Monday, June 18, 2012


A few weeks ago, Jes was a speaker and attendee of engage!12 at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, Nevada, for their Luxury Wedding Business Summit. The JG team came together to ask Jes some questions to get a feel for how the event came along.

Was this your first engage! event? How did it compare to previous years, or other conferences you’ve attended? 
I am happy to say I am a "one baller" which means this was my first time at an engage! summit. Honestly I had no idea what to expect and I arrived pretty late so I was a ball of confusion for the first ten hours I was there! Engage is special because of its excellent high standards and attention to every little detail. The branding and production of the event itself is so lovely, one feels immediately honored to be there and there is such careful thought put into who attends this summit, everyone is in spectacular company.

From an event planning standpoint, what were some of the highlights of the way the conference was run? 
Honestly, it was the incredible attention to detail that you experience every step of the way. The vibe is so consistent from 7am until the wee hours of the night. I loved hearing my peers speak on subjects we are obviously all very interested in. I enjoyed hearing honest accounts of their careers and having the feeling of not being alone in this world I was with family :)

After speaking to your audience, what were some of the reactions and feedback that you received from them? 
Well.... I was told that I dropped the F-Bomb 12 times within 22 minutes ha!!!  I was overwhelmed by the response I got from my peers wow!! I didn't have a lot of time to prepare my presentation and I just kind of closed my eyes and winged it and I got real lucky with the outcome.

Who was the speaker that you were most captivated by? What’s a piece of advice that they gave that really stuck with you? 
I was blown away by several speakers, two really stood out for me: Cindy Novotny and Elizabeth Messina. Cindy helped me visualize the importance of my future and legacy in terms of my brand and evolving into other modes of my career. Also, she was dynamic and funny as hell. Elizabeth captivated me by the beauty of her photographs, honestly she didnt even need to speak after I watched her slide show the work spoke for her. There was a haunting beauty in her work that I recognized only coming from a deep and honest place within her. I feel like she and I got into our careers as a "happy accident" and our careers in fact saved our lives in many ways.

Cindy Novotny
Elizabeth Messina
Do you think you can incorporate any of what you learned about into your own design style? 
Yes. Engage reminded me that we are in an industry to make money and we need to keep thriving in terms of career focus and professionalism. The attendance reminded my that when I design I need to not only focus on the creative but also on the ROI of what I am providing to my clients.

Is being a regular speaker at conferences something that you would do in the future or do you prefer to be an active listener instead? 
I could speak for hours and I hope to do so for years to come.

After all that hard work, did you get to enjoy the Vegas nightlife?! 
Well, I wish I could say that I partied like a Rock Star but I was coming off an an extremely challenging job when I arrived to Engage. I will say that my room at the Mandarin Oriental served perfectly as Vegas Nightlife experience especially the Bath Tub!! 

All photo credit to Scott Clark Photography

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