the planners suite conference 2016

This past Monday, planners united in a space that was not only safe but also sustaining.  For an entire day, event planners of all different backgrounds, in all different stages of their career, all with the same desire to run a profitable business that they are passionate and purposeful about, were poured into by several top industry experts.

The Planners Suite Conference took place on February 1st, 2016 at the Top of the Town Reception Facility in Arlington, VA. As attendees walked into a beautiful conference space adorned in red, silver, and black decor by Bella Fiori Florals and Decor- the first deep inhale they took in was the beautiful view of Washington, DC. Attendees had time to mingle while enjoying breakfast provided by Uncork’d Art.

When it came time for the day to began, attendees were invigorated with a powerful opening by The Wellologist – Candice Camille. She ensured the attendees that they were there for a reason and would be leaving with even more purpose than they came with. She then brought the brain behind The Planners Suite , Jon’ll Boyd, to the stage, who then ensured all those sitting in the silver chiavari chairs that they would be leaving the conference anew. She established the “three P’s” – Passion, Purpose, and Profit – which was the core message for the day – “Turning your Passion and Purpose into your Profit”. Before leaving the stage, she asked everyone in the room – “When you walk away from here today, what will you do differently?”

From there, expert speaker after expert speaker graced the stage. Stacey Ferguson gave us tips on grabbing the attention of key sponsors for events, then Rebecca Melone shared several tips on successful and full proof contracts. Then the planners in the room were given a few lessons on being “Financially Fierce” with Sonya Valentine, followed by some helpful marketing madness with Sherron Washington.

After such a power packed morning, planner’s then parted ways to attend their break-out sessions. Christina Grimes allowed her session attendees to get a glimpse of what it takes to effectively and gracefully execute a styled shoot, while Taren Bradely of PSAV, explains how important it is to take control of your own AV (and we were glad to have her their to take control of our AV). After the sessions ended, attendees came back to the energy of Che Brown and Trevor Otts as they covered the topic of sales, and the powerful Cheryl Wood stepped in with her affirmation that “Play Time Is Over” and that their best selves were ready for them!

After taking in so much knowledge at this point, they were lucky to have room for the delicious lunch from Putting on the Ritz. But planners have to eat, too! One of the things Candice Camille reminded them of before proceeding into the awards ceremony, where awardees Schinnell Leake and Kawania Howerton-Wooten reminded planners that who they are is why they do what they do.

This was reinforced by the one and only Jodi Moraru of EVOKE who gave the keynote address where she gave away “shots of glitter” for whenever life needed a little sparkle. If that wasn’t phenomenal, how about event guru Andre Wells stepping in to accept the Excellence Award, and reminded planners to never give up!

We finished out the day with an intense line up also – Shelby Tuck-Horton came to tell planners to charge what they’re worth, Amanda Mille Little John reminding planners that branding is everything, and Jennifer Reitmeyer and Kyle Bergner ensured that copyright issues are real and that we are our greatest defense against it.

Founder, Jon’ll Boyd also came back and gave a powerful discussion on the importance of a team, because no one planner can do it alone. The last speaker of the day was none other than Kyle Mihalcoe of Wedding Wire, who during his presentation on social media, gave the quote that rocked the room – “You can’t be ordered if you’re not on the menu” – which means that if you aren’t seen, you cannot be booked.  After that icing on the cake, Jon’ll gave her final thank yous, and we began transitioning into what would be one whopping cherry to complete the day.

The happy hour and mixer was a sight to see and a party to be had. We saw nothing but the constant exchange of advice, laughs, and business cards. Attendees finished a very long, very impactful day in celebration with one another.

The best part about the conference – unity. Each planner came into the room with different mindsets and the same goal. There was no competition, only uplifting! Each planner was there to grow themselves, and their business, but they left with plenty of connections and an extended network. We are certain that each and every planner left knowing they would be doing something differently!