What Do You Do At An Ices Convention?

Decorating By Loucinda Updated 26 Aug 2009 , 10:41pm by neelycharmed

Loucinda Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:19pm
post #1 of 20

I have seen this asked a couple of times now. I think it would be fun fro those of us who have attended one post what they liked about it!
Chicago was my first one. I did not eat lunch 3 of the 5 days I was there because I did not have the time! I wanted to cram as much as I could in the time I had. I took as many hands on classes and demos that I possibly could. I volunteered too, which enabled me to really meet some of the "famous" cake people - I talked with Norm Davis for over 30 minutes one day, Kerry Vincent and her husband, Kim Morrison and her husband. I did not meet one person that wasn't kind and generous with their time. The vendors room is literally a MALL for cake goodies. Not a store, a MALL. I went in there 4 different times and sill missed seeing some things I wanted to try to see. Cake room....almost 700 works of art from beginners to masters. AMAZING. Non stop cake stuff from 7 am to 11 pm each day. I was in 7th heaven. I went with friends, but we didn't even see each other till we were in our room for the night. I would do it again in a heart beat. One of the best and most fun experiences of my life.

19 replies
Uniqueask Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:41pm
post #2 of 20

I am glad you started this post, I always wanted to ask, but was afraid to, and I also would like to know about how much spending money average, one shoud carry to buy things, I know we have to worry about airfare and hotel stay, I would like to go next year, and would like to start planning from now so I am wondering about how much money, one would need, I am traveling from NY, and was thinking about taking Amtrak as apposed to flying, would that be better, if I will be buying a lot of things or would flying be better, I know traveling by trani takes longer, and I don,t mind, as I may be bringing my children with me, and that could be a mini vacation for us.

Sorry this is so long

Loucinda Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 3:24pm
post #3 of 20

One thing that was nice for those who had to fly was that UPS had a booth there so that you could ship what you purchased back vs. trying to take it with you!

I saved ALL YEAR for this trip. I forfeited all gifts in lieu of donations for my vendor room purchases! (the family was so great in this, they knew to just stuff money in my Chicago jar!) I was always sticking an extra bill in there every chance I got. It all added up to a nice sum when I was ready to go!

You can make it as cheap or expensive as you want to. My husband was very cool about it, he told me when I registered to take all the hands on and demos that I wanted/could take since I would be there - to take advantage of my time there. And, if you think about it, how many times are you able to take classes with Nic Lodge, Bronwen Weber, etc. all in the same week?

Loucinda Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 3:32pm
post #4 of 20

We packed snacks and peanut butter and jelly kind of things to keep in our room (along with having a frig and a microwave - which was nice) Even with that, I still didn't have time to eat!

Your registration is one expense, but once you have paid that it is out of the way.(mine was $450 by the time I added in my hands on & demos) The hotel, we split 4 ways - 4 of us in one room - worked out fine for us. (made it $175. per person for our 4 nights there) We split the gas to drive. You have one breakfast and the banquet included in your registration. We kept granola bars and such for breakfast so we really only messed with dinner each night - which wasn't too bad.

Vendors room - WOW - take your wallet with you! Make a list of things you want and go from there. I spent a lot of money there, but I didn't have to pay for any shipping - which I am sure saved me some...I still came home with money left over - but I can see how easy it would be to really go crazy there! I bought everything I wanted and then some. There are still some things I wished I had bought and didn't though.

Loucinda Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 3:37pm
post #5 of 20

It was so fun to see so many things in ONE place. You would be walking and turn a corner, and there would be Mike McCary or Marina Sousa.....crazy!

And it was great to be in a place where EVERYONE wanted to talk cake! icon_biggrin.gif (my family kinda gets tired of hearing about it sometimes...) icon_wink.gif

You will never see sooo much talent and generosity in one place IMO. It was amazing, and even settting here today - I still look back and think of all the fun and all I learned there.

I am just hoping that by having such a great time my first time that I am not in for a let down on my next one!

cblupe Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 4:14pm
post #6 of 20

Chicago was my 4th! Still just as amazing as the first. I save just for the new toys that I purchase in the vendor room. It adds up soooo fast. I had to fly so I shipped my new items by UPS. I think that was the first time they were available and what a terrific idea. (the hard part is waiting for the UPS man to deliver your new toys to your door)!!!:>) I was then able to carry my hands-on items with me on the plane.

