I'm considering getting my folks to take the kiddos for a weekend, giving DH a weekend "off" and dragging a friend to the ICES convention this year. There's a lot of financial and time "maybes" there, but I can hope.
So, for those who have been: Is it worth it? What do you like? What would you recommend as "must-dos" at the conventions?
And if that doesn't work, are there any other conventions you'd recommend, especially closer ones? A nice thing about this area is its access to other cities -- Toronto, Cleveland, Pittsburgh -- but it needs to be something cool for me to be able to justify taking the time and money to do it.
Thanks! (Looking forward to funny convention stories here. )
I've been thinking about going too. I'd love to know what others think as well!
JillK I was thinking the same thing. My husband said I should go this year. I would probably go crazy buying stuff though but I think it would be alot of fun. I am going to follow the post I would love to find out a little more about the convention and what others would suggest.
By the way I am 40 minutes from Buffalo in Arcade.
Where is it? I've never been either!
It is worth going to but you need to sign up quickly for the classes. It is thrilling to see thousands of cake decorators together. One of our people suggested though not staying at the convention hotel and staying across the street at one of the other hotels.
I was planning on going this year since it is so close but dang if my daughter didn't decide to have a baby in July...so grandma needs to stay home to see new (hopefully granddaughter) baby....plus we are going to Ireland in April for our 20th anniversary...
Details about this year's convention can be found at www.ices.org.
Last year was my first and I thought it was definitely worth it. If anything, for the talented cake artists I got to meet, the valuable tips I got from the demos and of course all the product! I do plan to go this year but will be better about buying things. I didn't go too nuts but there are some things I have that I still have yet to use. But the price was still decent. It's easy to get carried away but I made a list of things I needed or wanted (if the price was right) and did manage to get just about everything on my list.
Since it was in Disney, we had a great time on the Disney grounds as well. Many people share rooms to cut back on costs. There were 5 of us (all CCers) that did that last year and it worked out better than I thought it would. The rooms there were a decent size and so was the bathroom! lol
It will be very tempting to get in line early the day the vendors open up. Some may be giving away freebies and such. It's not really worth it. Last year, there was a mad rush and people were flat out rude like their life depending on getting a free palm tree mold. Seriously, save yourself the headache. Some have deals on the last day anyway to try to get rid of things. Go have a nice meal and catch the vendors after the initial rush.
I can't wait for this one because I love the Chicago area and have some friends there. I want to do the bakery tours also.
Oh, one more tip. Don't go overboard on the demos you want to take. There may be many you see and like, definitely go for the ones you really want to do. I had about 8 last year and one hands on class. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was so tired and didn't feel like getting up early anymore for a demo. You can burn yourself out running around. But if you're up for it, go for it.
We tried to have a meet and greet with other CCers last year but the way the banquet was setup, it didn't work too well. Maybe this year!
Is it woth it?????
O.k. if it's any idea, plan that most of your money is going to get spent on Sunday when most of the vendors start marking stuff down because they don't want to have to haul it home. Also, Sunday Night of Sharing is AWESOME!!!! Everyone lets their hair down and it's super fun to get to interact with all the people that are there and it's when you have a chance to meet some of the "celeb's" in the industry and realize they are just like the rest of us
I went two years ago to Omaha just for the Sunday "Day of Shopping" and spent $600 in 4 hours and three trips to the car... I had to wiggle stuff around to figure out how to haul my clothes home LOL
One thing though is book your hotel early so you don't have to worry about a place to stay, I literally got the last room at the hotel on the other side of town and they double-booked so I had to wait while they cleaned it up in the wee hours of the AM...
I'd love to get to go relaxed to the convention itself but I'm not sure what I'll be able to get away with for going to IL...
But, it's DEFINITELY worth the drive to go there!! (and you WILL want to drive, it'll cost too much for the extra Hockey bags at the airport LOL)...
YES! They are great!
Like a lot have said, it's definitely worth going, if you can afford the time and money to go. And yes.....unless you are very restrained you will spend a lot with the Vendors!!
Last year (Orlando) was my first Convention, and I loved it!! Granted, the reason I went was that it was in Disney and I love all things Mickey Mouse, lol. Like a PP said, 8 demos is a good limit. I did 8 and by Sat morning it was tough getting up for an 8:30demo (but I was NOT going to miss Nic Lodge's demo-with a front row seat).
A tip - the earlier you register for the demos - the closer you seat will be to the front of the room. But, they had very good audio-visual setups.
I vowed last year that I was going to this year's in IL. However, a new job change may put a damper on those plans. Regardless, I'll be there in spirit!!!
It will be cake decorating heaven!
Night of sharing is a must!!
Yes, I AM! I will cut cost staying with relatives that live 20 miles from the convention.
I also want to attend the SAN DIEGO convention in 2010.