I've just returned from the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) conference - known as Experience! 2015 - in Scottsdale, AZ. I love going to conferences, and I think continuing education is crucial in our industry. Even though I have been doing weddings for 16 years, and I have owned my own company for 13 years, I learn something new at every single session I go to. While I anticipated coming home with lots of great new knowledge, I didn't anticipate coming home with this amazing award: 2014 Planner of the Year. Wow. I'm still in shock. Especially since I didn't even know I was nominated!
Our NACE Northeast Florida Chapter President, Belinda Cottrell from the Marriott Sawgrass, secretly entered me into this category. I have no idea how much time she put into this process, but I'm sure it was many, many, many hours of digging. Having submitted awards entries for our chapter, I know how detailed and arduous the process is! So my eternal gratitude goes to Belinda and everyone else that helped her gather the information she needed.
So what is Planner of the Year? According to the pretty glass plaque (which I can't get a decent close-up photo of), this award is given "for outstanding achievement in the overall planning and production of events, as well as contributions which have made significant impact on the catering and events industry." Wow, again. That's pretty heavy. And a lot to live up to! It amazes me that my industry colleagues think that description fits me. I am beyond humbled! It still hasn't sunk in that the beautiful glass plaque with those words etched on it also contains my name.
When I earned my Master Bridal Consultant designation in 2011, I was so honored that a panel of my peers thought that I deserved to be in this amazing group of professionals. And now, to be selected for one of the top honors in our industry, I can't believe that I get to do what I love every day and that people think I'm THIS good at it. Mind. Blown.
I have lots and lots of cool information to share that I learned at the conference, so stay tuned for more blog posts in the coming weeks. Cheers!