The really amazing thing about being there is it is so exhausting but you don't mind because you are in total bliss. I am getting better now (4th time) about going to a demo and running down to buy all of the tools used during the demo.

Last year going to Walt Disney World I made the BIG MISTAKE of taking my husband, his sister and her husband. I footed the bill for our room and most of the meals. They were actually a pain in the a__ __. Let me explain, I was in the FAB 5 demo and my cell phone started to vibrate. I ignored it for the first 3 times but the 4th time I started to think there was an emergency. I quietly left the demonstration to get in touch with them and all they said was we are at such and such park and to come join us when my demos were done. This was on Thursday, we had been in the parks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Boy was I mad!!! I couldn''t return to the demo because once you leave you aren't allowed back in.

So make it clear when traveling with non-cakers that Thursday thru Sunday is your alone time for the convention and that they are on their own for entertainment. That said my husband is planning on going to San Diego with me next year. I don't like that at all so we will see who wins this arguement.

I know I will have more to contribute to this thread. Always have bottled water with you and snacks. Food at these conventions are always over priced and not very good and you are so on the run that you don't need sit down meals (they take up too much precious time - LOL).

Carol

SpringFlour Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 4:38pm
post #7 of 20
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That said my husband is planning on going to San Diego with me next year. I don't like that at all so we will see who wins this arguement.




San Diego will be my first, but I AM going. My husband also wanted to make it a family vacation, and bring our two young boys. Uh, no. Fortunately for me, ICES coincides with the first week of school, so there's not even an option for them to come. icon_razz.gif I don't want to think about anyone else while I'm there. I just want to be a selfish cake lady. (she says while stomping her foot.)

We lived in San Diego for many years, so I'm always looking for excuses to visit. What better excuse is there than cake?

sweet-thing Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 4:42pm
post #8 of 20

Are they once a year? Are they in a different city each year?

Loucinda Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 5:02pm
post #9 of 20

I LIKE that - selfish cake lady!! (that was me!)

Once a year - in 2010, San Diego, 2011 - Charlotte NC, in 2012 - Reno NV.

I was glad it was just ME - no worries about anyone else, and do exactly what I wanted for the entire time.

What cblupe said is VERY important. IF YOU GET UP AND LEAVE A DEMO FOR ANY REASON, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RE ENTER. PERIOD. Some people thought they were above this. No one is. Go to the restroom BEFORE you go in. icon_wink.gif It really is nice though, that way you don't have distractions at all for the demo.

cblupe Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 5:03pm
post #10 of 20

Yes, convention is once a year. They usually post the next 3 years on their website at ices.org. Check out the website.

Yep, I am selfish and call the convention 'my time'; leave me alone to play. After being married for 36 years separate vacations are ok with us. My husband goes fly fishing every year with his high school buddies to Yellowstone. I say 'have at it'. icon_razz.gif

diane Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 10:33pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I have seen this asked a couple of times now. I think it would be fun fro those of us who have attended one post what they liked about it!
Chicago was my first one. I did not eat lunch 3 of the 5 days I was there because I did not have the time! I wanted to cram as much as I could in the time I had. I took as many hands on classes and demos that I possibly could. I volunteered too, which enabled me to really meet some of the "famous" cake people - I talked with Norm Davis for over 30 minutes one day, Kerry Vincent and her husband, Kim Morrison and her husband. I did not meet one person that wasn't kind and generous with their time. The vendors room is literally a MALL for cake goodies. Not a store, a MALL. I went in there 4 different times and sill missed seeing some things I wanted to try to see. Cake room....almost 700 works of art from beginners to masters. AMAZING. Non stop cake stuff from 7 am to 11 pm each day. I was in 7th heaven. I went with friends, but we didn't even see each other till we were in our room for the night. I would do it again in a heart beat. One of the best and most fun experiences of my life.





thanks for posting this. i always wondered what went on at ices conventions. i never realized that there were so many things to do there. i will have to set my calendar and try and make it one! thumbs_up.gif

Loucinda Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 1:46am
post #12 of 20

IMO - the convention will always be a ME vacation. There is nothing there that will remotely interest my hubby. If I am by myself, I don't have to worry about entertaining anyone else - I can go and do all I want to with no worries. I wish I could bottle and sell the fun time I had there.

