Stampin’ Up! Convention 101

NOTE: This is all Stampin’ Up! related, so if you’re not a demonstrator or not attending the annual Convention at the end of the July, feel free to ignore this entry. :)

I was only a SU! demonstrator for about a year and a half. (Read this entry to learn why I eventually resigned). While I was a demonstrator, I attended one convention as a demonstrator. However it was not my very first convention–not at all! :)

I was hired at Stampin’ Up! as a graphic designer back in 2005 and have attended every annual convention since, mostly as an employee. When it was held in Salt Lake, more employees were able to attend and help in the classes, etc. Plus, we got to see some of the great presentations. When I heard that last year’s convention would be in Denver, I knew I wanted to go but that the company would only be taking a small number of employees with them. Anyway, Convention is awesome! And I didn’t want to miss out on it. Truthfully, it’s one of the main reasons I signed up as a demonstrator!

Last year’s convention was awesome. Seeing it from a demonstrator perspective was completely different, and yet, very familiar. Attending Convention for the first time in that aspect really merged demonstrator and employee for me in my mind. I realized that while I live and breathe Stampin’ Up! 9 hours a day in the office, there are thousands of demonstrators who breathe Stampin’ Up! at home every day.

We’re a lot more alike than you might think. :)

Anyhow, all that aside, I wanted to share with you all what I learned at Convention last year and some tips to make the 2008 Convention the best ever. These are just my personal opinions. I think it goes without saying, that these are just my thoughts.

1. Wear comfortable shoes – Believe it or not, there is a LOT of walking. Not only will you be walking to and from the Salt Palace Convention Center and to and from classes, you will do a lot of standing, too… Standing in line to buy items in the Memento Mall, standing in line (hopefully super short like last year) to receive your Convention bag, standing in the hallways and rooms while you swap cards, standing in line to have your photo taken with Shelli… etc. Believe me. You’ll thank yourself for wearing comfortable shoes. On the other hand, you’ll see some women wearing high heels… What? I don’t get that. Why torture yourself? Really!. ;)

2. Bring a sweater – Convention centers are known for being on the colder side. It’s better than arriving sweating with “pit stains”, though, right?

3. Don’t stress over your swaps – Seriously, some people get all worked up over the swaps. I have a totally laid back approach when it comes to swaps and it worked really well for me last year. Bring only as many as you want to take home. Seriously. And make only as many as you can handle without pulling your hair out.

In fact, get a number in your head right now of how many you want to swap. Got it? Okay, now realistically, can you do that many? Especially since you only have two weeks left to do them? Have you ordered the supplies? Do you have the time to stamp and assemble them all? I took only 75 swaps last year and I was perfectly content. Don’t be afraid to run out of swaps. Ask if you can take pictures, instead. Speaking of…

4. Bring a camera – There are plenty of opportunities to take pictures. Don’t be afraid to strap your camera to your wrist and have it accessible at all times.

5. Plan ahead for networking – You’re going to meet some outstanding demonstrators with awesome attitudes and memorable stories of their own. You will want to keep in contact with them. Plan ahead to write down or store their contact info.

6. Sit back and enjoy General Session presentations – Nearly everything you will see on stage during General Sessions will be available on the demonstrator website after Convention (at least in the past it has been). So, sit back and relax and just enjoy the technique and Workshop Wow presentations. No need to flash a photo of everything you like–you will have the opportunity to take pictures up close and personal after the presenters have a chance to post their projects outside of Main Stage on the bulletin boards.

Above all, just sit back and enjoy the entire convention! It’s going to be awesome. The employees at the home office that have been planning and preparing for this all year are excited to see you and share with you their enthusiasm. I know just a small amount of what will be happening and let me just say this… You will be amazed at what’s in store for you. It truly is an informative, entertaining, and incredible show. :)

Now, if the many emails I’ve received over the weekend since I changed my banner at the top of the page are any indication, this is the question you’re all wondering: Will I be at Convention this year? Yes. :)

I’ll be working as an employee so I’ll have my “worker hat” on, but please feel free to come and say hello. I’d love to get my picture taken with you and perhaps after Convention, I’ll assemble a collage of all the pictures of me standing with my readers. You gals are the best and I want to see your smiling faces! :)

That being said, I’m afraid I won’t be bringing any card swaps with me. However, please come and show me what you’ve been working on! :)

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