It’s kind of crazy to think of what I was doing a week ago today! It was day 2 of Engage!11 – Cayman Islands at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, and one of the highlights of my year! There I was sitting in a room with so many amazing industry professionals and on the edge of my seat for what was to come.
The morning kicked off with Rebecca Grinnals of Engaging Concepts (the new website just launched and is wonderful). She is one of the masterminds behind Engage! and it was refreshing to hear from her. She reminded us that we, like any Mac product, need to create OOTBE (Out Of The Box Experiences) for our clients.
Carley Roney, Editor in Chief and Cofounder of The Knot was next. It was fascinating to hear that there are 12 million weddings in China per year, compared to 2 million is the United States! Her team is doing incredible things in the US and China!
Founder, Predisent and CEO of Rafanelli Events, Bryan Rafanelli hit us with a GUT check. He reminded is that our gut reaction happens within 2 to 3 seconds of an event and challenged everyone to listen to our brain, heart and gut.
Photographer Jasmine Star hit the stage next and the room was not ready for what she had to say. Her high energy and KIR (Keep It Real) presentation was all about your personal brand. She told the room to showcase who you are, not what you do and reminded everyone to shake what their mommas gave them!
Todd Events own Todd Fiscus took the stage next for a presentation on profits and margins. He encouraged us to take things we love and be inspired, but not to let our creative skills be only pretty and loose theater.
New York photographers Andy and Brian Marcus of Fred Marcus Photography asked the question, “do you want to make meaning,” and reminded us that if we described our business like the competition we are saying nothing.
Marcy Blum’s 22 things in 26 years had the room listening for FOMO (Fear Of Mission Out). Her points included things like; if you don’t know – learn it, you gotta’ know when to fold em and you can never have too many boutonnieres.
Our session ended with Real Estate Mogul, Shark Tank star and Author Barbara Corcoran. She reminded us to underline the positive and slam it again and again. She also challenged us to bite off more than we can chew, and the more bizarre the fun the more awesome the company!
Day two sessions were packed full of so much more than what I just shared, but I hope you enjoyed the highlights!
After sessions ended we all felt like we were at summer camp with under 30 minutes to change and jump on busses to head to Red Sail Sports Grand Cayman. From there catamarans took us all to engage at Stingray City. It was one of the coolest experiences to hold these giant creatures! From there we headed for a pit stop at local hang out Rum Point and then it was back to the hotel. The sail back was simply stunning with the most amazing sunset I have ever seen!
Again, we had under 30 minutes to prepare for dinner and we were all headed out again. My dinner was at Grand Old House Cayman with Randy Fenoli. The three course meal was scrumptious and it was so neat to engage with 10 attendees and Randy. We learned of his design background, upbringing on a farm and so much more! He was such a gracious dinner host and I have a new found respect for Randy. I can’t wait for his new show to air!
After dinner everyone headed back to the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman for a dessert after party! I met Anja, Editor from The Knot and spoke with Bryan Rafanelli, among so many others, to end the evening! Wow! What an incredible day! Thank you to all of the speakers, designers and coordinators for all you did day 2!
xo Christina Leigh