Thursday, May 10, 2012:
|Sunrise in Portland|
Day 2 of the HSMG conference is here and attendees are queued outside the ballroom doors at 7am, positively chomping at the bit to visit vendors (perhaps that’s not as impressively early to all the folks who woke up at 4am, their bodies still on east coast time) and vote for their favorite soaps in the soapers showcase.
|A Sampling of the Soapers Showcase|
After another fabulous breakfast (there may have been healthy options, but I went straight for the quiche), conference chair and Nova Studio student Feleciai Favroth oriented us for the day before handing the podium to Diane Humke, Essential Wholesale’s new owner, who managed to vividly bring a session on business planning and math to life with examples drawn from her vast experience. Consulting mogul Ann Evanston presented a power-house session on creating an online presence that also translates to offline, in-person networking.
|A Packed Room for Ann Evanston's Session|
Then, of course, it was time to eat again. After Ann’s session, we powered through both lunch and the HSMG annual meeting. The Guild continues to grow by leaps and bounds and now represents members in all 50 states as well as 29 countries. It’s amazing what this group of primarily volunteers accomplishes every year and this year did not disappoint. Over the past year, HSMG has hired an executive director and established an administrative office, established a free teacher certification program, and added some cool new member discounts, insurance coverage, and other benefits.
After a very productive lunch, we tirelessly launched into sessions again. Bill Shay of west coast supplier Shay and Company demystified the coconut and palm oil supply chain and addressed long-simmering sustainability controversies. Bay Area photographer Sebastian Vido Vazquez shared secrets to great photography while Sara Lovelady explored the art of writing great copy. Finally, Sharon Miller elaborated on key techniques to build a competitive edge.
As usual, the day didn’t stop there. Essential Wholesale kept us partying into the evening with a true Portland extravaganza: dinner and a performance by the March Fourth Marching Band, an awesome spectacle and a fantastic slice of classic Portland weirdness. I can’t wait for Day 3!!
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