Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference
GREETINGS FROM ATLANTA!
Hello friends! It’s Angie here from the Lucky Break Team and I’m coming atcha on the heels of the annual Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild Conference, better known to most as HSCG. While Lela and the Lucky Break Team are HSCG veterans, this was my first time attending. For those unfamiliar, HSCG is a not-for-profit trade association representing, supporting, and defending the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry. Members enjoy a wide variety of resources and benefits including this annual event, which draws 500+ artisan makers together for four days of learning.
This year, the conference was hosted at the Westin Peachtree Hotel in beautiful downtown Atlanta, GA- home of the best pulled-pork nachos I’ve had east of the Mississippi (I may or may not have come home 6lbs heavier…and I was only gone for six days). Being that HSCG was going to be a big event for Lela, we decided to bring the team out to support her, say “hello” to lots and lots of LBC clients, and to meet some new friends, too. This included Melissa (operations manager) from Massachusetts, Helen (our tech guru) from Oregon, and myself (client concierge) from California. Our very own Shannon Miller stayed behind to man the fort while the rest of us were braved show duty.
WERK WERK WERK WERK
As much fun as it is to come to Atlanta and have a great time socializing with our clients, the attendees, and with each other, it truly takes a dedicated team, many working hours, and a lot of strategic planning to prepare for this event. While Lela was hunkered down in the hotel room refining her talks for her presentations, the LBC team was setting up the booth, running around town in an Uber too small to be carrying oversized balloons that spelled out “LUCKY,” organizing onsite events, and educating attendees on our services and offerings.
On the eve of the event, Lela joined an expert panel of heavy hitters in the soap industry, sitting alongside LBC client extraordinaire Gates Councilor of Burly Stone, Former HSCG President Marie Gale, current HSCG President Charlene Simon, and Networking and Strategy Coach Lori Saitz. No topic was off the table, and it was incredibly insightful to see the breadth of questions answered across this esteemed panel of experts
To kick off the conference, there was a triple threat Keynote featuring Lela, Gates Councilor, and Charlene Simon. The topic du jour? Focus, Drive, Charisma, and Power- something we could all use a little of in our businesses. Shameless plug here- I got to hand letter the cover for the notebooks that were passed out to all the attendees!
Heading into the conference, Lela gave her talk on pricing and educated a sea of conference goers on the logistics and value of strategic pricing. I’ve personally seen and heard her do this talk several times now, and every time I watch her, I glean something new and pick up bits of wisdom from her. I love looking out at the attendees and getting the chance to witness those “ah-ha!” moment on conference goer’s faces as she goes through her presentation.
On the last day of the conference, after a week of promises from Lela of half-naked men and alluring displays of eye candy in her final talk (she was really trying to sell this thing!) she went and delivered her pièce de ré·sis·tance- The Secrets to Seducing Store Buyers.
Between you and me, I’ve never seen Lela work so hard on a presentation deck. Let’s just say that she had a very interesting Google Search history once she was done “researching” for this presentation. But kudos to her because the whole gang joined us! I’m talking about Denzel, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, and my personal favorite; Dwayne the Rock Johnson (shhhaaaoowww!)
A SEA OF SMILES + PROUD HEARTS
Since many LBC clients hail from the soap and apothecary industry, we hosted a cocktail party for our LBU and BHB alumni. This has become an annual event and one that the entire team looks forward to. We gathered at the Sundial bar, which offers a 360-degree view of Atlanta from the 75th floor atop the Westin. Attendees were treated to an open bar, hummus and crudités, baked brie with apricot chutney, a live jazz trio, and lots and lots of hugs.
It’s our version of a high school reunion, where clients enjoy an opportunity to drink and nosh with each other, putting names and business to faces, and just enjoying the company of other small business owners who have graduated from LBC mentorships. I always joke that I’m a “long time stalker-turned client-turned employee of Lela” and I’ll never forget the first time I got to meet her in person. Lela has a magnetic personality, and you could feel the electricity in the room as people had the opportunity to hug and thank Lela for all that she’s done for their businesses. I felt privileged to watch everyone gleam with excitement, and it reminds me of the first time I met her and how incredible a person she’s been for me, not just in my own business, but as a friend (Hi Lela! I Luh You!).
It was another successful event for Team Lucky Break, and we can’t wait to work with all the new faces and brands that came across our booth over the last week. After being surrounded by our clients, seeing familiar faces, and listening to the different speakers, it’s hard not to come back re-energized and excited to get back to work.
Is there a conference that you’d like to see Team Lucky Break benevolently invade? Drop a line in the comments and let us know which shows and conferences you attend… perhaps we can make it to your city!