At convention when I talked about change, I mentioned that we were going to take a close look at our events and come up with ways to surprise and delight those who attended; however, I also mentioned that planning for our regionals was pretty complete, and that it might be too far along to make many changes there.
Well, our first regional of the year—held in Ft. Worth, Texas—was absolutely fabulous! I’m not sure if the changes were already in the making before my announcement at convention, or if our Demonstrator Training group scrambled after convention to implement some changes, but either way, they did a fantastic job of taking an already wonderful event and making it even better.
I won’t go into a lot of details, because I don’t want to ruin the surprises for attendees of our regionals for the rest of the year, but there was a contest that I got to judge that was lots of fun, some new “energizers” (short activities to get participants acquainted with each other and thinking in different ways), more workshop wows (which are always a regional highlight), a model workshop (Glenda Travelstead was amazing!), and a few other things that really made this event memorable and valuable.
I think the thing that I was most impressed with is the pace of the event. Everything moved quickly, from one thing to the next, and the presentations were interesting, informative, and entertaining. We follow the same agenda for each regional, and typically when we have a Friday and Saturday regional, on Saturday I’ll sit back and dual task a little, working on various projects, while I wait for my next turn on stage.
I didn’t do that in Ft. Worth, partly because there simply wasn’t enough time (everything was timed just the right length and it moved very quickly) and partly because the presentations were so interesting and valuable, I wanted to listen again!
Of course, we tweaked a little bit from Friday to Saturday—we always do. We listen to each other and give each other tips, and every regional runs a little bit smoother than the one before (hopefully), but the main content and information remains the same—and this year’s regionals are our best yet!
In addition to the program being wonderful, I loved meeting the participants. I can’t explain how much I enjoy meeting with our demonstrators—it means so much to me! And we had an unusually high number of guests at this regional, which is always fun as well. Several guests actually signed up at the regional (we offer a little incentive, which we’ve not had before either), and it was fun to see their enthusiasm about their new businesses.
And I was reminded how much I love the people I work with! They are simply amazing! We haven’t had a regional for awhile, and it’s so much fun. The group is smaller, more intimate, and we travel together, we eat together, we walk over to the event together—it’s just a great opportunity to get to know a few of our staff a little better.
And I can’t forget to mention my projects—I’ll post them here, but I’ve got a story to tell you about them, which I’ll save for tomorrow. In addition, I can’t count the number of people who took pictures of my skirt and necklace (both made from our fabric; I first wore them at convention), and I promised people I’d post them as well, so look for that post coming up in the next day or two as well.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love our new fabric and am so excited with the many ways we can use it. This project (a card pouch) was so easy to make, and I really like the different but coordinating inside and outside! You can get six pouches (measuring approximately 7" x 14") from one package of our fabric, so it’s pretty inexpensive, and still have plenty of leftover scraps to accessories your cards as well as several other different projects.
Spoiler alert—if you’re a Gardner girl, stop reading here. I’m planning on making one of these for each of my girls, and I might even make a few more to give out as gifts as we head into the holiday season.
And the cards were quick and easy too. (I showed a full shot, and then a close-up of the fabric accent.) Of course, you can tuck any standard-sized (4-1/4" x 5-1/2") card into these pouches, but I like the coordinating look of these cards, especially when I’m giving it as a gift.
So that’s my regional report—simply amazing! I was surprised and delighted, and I hope all of our attendees were as well! I’m already looking forward to the next regional!