Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Canadian Business Conference

This weekend was quite an experience!  For the past couple of years I have been a part of the Canadian Strategy Team.  It's a working group put together by the Canadian Business Manager.  Our goal is to help improve the experience for Canadian Stampin' Up! demonstrators.

One thing that came out of our many discussions was this Canadian Business Conference weekend.  We've all spent months and months working on different mini committees to make this event a reality so I was giddy with anticipation about how the weekend would go.

Because we had divided up into different sub comittees, I had only a small general idea of how the whole event would fit together.  I knew what my job was supposed to be but I was looking forward to experiencing the whole thing.

Of course life is busy!  I went to work Thursday so I made sure to pack my suitcases Wednesday night so I could go straight from work to the conference.  (okay, I also had to squeeze in a hair appointment to get rid of the grey!).

Since the conference was in Etobicoke right near the airport, I didn't have to fly!  I could just drive to the hotel.  Hooray!  No need to worry about weight limitations on luggage or whether I accidentally put liquid in my carryon.
Heck, since we're not worried about luggage, may as well have a separate suitcase to carry my swaps!

As soon as I got to the hotel and checked in, I headed over to an informal meet and greet that a demonstrator had organized in her room.
A huge part of this weekend was strengthening the Canadian demonstrator community so I made sure to try to get to know and chat with as many people as I could.  I especially was excited to visit with demonstrators from the East coast and west coast.
I definitely felt the Canadian bond!

It wasn't just about meeting new was also about reconnecting with old friends.  Here I am with my friend Rose Marie Coleman from Calgary Alberta.  Although she lives in Calgary now she is orginally from Newfoundland and once we got some wine in her, the newfie accent came out so we loved joking with her.

Everything about the conference was very intentionally planned by the strategy team.  We had optional dinner sign ups so there was the opportunity to share a meal and network with other demonstrators.

The swapping was not random.  We signed up for swaps based on stamp set so that we could see and receive samples that would be perfect for display purposes or for a stamp set based class.

At the actual conference we had assigned seating that was switched each day.  Once again, the purpose was to encourage networking and to meet new Canadians. !

The first day went without a hitch.  Actually the only hitch was that our fearless leader, Dale Hampshire (Canadian business manager) fell ill and wasn't able to join us. Although we missed him, all of us on the strategy team knew our parts (since we've been working on it for months) so everything moved forward seamlessly (though behind the scenes it was not always efficient since nobody knew anyone elses role.  It's pretty funny when you get a group of high achieving demonstrators together who are used to running and knowing everything about big stamping events bumbling around asking each other what we should do to help each other)

We felt very proud after the first day and had a group cheer!

Then off to another networking dinner!

The next day was full of demonstrator presentations on a wide variety of topics.  All the topics came out of a survey taken months earlier.  I learned so much from the presentations.  I also presented twice and felt very pleased to share as much as I could to support other demonstrators.

I was totally in awe of this man.  His name is Marek.  Of course one of the challenges for Canadians is that we are a bilingual country.  We wanted to include our French speaking demonstrators and had a strategy team member who was assigned the role of French considerations for the entire event.
Marek interpreted the entire conference in French so that our French Canadian sisters could enjoy the conference while getting translation through their headphones.

As presenters were speaking, Marek was also speaking.  He would watch the presenter intently and often even mimicked facial expressions and used hand gestures in order to help him speak and translate with increased effectiveness.  Poor Marek talked non stop for the whole two days.  I can not imagine the level of concentration it takes to be the sole translator at an event like ours.

The end of the conference came too fast.  Here's Dale exhausted asleep in the hotel lobby just before we headed out to a dinner at the CN tower.  

I am so totally invigorated with all I learned and experienced from this conference.  I can't wait to share it with the Team S.T.I.C girls! 

Being a part of the Stampin' Up! community is such a blessing in my life!  Please come and join me in the journey!  Everyone is welcome! Contact me today because I would love to share with you!

No comments:

Post a Comment