A Great Convention Down Under!

 

Just returned from Australia yesterday; Sterling and I were there for our annual Pacific Area (Australia and New Zealand) convention.

Enjoyed this convention for lots of reasons—I’ll share a few. Typically we arrive on Tuesday morning, take a quick nap and shower, and then dive into setting up and preparing for convention. This year, because of flights and layovers, we couldn’t get there early enough on Tuesday to get all the work done, so they actually had us come in Monday afternoon—those few hours made a huge difference!

We wandered around Melbourne (sorry I didn’t take any photos—didn’t have my camera or phone with me), had an early dinner, and FINALLY found some delicious sticky date pudding! We’ve been on the lookout for this tasty dish ever since first discovering it years ago in England.  Although we have found it on the menu in a few places since, none of the offerings compared to that first taste—until last week! We liked it so much that we spent the next few days looking for a free moment to go back and enjoy it again. Although we never did find that window of opportunity, we were grateful we had Monday.

We got to bed early Monday, had a great night’s sleep, and woke up early on Tuesday, ready to get to work! And that’s exactly what we did all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Our staff numbers were small; we had a group of people from the home office, as well as our Australia office and our New Zealand manager. (Check us all out in these staff pictures shot after the Awards Night on Saturday!)

What a joy to work together with such a great group of people—nobody complained, everybody went the second . . .  and third . . . . and fourth mile, and we had tons of fun while doing it!

And then the real fun began when convention started! We celebrated our 5th anniversary in Australia by adding a third day to convention activities, and every minute was packed full of inspiration, celebration, and education!

As always, the general sessions were amazing (with lots of enthusiasm and excitement and a few fun announcements!). A general session highlight included Aaron’s and Emma’s entrance on live camels (memorable for both the sight and SMELL. . .of the camels, of course, not Aaron or Emma!) announcing next year’s incentive trip to Broome.

 

In addition, I got to attend all the classes (they were wonderful!), posed for photos, visited and chatted with demonstrators, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The people are always what I enjoy the most about Stampin’ Up! events, and this convention was no exception. I never tire of hearing our demonstrators’ stories, and Sterling and I had fun seeing old friends and making new ones. And as I mentioned, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our staff! After Awards Night (our final convention activity), we enjoyed working together one last time as we tore everything down. We worked into the wee hours of the morning—I’d be surprised if anyone got more than two hours of sleep before heading off to the airport to catch our flights home!

But those are the moments that make memories, and Sterling and I returned home with plenty of wonderful memories from our PAC Convention 2011. Thanks to everyone—both demonstrators and staff—who made it all happen!