Convention 2012: I am. . . .

. . . so grateful and thrilled and happy and. . . well, I was tired last night, but I’m feeling pretty refreshed tonight after a good’s night sleep and a dream day of rejuvenation! 

Convention 2012 is over, and once again, I feel like it was a wonderful few days spent with amazing people.

Our convention theme this year—I am—is by far my favorite theme in recent memory. It was so far-reaching and offered so much possibility; you could make it personal as well as professional, and everybody could find it meaningful in some way. Our convention theme song was also wonderful. The lyrics and music were upbeat and fun. . . definitely not one I’ll get tired of! 

I also loved our opener; if you didn’t see it, you can watch it here. What a fabulous way to involve so many of our home office employees, and most of our employees were at the opening session as well, something that has become a valued tradition for me.

I love the opportunity that our demonstrators and employees have to meet face to face, to feel of each other’s genuine love and enthusiasm, to see the people who make it happen, both at the home office and out in the real world. And that only happens at convention, during our home office tours and that opening session. That’s one of the reasons I love convention, because it’s a “touch and feel” opportunity to gather together as both demonstrators and employees and share what we love.

Our closing session, which included a half hour of live streaming, was extra scary. I have to admit that both Sara and I were back stage, hyperventilating a bit. Not sure why. . .  it’s not like we’re not live during a general session anyway. But somehow, having it streamed to thousands of additional demonstrators around the world made it seem much more overwhelming.

I am so excited about our 2014 Global Grand Vacation—what a thrill it will be to have demonstrators from around the world gathered together to celebrate their accomplishments all in the same place! Already looking forward to that!

Although I didn’t get to attend all the classes, the ones I did attend were amazing, and I heard great things about the others. As always, I heard demonstrators talk about returning home, eager to try new things and share new ideas. I heard more than one demonstrator mention that she’d originally come to convention just because it was fun, but somewhere along the way, whether it was in a class or watching someone march across the stage or whatever, she caught the vision of what her business could be, and she was excited to make it happen! (One demonstrator said she found one class so inspiring that she went to it twice!)

And while sales and growing a Stampin’ Up! business are certainly important, we always try to make our events meaningful on more than a business level. I think we accomplished that this year too, because I heard many demonstrators mention that they felt like their buckets were filled.

For example, Jason Dorsey, our awesome keynote speaker, talked about Gen Y. And while he was great from a business perspective, many demonstrators mentioned that their relationships with their children were changed after hearing his remarks—I love that we can offer an event that helps people not just with their businesses but with their personal lives as well. 

The Awards Night was amazing, as always! Seeing everyone dressed up in fancy clothes and march across the stage, celebrating their accomplishments is simply indescribable—I LOVE it!

Another highlight for me was our Canadian march, especially watching those founding demonstrators march! That was very touching for me because I remember meeting a lot of those ladies as they took a chance on us 10 years ago! What a great decade it’s been!

Our Artisan Team dinner was fun too, the chance to meet with a small, creative group who will be shouldering a little bit more responsibility this year! It was fun to hear the things they’ll be involved in; I look forward to seeing their inspiring creations.

Not to mention the bag (it’s not every year I want a bag, but this year? Definitely!), the fun things in Memento Mall, the great Make & Takes, the Demonstrator Resource Center, and . . . .well, the list goes on and on.

It was a fabulous few days, and I am so grateful to have had the chance to share it with so many demonstrators and staff members. After the last session was over, the Gardner family gathered together for Sage’s birthday dinner and reflected on the whole experience—and it felt great! While we were definitely all exhausted, we were so overwhelmed with the privilege and honor of spending time with such wonderful people!

Thank you to all those who were part it!