You should plan and take a display cake too - there are all different talent levels there - this was my first time doing a display - and I know it wasn't near the calibur of a lot of the work there, it really tickled me when I spotted someone taking a picture of MY cake! icon_smile.gif

All of the demos have numbered seats, so you do not have to "scramble" to get a seat. You have an assigned one. I LOVED that part too.

JodieF Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 1:48am
post #13 of 20

I got to go to 7 demos, which was totally awesome! I learned Norm Davis uses Pillsbury dark fudge CANNED frosting for piping scrolls on cakes! *lol* I tried it. It's wonderfully easy and the perfect consistency and color. I didn't shop nearly enough because I was totally overwhelmed by the vendor room. I got to meet Loucinda! *woo hoo*

Here's the link for the photos I took in the cake room again, in case anyone else wants to look. I wish I could have gotten photos of every cake, but there were a lot of folks with the same idea I had. Some of my photos didn't turn out very well, and I missed some cakes because there were too many folks in front of them.

http://djfournigault.shutterfly.com/663

Jodie

nannie Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 2:23am
post #14 of 20

It's been almost a month and I'm just now coming down from my "ICES high"

This was my first ICES and only went cause it was about 1 1/2 hours from home. I had to control costs so limited myself to 2 hands on and 5 demos. The commute turned out to be a nightmare, and I spent one night at a cheap hotel nearby. As a result I feel like I missed the on site "convention experience".

I volunteered a couple of times but didn't have the same fun experience that cindy did. Both times (cake room and hospitality) they had too many volunteers and I didn't really have anything to do.

I saved all year and took $300 in cash and spent only that in the vendor room. (I could have spent more icon_cry.gif ).

For me, one of the best thing was my 2 cakes for the cake gallery. I don't do too many cakes and cause I used dummy cakes, I could concentrate on the design and do some things I wouldn't otherwise.

I was so shy about bring them but once there, I realized there were cakes of all levals and the goal was to share ideas.

The other best thing was spending time with other cake fanatics. My friends just don't get it. icon_mad.gif

Now I'm having fun practicing all the things I learned. Almost finished my gumpaste cup and saucer set icon_biggrin.gif

If you can go, do it. You won't regret a minute.

Loucinda Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 2:19pm
post #15 of 20

HI Nannie & JodieF!! icon_biggrin.gif Ok - I finally figured out the Picasa thing (I think) so here is a link to the pics I took at ICES:

http://picasaweb.google.com/enticingicings/ICES2009#

Next time I know to have a better camera with me.

neelycharmed Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 2:26pm
post #16 of 20

I'm so jealous right now!!!
It sounds like a dream come true!!
I'm doing a 3 day course with James Roselle in May.
All about sugar flowers and wedding cakes... I can't wait.
I have to fly 5 hours, and drive another 1 or 2 but it will be worth every penny!! icon_smile.gif
Jodi

nannie Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 2:55pm
post #17 of 20

ok, neelycharmed, now I'm the jealous one icon_razz.gif

Be sure and share your experience and picatures

nannie Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 3:04pm
post #18 of 20

Cindy and Jodi

Thanks for sharing your pics.

I went to the cake gallery 4 times, took lots of pics and still missed some wonderful cakes icon_cry.gif

Cindy, That Bug demo looks so cute.

I love all your pics of the celebraties. Kerry Vincent was there icon_cry.gif I didn't know that. I would have worn my headband icon_lol.gif

Loucinda Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:37pm
post #19 of 20

Nannie - I got to talk to Kerry and her husband! It was so fun - I spotted him first and I asked him if she was around and he said yes, she is - I will help you find her! (and he did!) icon_biggrin.gif

neelycharmed Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 10:41pm
post #20 of 20

I think I will try to go to the one in Vegas.
Its far enough away that I can plan a great trip out of it...
And take my husband so he can carry all the stuff I plan to buy! lol
icon_smile.gif

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