Shana Bryant

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I had been anticipating attending the Bawse Conference in Miami for months! From the moment I secured my registration, I was looking forward to meeting and connecting with women who were aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs; many of whom were already members of the Millionaire Club. The prospect of being surrounded by such driven women was thrilling! Most of all, I was excited to experience how the conference was executed from the perspective of an event planner. Spoiler Alert: I was not disappointed.

 

I could go on for months about how well thought out this conference was. For starters, it was held in Miami Beach at the breathtaking Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The Bawse Conference was hosted by Courtney Adeleye, Founder and CEO of The Mane Choice Hair Solution, with a goal of providing attendees sincere advice from real BAW$ES at the top of their industry, while also creating an opportunity to have fun and build new relationships. 

 

I am often thinking like a project manager, even when I am an attendee. I appreciated many of the simple things done with the attendee in mind. Having such a great experience made me want to examine the things the Bawse Conference executed and share with you. Whether you’re an event planning pro, a novice planning your first event, or someone thinking of attending next year, here are four praiseworthy elements of the 2019 Bawse Conference: 

 

Branding

 

Upon entering the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, there was no questioning whether I was in the right place. Large banners with the conference logo and colors in the lobby indicated that this was the location for the Bawse Conference. Greeters were wearing branded t-shirts and lanyards that clearly identified them as members of the team we would be engaging with for the duration of the weekend. 

 

Throughout the weekend, there were constant reminders. The Bawse brand was everywhere; from the entryways to extravagant backdrop walls where it is likely thousands of photos were taken. At check-in, we received a gift bag with a t-shirt, flip flops, pen, and an estimated $100 worth of The Mane Choice Hair Solution products. I received the Tropical Moringa line which smells amazing. I highly recommend it! 

 

Service

           

When you reflect on your experience at an event, one of the first things considered is how you were treated. Not only were the volunteers at the Bawse conference easily identifiable, but they remained pleasant and eager to engage. They were always smiling, consistently available to answer questions, and did an exceptional job of directing 600 eager and excited black women over the course of three days. Thank you and kudos to the amazing women who had to have been tired at the end of each day but returned each morning eager and ready to provide superior customer service.

 

Another area of the service I found noteworthy was the dining experience. We were treated to coffee every morning – very important, three-course meals, free cocktails, and more. Courtney and her team ensured the menu accommodated those who were vegetarians and vegan as well. 

 

Professional Development

 

With the motto, “If you did not come to disrupt do not even show up,” Courtney Adeleye created a platform for us to access expert speakers that inspire, motivate and provide practical resources. Workshops and panels included, how to: grow our businesses, receive financing, make money on Instagram, the benefits of sowing into others were all available for us to attend. We were reminded to put God first in our plans. And most importantly be a Bawse!

 

Entertainment 

 

The conference included opportunities to recharge, wind down, and have fun. Attendees were forewarned there would be several theme parties – including a luau, a Harlem Renaissance Gala, and an all-white party (on a 40 million dollar yacht). 

 

DJ Traci Steele led the dance party each night facilitated a dance contest where the contestant won a $1,000 prize after battling several rounds (sis won every one of them too! well-deserved). Can you imagine 600 women swag surfin’? Yup, we did that too!

 

Sunday Brunch included praise and worship with songs from Grammy award-winning gospel artists Fred Hammond and by the time we were done, we were all blessed. We were also treated to performances by Soul Train award-nominated songstress Tweet. Singer and actress Jade Novah closed out the weekend with a performance on Sunday. 

 

Events that Resonate

Let’s just say this conference has motivated me to continue to show up and be very disruptive! I had an opportunity to pitch my business, Shana Bryant Consulting, to Courtney who let me know the very next day that she thought I was amazing. My journey to becoming a Bawse continues. I envision myself receiving a call from someone on Courtney’s team, who will tell me that they could benefit from over a decade of event planning experience and want my help to execute the 2020 Bawse conference. From my heart to God’s ears!!

 

The Bawse Conference was epic, and whether or not I am on the team, I can’t wait to attend again next year and in the years to come. If you are not considering this conference next year, you should be. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or seasoned in business, there is something for you! Imagine the influence of being surrounded by black excellence for three days; each one of them ready to take their lives and businesses to the next level. 

 

Thank you again, Courtney, for being a visionary and innovator; you have created an experience that had an impact on the spirits and lives of hundreds of women. I created memories and formed connections that I am certain will last a lifetime. Something I look forward to as it grows is adding an award component. I would love to see prior attendees who have gone home, and disrupted have a moment to be celebrated on stage. 

 

Over the course of the conference weekend, I was able to meet incredible women like Courtney Adeyele, Founder & CEO of The Mane Choice, Foolproof Body & Who’s The BAWSE; Wuzzam Supa, Founder & CEO of The Crayon Case; Jesseca Dupart Founder & CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair, Ms. Bling Author, Designer & Owner of MsBlingBling.com; Kristi Jackson, Founder of Women CEO Project; and Alcyone Gunn The Six Figure Chick. All women I admire for their savvy; entrepreneurs who have mastered social media and Instagram, in particular, to build their brands and grow their businesses. 

 

Now that I am back from Miami, I am renewed and ready to get back to work, creating the kinds of experiences that pour into others in a similar way. Have you had a memorable experience at a conference or event recently? Tell us what captured your attention!

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