After registration, all Engage!12 attendees gathered for a meet and greet prior to the opening session, where you could listen to some inspiring insights from past Engage attendees.

If there was any venue that could inspire the exchange of wonderful ideas, inspiration and knowledge,  it would have to be Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas.

Check out the swizzle sticks bearing the Engage!12 logos!  The event branding didn’t stop with the swag bags.  No details were definitely spared. The Mayor of Las Vegas with  showgirls stopped by for photo ops with Engage!12 attendees.

The uber-amazing tandem of Engaging Concept’s Rebecca Grinals and Kathry Arce, kick started the sessions. Rebecca shared a quote by Will Rogers: ” Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there”. This is so true to the wedding industry that is constantly evolving and a reminder that we should never rest on our laurels and that we should always strive to keep up with the times. What with all the trends and the different mediums to interact with our brides, it is definitely a MUST to keep learning and evolving.

Celebrity Event Designer Ed Libby  followed suit and shared some inspiring truths : Don’t deviate from what you are well known for in the first place. This drove some home points for me. It is ideal to keep up with the trends  and the changing consumer landscape, but as wedding specialists, we should stick to our innate nature and that is to provide the best service as best as we can. No ifs and no buts about it.

A few more quotes from Ed:  Listen twice as much as you speak.  There is no such thing as an off the record conversation in the media.

The Knot’s Editor and Founder, Carley Roney, shared her story on how Knot started and some words of wisdom: If you feel in your gut something is incredibly true, you have to follow it”. Another memorable statement made by Carley: ” Having Chutzpah is one thing but hubris is another.” It is such a joy to listen to Carley and her journey that has taken the Knot to what it is now.

Jasmine Star, the rock star of wedding photography, spoke of embracing change ” Change keeps you hungry, humble and scared. Embrace it!”

After the opening session, it was time to PARTY!  And the  rooftop of the Mandarin Oriental was the chosen venue.  With the vibrant Las Vegas nightscape as background, synchronized swimmers,  a live band  and a group of  crazy talented wedding professionals eager to party and for more networking, Engage!12 was set off to a rip roaring start!

Here’s a pretty cool Day 1 recap video  by the amazing people at I Do Films.

engage!12 Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas – Day 1 from I Do Films on Vimeo.

Photography by: Scott Clark and Ready Luck.