than that. Not only did I sit alongside leaders at the top of the wedding industry, but I was treated like a queen! Every detail was so thoroughly planned and executed. (Many thanks and hugs to Kathryn and Rebecca for hosting this incredible event!)

The importance of presentation is key in our industry. As a photographer, it’s vital to understand that everything is visual : from our online presence to our business cards, from our images to our albums. This weekend was the perfect example of how to create the most aesthetically pleasing experience! A few examples of their incredible presentation that made an impact on me included:

– our incredible welcome bags
– custom hand-painted placecards (by Kristy Rice)
– silver foil, orange, and letterpress programs of the event
– orange scented chapstick
– orange clipboards with custom notepad, complete with orange pen
– complimentary orange yoga mats after each session
– themed coffee breaks
– custom gifts waiting for us each day as we entered a new session (by gifts for the good life)

Every little detail had a splash of orange, the Engage!12 logo, and a fun saying on it. Presentation is key! I was constantly being WOWed every time I turned a corner. A few of the speakers were not ashamed to speak on the importance of presentation:

“Pay attention to detail, and present everything through a filter of elegance.” – Colin Cowie

Abby & Tate Larson of Style Me Pretty spoke about the importance of maintaining a beautiful web presence. I love how detailed Tate was when explaining the Style Me Pretty blog: everything on their website is viewed at 980 pixels, but on a phone it’s viewed at 320 pixels. The web is heading in a new and improved direction, with better font support, high res displays, and better looking real text. Once again, he was sharing that it’s all in the presentation!

Darcy Miller of Martha Stewart Weddings shared the importance of personalization. “Take personalization to the next level!” It is absolutely essential to do so, and when capturing weddings, it’s incredibly important to focus on the details of what makes that wedding reflect the bride and groom specifically. People want to see how they personalize a celebration, and that is what each Real Wedding at Martha Stewart is known for.

In short, one of my biggest “takeaways” from this event was Presentation. How do I present myself and my business on the web, in person, in communication, in branding? How can I enhance the details in my business and at weddings? Such a powerful lesson to learn. Stay tuned for Part 2 & 3 coming soon!

Photos by Scott Clark | Chellise Michaels | Elan Artists 

(Erin, Becca, and myself having fun in the photo booth! Best roomies ever.)

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