Every year I attend The National Gift Basket Convention. I consider it part of my continuing education and a must for the continued growth of #CarriedAwayGifts. They move it all over the place and this year they piggy backed on The Fancy Food Show in NYC. Since food is the #1 component to the type of gift baskets most of us provide, it was perfect, plus we get to taste everything!
It's full of continuing education, the latest and greatest in the #giftbasket industry, a chance to be exposed to the experts in our field from across the country, reuniting with fellow basketeers that span the globe and then there is the design competition for gift baskets.
It's so nice meeting people that are in far away places that can fill orders that would be out of our reach. Our industry has something similar to 1800 Flowers only it's gift baskets and we know the people. I've filled orders from Massachusetts that were in my delivery area and requested a live outdoor plant, you can't ship something like that. I've had 'my people' fill orders for me in Canada. Between going thru customs and it having to be there in 2 days, impossible for me, but I was happy to make it happen for my clients. At the convention this year Australia, Guyana, Alaska, and Nigeria basket companies were there, how special is that! So if you have to send a gift to those countries just let me know and I'd be happy to make that happen.
This year I was asked by the faculty to teach a bow class. It was an honor to teach. After returning from convention I had requests to do an instructional video for the bow. My first time...nerve racking!
The design competition is tough as it should be. You are putting yourself out there to be judged by your fellow peers and experts in the industry. They are your biggest critics. Every year it's different, categories, budgets, and profit margins. There were four categories, Corporate gift basket, Baby gift basket, Pamper gift basket and a Pop-By gift. Humbled, I won in 3 categories. When packing, I decided at the last minute (1 am) my corporate gift basket was too ordinary for a design competition. You have to think outside of the 'basket'! So I decided to change my design completely...go with your gut...Winner Winner Chicken Dinner :)
At next years convention I've been asked to be part of the planning team for the Design Competition. It gives me goosies to be asked to be part of such a wonderful organization :)
'Presently' thinking outside of the basket!