Thursday, December 13, 2012

Engage!12 The Breakers Recap :: Part 1

One of the most valuable aspects of the Engage wedding conferences is the spirit of creative collaboration it fosters. For my presentation this time around, I wanted to do something unique with my slides. So back in September I reached out to Kristy Rice of Momental Designs (whom I had met at Engage!08 at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando and have gotten to know in the years following) and asked if she would do watercolor illustrations of some of my main talking points. She quickly jumped on board and we sent a few emails back and forth with some loose ideas. Below are the illustrations she sent me and, as you can see, she knocked it out of the park with the first swing.

kristy rice

My session title was The Trophy Kids At Work and was about how the millennials (the generation born between 1979-2000) behave as colleagues, competitors and employees. Millennials currently are the largest generation on the planet -- three times the size of Baby Boomers and one-third of the global population -- and their values and worldview shape their work style in a very different way than what many employers are traditionally used to.

millennials wedding industry

There were quite a few millennial attendees at Engage!12 The Breakers, but I could only fit six on a slide. Clockwise from left: Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty, Geomyra Lewis of Geomyra Lewis Events, Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar and Jet Fete, Candice Coppola of Jubilee Events, Shira Savada of Martha Stewart Weddings and Paras Mehta of Paras Events Inc.

trophy kids

millennials and feedback

millennials and money

Aside from the fact that she does beautiful work, there were a few reasons I asked Kristy to collaborate on this project:

*I like my slides to be image-driven with as little text as possible. I try to stick to Seth Godin's rule of thumb of no more than six words per slide, ever. When people have to read a lot of text, they're not able to listen as well, which lessens a presentation's impact. More importantly, I am a big believer that people should take notes on the concepts that stick out to them. Each person is in a different place in their careers and personal lives, so each person will connect with a presentation in a different way. I never like to dictate what people "should" write down.

*Millennials value hand-crafted and artisanal products and services. Since I was speaking on millennial values, I wanted every aspect of my presentation to reflect those values. Kristy's hand-sketched and hand-painted watercolor illustrations were a no brainer.

*The presentation also had to reflect my brand. Since I couldn't use wedding images from professionals in the room because I was speaking on the behind the scenes workplace aspect, my other option would have been to use stock images. Stock images are not splendid.

generational psychology

I did however want people to be able to share what stuck out to them (something millennials have been taught to do since elementary school), so we included my Twitter handle and the official conference hashtag. To keep things cohesive with and complementary to the Engage!12 brand identity, Kristy asked Deborah Nadel to come on board. Deborah did all the calligraphy for Engage!12 down to the last detail. That amazing script on the Engage!12 website? That's not a font, it's all Deborah. You may also recognize her work from this:

deborah nadel tiffany love notes
Yep, Deborah is one of the artists behind the lettering for the Tiffany Notes Collection. I've known Deborah since early 2009 when she attended a workshop I taught in New York City and yet I didn't learn about the extent of her projects until this past week. Bragging is just not her style. She is down-to-earth, kind and completely humble.

kristy rice watercolor

If you have a project that needs some hand-illustrated love, make these two ladies your go-to gals. Working with them was easy, fun and stress-free. The wedding industry is better because they are part of it.

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