Ices...pros/cons And Stories :)

Decorating By Lizzard1 Updated 14 Jan 2011 , 5:55am by Lizzard1

Lizzard1 Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 3:39am
post #1 of 19

Hi everyone icon_smile.gif I have been toying with the idea of joining the ICES. I have read about it and I am still not sure. It sounds amazing, and I love the idea of the conventions and the newsletters. I don't know anyone that is apart of this society and I was just wondering what my fellow cakers think icon_biggrin.gif

Do you enjoy your membership? Is it something you can't live without? Is it a waste of money? Is there good networking? Is it worth the time?

I would love to hear anything you guys have to offer. I love cake decorating it is very important to me and I want to make it my career. I would love to meet other decroators and business owners and the conventions. Everyone here is such a inspiration to me and I am greatful to be apart of this community icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks for reading!!!

18 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 1:23pm
post #2 of 19

For me, it was a waste of money. I found the newsletter to be wanting, and as a hobby baker, I found the conventions to be way too expensive to attend. Were I a pro, I would have been able to declare my membership fee and convention expenses as a deduction on my income taxes.

I also had difficulty getting past the fact that I see it as a big cake club, and nothing more. Some people I encountered are zealous about it, almost to the point where they get a religious fervor for it. You would swear the conventions were religious pilgrimages. I embrace those who are passionate about their hobby/work, and I am truly happy for those who find satisfaction in it. I just don't see the organization as the all-knowing wizard. More like the person behind the curtain - lots of smoke and mirrors, and a lot of self-importance created by membership or holding an office in an organization that the world outside of cake decorating is well unaware of.

Me, I don't live for cake - I live for my family. Ask me to see the photos in my wallet - you won't find a cake picture there, nor anywhere in my purse.

As you can see I had a bad experience there. But don't take my word as gospel, just as my own opinion. You will have to take the journey and see what you get out of it.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 1:43pm
post #3 of 19

I would say to check out your local group first. Around here, its a group I would refuse to spend any time with at all. Dripping with attitude. And not in a good way.

dcarylmk Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 1:49pm
post #4 of 19

I have been a member of ICES for the last 3 years and have enjoyed getting the newsletter and did attend the ICES convention in Illinois. I am also a member of the Michigan chapter of ICES. For me the experience has been great. I really enjoyed going to convention where I shopped, and took classes. I had a blast! I also was totally inspired by all the cakes that were set up in the cake room. And I had a chance to talk to a few of the well known cake artists! I have met many fellow cakers at convention and here at our Michigan ICES. Many have become good friends and teachers.

I am planning on going to the convention this August in North Carolina. For me, it has been a positive experience to be a member!

leily Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 1:50pm
post #5 of 19

i agree with check out your local group first. In my area you could attend a few meetings before you decided to join.

For me it wasn't so much the people in the group (the ones i did meet were great) it was more that the group get togethers weren't very close to me so most of the meetings were anywhere from a 1-4 hour drive (one way) depending on where they were held. It was just to far for me.

Loucinda Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 1:51pm
post #6 of 19

I enjoy the DOS (which you get to attend at a discount if you are an ICES member) Most states each have their own. They bring in Cake Artists from all over to have classes - which most could not travel to take. (for example, Norm Davis and Zane Beg are coming to Ohio in April and are offering 6 different classes in one day) I could not afford to travel to them for that - so that is a HUGE advantage.

Convention, LOVED it. Vendors room - Imagine a room the size of a small dept. store, FULL of all things cake. Most anything you can imagine is there. That was one of my favorite parts of the convention. I also had the opportunity to again take classes and meet many of the "top" cake artists... Colette Peters, Nic Lodge, Bronwen Weber etc. I NEVER would have had the opportunity to do that otherwise.

Newsletter is very nice, usually has a tutorial in it, and pics of the cakes from the convention. Anyone can submit articles to be considered for publishing.

To me, it is worth it. I have enjoyed the benefits. It is all in what you're looking for I guess.

leily Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 2:03pm
post #7 of 19

Also, if you're looking at going to the convention you don't HAVE To be a member, however for the discount a member gets it's better to pay for your membership and then pay for the convention as a member. This is how i signed up b/c a convention was within a few hours of me, and i thought i would be able to go, things happened and i wasn't. But i did get the ices newsletters and also my local ices group did monthly newsletters too.

As mentioned, it all depends on what you're looking to get out of it and i think how active your local group is. (i haven't seen any big names mentioned that came to my area, but that doesn't mean they haven't)

ljslight Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 2:46pm
post #8 of 19

Is there an ICES group in Iowa?? I would like to go, anyone know??

thallo Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 3:35pm
post #9 of 19

I love ICES. At first I wasn't so sure, but over the years I have developed many friendships and have found that this is absolutely the most sharing group of people I have ever met. Their motto is "Icing, Caring, Everyone Sharing" and, for the most part, they live up to that. At the conventions you get to see things that very few of us get to see in person. While it's great to see these things and people of TV and the internet, I find that I get so much more out of anything when I see it in person.
As far as a local club, we have one and we have had so much help from the other members of ICES on so many occasions. They have been so supportive of our annual Panhandle Cake Show & Competition, both with advice and hands on help. ICES has helped us to advance in so many ways.
I also understand the distance factor with the state chapter. Here in the Panhandle of Florida it is too far to travel to the regular meetings. The state officers have always made themselves available, both to myself and to our club. I also understand that as a hobbiest it might not be helpful, but for many of us it is a great enjoyment.

myslady Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 5:37pm
post #10 of 19

I initially got a membership to go to convention, but was not able to go. I also like ices for the DOS (day of sharing), they usually have 2 per year in my state. At the DOS I got to meet and talk to other cake people that live in my area and others from around the state. You don't have to be a member to attend the DOS, but for $25 dollars (for members) where else can you attend a whole day of demos (8:00 - 5:00) and avoid shipping costs when there are vendors there.

leily Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:11pm
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by ljslight

Is there an ICES group in Iowa?? I would like to go, anyone know??

yes there is, a lot of the meetings were around DesMoines and Ames area when i was a member a few years ago, not sure if they have them anywhere else now.

ljslight Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:20pm
post #12 of 19

If anyone knows who to contact in Des Moines Iowa, please let me know how to find out. Thanks

leily Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 8:04pm
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by ljslight

If anyone knows who to contact in Des Moines Iowa, please let me know how to find out. Thanks

you can sign up for ICES on their website then your name goes to the local chapters president (i think that is their title) If you're looking for a cake club in the area (which may join ICES events) then that is another post probably.

cakewhiz Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 8:56pm
post #14 of 19

Does anyone know where the local chapter is in California?

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 9:03pm
post #15 of 19

Chapters can be found on the ICES website.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

cakewhiz Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 9:09pm
post #16 of 19

Theresa...I have been all over the ICES website and cannot find anything about local chapters in any state. Can you help me find it?

FromScratchSF Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 4:57am
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by cakewhiz

Theresa...I have been all over the ICES website and cannot find anything about local chapters in any state. Can you help me find it?

This thread prompted me to take a look at this club, never heard of it before - and I can see why, there isn't anything near me... here's the list of local clubs.

cakewhiz Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 5:12am
post #18 of 19

Thank you so much.....I appreciate your help.

Lizzard1 Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 5:55am
post #19 of 19

Thank you for all your advice and comments. Thats what I was wanting to know. I about an hour from Chicago so I am not sure where a local chapter is but I would be interested in attending a session if anyone knows of one in the area. Thanks again guys icon_smile.gif

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