My Personal Highlights…The Signature CEO Conference 2018

AUTHOR:  Teaira Abston of Dreamcatcher Stationery

Several, if not all, of my fellow creative bosses would agree that one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your business is to consistently seek educational opportunities to learn and expand your knowledge base. Whether the focus is on the newest trends or techniques of your creative niche or discovering new tools and systems to implement in your business, finding a workshop or conference to attend quarterly or annually can prove to be worth the investment.

Every year creatives plan to attend various conferences and workshops in search of the ultimate educational and networking experience. With so many promising to offer just that, it can be overwhelming trying to find the right conference for you and your business. One conference I have attended that has proven to be well worth the investment, is the Signature CEO Conference, organized by Tara Melvin of Perfectly Planned Events. Tara thoughtfully curates the best of the best in the creative industry to present attendees with valuable information and tools to immediately implement and take their businesses to the next level.

The inaugural conference was held in 2015, but my first time attending was the 2017 conference. I had such a positive experience that I knew I could never miss another. What I appreciated so much was the intimacy of this conference. The speakers were so engage, and they even stayed after their own presentations to learn from other industry leaders and interact with attendees. I didn’t feel lost in a sea of professionals fighting for a handshake or “usie.” Instead it felt rather inclusive and personal, especially when we were able to mix and mingle during lunch and speed networking.

I loved that each speaker presented on his or her own area of expertise, covering a broad range of topics that applied to us all regardless of our creative niche. They spoke about practical things we could apply to our business the very next day versus fluff that is only “instagram” worthy. LoL The Signature CEO Conference 2018 was simply amazing!

This year’s speaker line-up included industry gurus like the amazing Kathy Romero, Kellie Daab, Jacqueline Nwobu, and Dan Simons to name a few. The jewels that were dropped were truly invaluable.  I ended each session with pages of notes and was fired up to get back to my home office to make the necessary adjustments in my business.

Monique Melton’s presentation about creating passive income definitely resonated with me. She specifically spoke about the importance of creating something that doesn’t compete with our core service/product. Instead, she implored us to study our target market to find the gaps and areas that can be improved by understanding the frustrations of our audience. It got my wheels turning, and I’m already considering adding a new service/product that will compliment what I currently do.

Patrick Teague dived deep into the basics of copyrighting and how to recognize copyright infringement. He also gave steps on how to obtain copyrights for things such as pictures, videos, and other digital products online. He also touched on social media since that’s how the majority of us share our work with the world.

The panel discussion focused on the grit and grace of being an entrepreneur also resonated with me. They discussed the sacrifices made in order to get ahead, the hardest lessons they’ve learned, and shared so many examples of ways to practice self care while being an entrepreneur. Each panelist was very transparent about their journey and their struggles, giving examples of challenges they had overcome to get where they are today. Their candid responses were heartfelt and relatable.

 Although each speaker focused on very specific topics, there were a few points that were consistent among them…

~Outsource and get help in areas where you know you are not the expert…Abby Grace touched a lot on this.

~Utilize tools that will help you stay organized and on top of things, such as processes and systems to help you streamline. Nicole Peck of Bizbash and Jacqueline Nwobu, CEO of  Munaluchi Bride gave us some amazing apps we can use.

~Be ready to pivot and change often because there’s no one size fit all model. Adjust with the industry and determine ways to stand out as a brand! Kellie Dabb talked about becoming known for one thing (niching down), and creating a smooth client experience unlike the rest by starting with a clear message and delivering the luxury to your client by providing the VALUE.

~Authenticity goes a LONG way, especially on social media and when building lasting relationships with people. Network = your net worth!

The Signature CEO Conference is perfect for established and newbie creative professionals. I would recommend this conference to anyone who is looking to learn from some of the best in the industry. At this conference, you get so many practical steps you can take and apply immediately. The speakers are experts in the areas they present, and they provide great information on ways to improve on what you’ve already established.

In addition to the amazing educational opportunity, you can expect to laugh and catch up with old business buddies. Expand your business network by meeting new people and laying a foundation for cultivating new relationships. You will learn so much from others who ask questions and share their thoughts on different topics.

You’ll find yourself opening up to fresh new perspectives that may allow you to see things in your business that you’ve never seen before. You are guaranteed to walk away with the motivation you need to finish the year off strong and plan for the next year. At the end of each conference, I’ve left with a feeling of  “I CAN DO THIS!”…Just knowing I have people there that will genuinely cheer me on means the world.

Oh, and I forgot to mention how fabulous the welcome party was! It’s a great time to let your hair down and be a guest at an event when we are usually on the other end.

So…are you sold??

Great news! Early registration is now open for Signature CEO Conference 2019.  I’ll see you there!

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