What a fabulous time we had in Brussels!
To start off, the weather simply couldn’t have been more gorgeous! The leaves were turning, the temps were in the ‘70s, and it was the perfect weather for walking. Which we did, by the way. The hotel that we stayed at was about a half-mile from the event center (an uphill walk to the event in the morning, which meant it was downhill after a long day—yay!)
Because of my RA, I was a little nervous about the walking—we even had a Plan B that involved a car and driver (apparently taxis aren’t anxious to pick up half-mile fares. . .who can blame them, right?). But thankfully, Plan A worked perfectly. Sterling and I walked slowly, but walk we did. And it was glorious! I loved the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful weather, and amazing surroundings.
And, of course, once we reached the venue, I loved seeing our demonstrators. After missing last year because of my accident, seeing their warm, welcoming faces was such a sweet reunion. I enjoyed every minute I got to spend with these amazing individuals!
The Inspire. Create. Share. event was awesome—as it has been in South Pacific and North America. Kudos to our terrific events and training teams, who take the lead on these inspiring gatherings. Of course, they have been joined by dozens of others onsite throughout the year, and even more back at the home office, who work together to make these events a success.
The Silver 2 reception on Thursday evening was a perfect kick-off for the entire European event—a fancy affair in a fantastic setting (top floor with a grand view) and great entertainment (both the musical group as well as the little skit that Pam, Dave, and Axel pulled off!).
Friday and Saturday were packed full of general sessions, classes, workshop, displays, and activities. I was able to attend everything but the breakout classes, and—as always—learned from what I saw and heard. I love seeing a new twist on a technique I thought I was familiar with or having a ‘wow’ moment when someone uses a product in a new or different way. And listening to the great business ideas that our demonstrators talked about is always enlightening and inspiring as well.
Highlights for me were sitting in the audience when Amy announced the global catalog (everyone went nuts! I’m very excited about that change myself) and being sent onstage to receive an unexpected birthday greeting. I was standing backstage, patiently waiting for my cue, when our stage manager told me to go onstage. I hesitated. . . this wasn’t the way we’d rehearsed it! But she insisted it was time, so I walked out (you never argue with the stage manager during a show!). Donna handed me a birthday card, and then employees started gathering cards from the demonstrators in the audience. Somehow they’d planned this fun birthday surprise without me knowing. Sterling and I opened every birthday card that day (there were hundreds), and that thoughtful gesture made this year’s extended birthday celebration even more special!
We enjoyed a few stolen moment exploring Brussels as well. The perfect weather made the city even more beautiful, and there were several fascinating destination spots within walking distance. We ran into demonstrators everywhere we went, which is always a treat, and we had our fair share of waffles and fries. We managed to taste test some Belgium chocolate as well, and last but not least, mussels. I had no idea that Brussels is known for their mussels, but when I found out that they’re loaded with garlic and onions, I couldn’t resist! After all, nothing with garlic and onions can taste bad, right?
So, all in all, Brussels—and our 2014 European convention—was definitely a wonderful success!