This week the Engage! 13 Montelucia coverage report was released, which in turn has kicked me in the back side to hit send on my long overdue recap. I have been lost in a month of destination jobs, Christmas, Todd and Ceron’s amazing wedding and a host of post holiday activities. 2013 was an amazing year and 2014 promises to be even better. I treasure the relationships I have cultivated as a result of participating in Engage!. I always come away with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of courage.
What I am most struck by from the Engage! at Montelucia is how much the attendees have matured since it started. Maturity is generally learned rather than instinctive which for me represents true growth. The attendees were not only the most well informed but seem to have a greater capacity to understand the importance of their market actions and choices, and therefore seem enabled to make better choices for themselves and their businesses. The attendees no longer appear to be “brides turned planners”, but passionate educated (even ivy league educated!) professionals who are committed to learning as much as possible. It was very reassuring and exciting to see the bar raised and a greater sense of confidence overall.
At my first Engage! I mediated a break out session and, as God is my witness, someone asked me ‘what do you do when a bride picks up an infant and the dirty diaper leaks?’ Okay people … birds chirping here … I politely responded that I am sure for all of the effort folks made to come there had to be something more pertinent for the group to discuss. For many of the following summits, most of the questions were about how to handle Bridezillas and what felt like an over arching attempt to handle the anxiety and the pressures of owning your own business.
This year there were rigorous questions about fee structures, profitability and the how leads are processed. Frankly, I felt a bit relieved to NOT be on the hot seat at the Planner Break out session! Also in years past I have noticed that the doors to the general session were like revolving doors. Attendees were up and down and having a hard time sitting through the long general session days. This year there was hardly any attrition throughout the day. People were seemed very committed to getting the full scope of the experience.
I am passionate about education and appreciate the opportunity to impart knowledge to smooth the way for others. I have always been profoundly proud of being in the service business and sad that the entry level for my chosen field seemed so low. As a community we are contributing to one of life’s most hopeful journeys. It is a gift not to be squandered.
We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us