A recap of Oh So Inspired, the ultimate creative retreat for wedding and events professionals!
I've written a bit about my experience at 2015's Oh So Inspired, but today I wanted to share all of my insights from the 2016 conference.
I didn't know what to expect the first time around, so it was very different for me going into the retreat for a second year. Now that I know Nancy, Mary, and Kelly fairly well, I had an idea of what to expect - although, they blew my expectations out of the water (of course).
This year I managed to convince my good friend Danielle, owner of Elise Events, to attend the conference. I was excited to have a friend come, but also very nervous. I know how large of an investment it is to attend, and I was hoping she would love the conference as much as I did. Luckily, Danielle has been raving about her experience, and I am grateful that we were able to share it together. I think this goes to show how important it is to invest back into your business!
We kicked Sunday night off with a welcome party at The General's Daughter with Austin Cocktails & Charles Krug and fabulous snacks from Ramekins. The setting was so beautiful with Chestnut & Vine florals and Encore Events Rentals. It was so much fun reunited with friends from the previous year!
The following day we heard from an incredible series of speakers and enjoyed a beautiful lunch hosted by The Knot. Their style editor Lauren Kay was down to earth, approachable, and full of wonderful advice. Later, we got to know each other with a series of breakout sessions hosted by Anne Marie Sebastiani, followed by creating mood boards for our brands. I overheard many people talking about how much they enjoyed the breakout sessions as it allowed us to interact with each other on a personal level.
Day two was led by Gwen of The Rentivist who shared some seriously thought provoking ideas about being a business owner. We also heard from Kristen Ley, owner of Thimblepress. She was one of my favorite speakers from the previous year, and I loved getting to hear from her again! We enjoyed lunch hosted by All Seated, it was absolutely fabulous, especially with the Salt and Pepper Co. gift boxes which were found at every seat.
After lunch, attendees were divided into teams for the design challenge. We were mentored by Ginny Au and Sylvie Gil, which made for an incredible experience. To have one-on-one time with the two of them was invaluable. We ended the night at Cornerstone Sonoma with ice cream from Haverton Hill Creamery and ramen bowls from The Fig Rig.
Day three was one of my favorites - it was design challenge day. After hearing from a panel of editors, we separated into teams to compete against each other for the winning title! The Idea Emporium designed four beautiful invitation suites, and One True Love Vintage Rentals supplied beautiful options for the teams to design with.
After the design challenge we headed to the finale party at K2 Ranch for a country chic hoe down designed by Kelly. It was a jaw dropping venue and every little detail was above and beyond amazing. Although it was a long three days, each of them was filled to the brim with education and networking.
My favorite part about OSI are the connections that you have the opportunity to make with other people in the industry. Although I am not in the wedding or event industry, I was able to establish wonderful friendships with Salt and Pepper Co., The Idea Emporium, Esselle, Creative Flow Co., Kevin Chin, and Petite Pomme Designs, and that's just to name a few.
If you have been considering attending Oh So Inspired, I couldn't recommend it more. I have gained so much from it!