It isn’t often when a new 3-day wedding industry conference makes an appearance and it’s especially rare when that happens in our own backyard. So we were very excited to hear about the launch of Oh So Inspired, a 3-day learning retreat for new and established creative professionals looking to ignite passion for their wedding business. The retreat will be hosted in Sonoma’s popular wedding venue (which also hosts a culinary school), Ramekins on November 3-5, 2014.
We got a chance to catch up with Mary Phan of The Sketchbook Series, one of the creators of Oh So Inspired along with Nancy Liu Chin of Nancy Liu Chin Designs and Kelly McLeskey-Dolata of A Savvy Event.
I DO PR: Oh So Inspired is a collaborative effort between several industry pros. How did it all come together?
Mary Phan: Oh So Inspired was sparked when Nancy Liu Chin of Nancy Liu Chin Designs, Kelly McLeskey-Dolata of A Savvy Event and I got together to share how each of us reignited a passion for our work. For Kelly, it meant remembering that her goal was to provide her clients with a unique event — each one a stand-out because of her care and creativity. Nancy needed to challenge herself again—delving deeper to create original designs that might perhaps serve as motivation for others. My journey took me back to my roots as a sketch artist, but also down a new path as a teacher.
Why do you feel there is a need for an event like this?
MP: For us, the inspiration necessary to take our work and business to the next level sparked a desire to bring a different kind of learning. This is what we hope to share with our Oh So Inspired attendees, a way to find that something within. Perhaps it will click during the sharing of stories, or an AH-HAH moment will strike after hearing one of our presenters speak, or maybe you’ll awaken the inner artist after participating in one of the many interactive lessons or better yet, when you get to participate in our styled photoshoot.
How is Oh So Inspired similar and different from other multi-day conferences such as Engage and others?
MP: engage! is a phenomenal conference catered to the luxury wedding market and we are huge fans! Just like engage!, we feel like attendees will walk away with great connections, feeling inspired, and learning something new from the best of the best!
For those wanting more of an intimate retreat, Oh So Inspired was designed to build on those smaller sessions and allow the opportunity to meet each and every participant. We feel that the hands-on learning portion allows each participant to engage with all the senses and this retreat promises to leave everyone feeling Oh So Inspired.
Who should attend and what should they expect to get out of this event?
MP: Anyone looking to elevate their business, build stronger bonds within the industry, or even those who feel like they need a break from a long and hard season. We believe that you’ll leave learning something new, making genuine friendships, and more excited than ever to take your creative business to the next level.
Oh So Inspired includes a Sketchbook Series workshop, which you have done separately earlier this year. How did you come up with the concept for The Sketchbook Series?
MP: The Sketchbook Series started with my passion for sketching. I had always enjoyed this process and with my interior design background, I knew this was something I wanted to teach others in our industry. My goal with The Sketchbook Series is to help creative professionals learn this skill so they too can be effective visual communicators.
The Sketchbook Series is designed for beginners and those who have a passion to give their clients a one of a kind experience. It has been such a powerful tool for me personally, and what I believe to be crucial for today’s top level designers, planners, caterers, florists, hotels, and other creative event professionals interfacing with clients.
How do attendees translate what they’ve learned in The Sketchbook Series to their job?
MP: After my 2-day workshop, attendees feel inspired, confident, and walk away with a sense of pride, creating beautiful masterpieces. More importantly, they’ve learned a skill they can use to share with their clients and vendors. I’m constantly amazed at the sketches that have been produced after having taken my class and how useful the class has been. I’ve received such great feedback and have even had requests for a follow-up 2.0 Class! This is a huge testament to how important it is as creative industry to be able to showcase our ideas onto paper.
Is the Sketchbook Series a regular event now?
MP: We’re busy planning our calendar with select cities for 2015, and for those who aren’t able to join us live – we have plans to have an online version sometime in 2015 with pre-sales happening now. We’ve been asked to be a part of many exciting conferences and retreats and feel privileged for these opportunities. Our last San Francisco class is planned for September 2014 and you can find upcoming classes via our website at www.thesketchbookseries.com.
Before we let you go sketch, what are you personally looking forward to the most at Oh So Inspired?
MP: I’m looking forward to meeting all our attendees and learning something new, especially partaking in the calligraphy class with Maybelle and floral lesson with Nancy Liu Chin!! More importantly, I can’t wait to share and connect with each and every person at Oh So Inspired!