As I’m writing this, my mouth is still salivating over the bacon jam served by The Farmer and the Larder at brunch on Friday and picturing how it all started with 15 pounds of bacon. Yum!
The 2017 Southern C conference was my third and by far my favorite. It is a conference I will continue to invest in attending because of the rich rewards of connecting and being inspired by so many fascinating, creative entrepreneurs.
First, the location was spectacular. Not only beautiful and luxurious, it was great having everyone together so you could have those accidental networking sessions over grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning or passing in the lobby. I had not stayed at the hotel when I attended other Summits and I can see where I think I missed out on that. There is also certainly something to be said for being able to pop to your room to brush your teeth or change shoes.
Having all of the sessions in one ball room also eliminated any wasted time switching rooms. I appreciated that we stuck to the schedule so nobody missed out on their allotted time. Clearly a lot of effort went into selecting the presenters and I found that the topics appealed to a broader range of industries. What business can’t learn from Libbie Summers‘ infectious enthusiasm for video story telling or Gray Malin‘s story of rediscovering photography and how his business from from a booth at the Los Angeles flea market to renting helicopters and connecting with the likes Veuve Cliquot and Disney? You may not have thought a Pinterest presence would benefit your business but hearing experts Nikki Bazzani and Monica Lavin explain how it can at least gives you the insight to consider growing in that direction.
The opportunity to hear other businesses pitch their brands to the magazine editors from Better Homes and Gardens, Domino, Coastal Living, and Traditional Home was a brilliant session that I personally found to be one of the most beneficial. Looking around the room, you see all of the spectacularly dressed people who seem like they are at the top of their game with no worries or doubts. Quite frankly, it can be quite intimidating. But when you hear people talk about what compelled them to start their business, the passion that drives them, and how they are growing it, you realize, “hey, I can relate.” No entrepreneur has a blueprint for success and everyone there is trying to get to their next level. Whether you’ve been in business for 10 years or you’re just launching, we all have something to learn from each other and hearing those stories was 100% inspiration to keep going.
I love the fact that this group attracts entrepreneurs of all ages. What unites everyone is their passion for their business and drive to succeed. No one says “you’re too old/young” to start over or start fresh. Some of us are on second, third, or higher careers and there is much to learn from those who are just starting out. We were all there to learn and absorb knowledge from those who had experience, drive, and the gumption to keep going whether they were starting out or had been in the business their whole lives. Everyone there operated from a place of generosity whether it was in the form of a connection, a suggestion, a lesson, or even just to encourage you to keep going. It is a collection of high achievers from diverse industries that encourage you to achieve and be successful.
Last, but certainly not least, I just have to say the style presented at the conference is always top notch. If the Met Gala, Oscar’s red carpet, and Fashion Week were a 3 day conference it would look a lot like The Southern C Summit. Bring your A game! My dream for the next one is to clone myself so I can just walk around posting pictures of everyone’s shoes to my alter ego’s Instagram account #shoesoftsc.