Hi, this is us, reporting back from our awesome day at this year’s Business Women’s Forum! It’s the largest, longest-running full-day annual conference for women in Connecticut. This was our 2nd year attending, and we’re hooked.
An early start!
For me (Bev), and NBD for Lora! It all kicks off at 7:45 AM. We arrive at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville (a huge and beautiful banquet event space), find our name tags, and enter into the huge ballroom filled with 675 women (and 5 men) in need of coffee.
Continental breakfast is served and we load up on scrambled eggs, pastries, and yogurt. We must keep our energy levels high for this day of listening to motivational and keynote speakers (Stacy London!), leadership workshops, exhibits, luncheon, and wine at the end of the day!
Kinda like a wedding, but not…
It’s like a wedding in that you might be at a table filled with people you’ve never met before. Any awkwardness is quickly forgotten as there’s a BWF Superwoman Bingo card at each setting, an instant conversation starter.
We set about finding someone who has been zip lining, is a local entrepreneur, is left-handed (Lora), was born outside the United States (Bev), and so on. Collect signatures and BINGO! you can enter to win some desirable prizes!
Connie Podesta – motivational speaker and very funny lady!
First up is Connie Podesta, a Hall of Fame speaker, therapist, and comedienne all rolled into one hella’ dynamic woman.
She had us all laughing while we learned the meaning of the shape we had all drawn in the sky at the count of 3. Basically, folks, we are all either a circle, square, triangle, or squiggle “type”. Turns out Lora and I are both circles. We talk a lot, we’ll get in your space, and we get a LOT done.
Takeaway 🥡… All the shapes can get along and work well together, as long as we’re aware of how best to interact with the other shapes.
On to the morning workshops (which should be renamed funshops)
After Connie finishes up her presentation, all the circles, squares, squiggles, and triangles head off to their respective workshops in new-found harmony.
Business Women’s Forum workshops cover topics like managing a brand online, mastering conversations surrounding money, being a standout leader, and more. We opted for Receiving Feedback with Grace. Cindy Maher and Jamie Guite got their point across using lots of improv and humor (a common theme for the day). Our group LOL’ed a lot.
The takeaway 🥡… Feedback doesn’t have to hurt, and we could all be better listeners.
And scene (You had to be there).
It’s time for everyone to gather back at our tables for lunch. It was a delicious chicken and wild rice number…but it was the Sweet Maria’s cupcakes that stole the show. Pretty and yum!
Followed by schmooze o’clock (formerly known as networking)
It’s always a pleasure to run into these handsome devils…
…and drool over shiny things at their pop up booth!
Next up, Keynote Speaker Stacy London
Stacy is the former co-host on What Not to Wear, and the reason all 675+ of us paid extra attention to what we were wearing that day. As we enjoyed our cupcakes Stacy spoke to the room about designing our own success and how to take a step back and give yourself room to allow experiences to happen (good and bad). And of course, the topic of fashion came up.
The takeaways 🥡…
- Dress for the body you have now and own it!
- Vintage 👍
- B Sides Jeans are the bomb, as are Uniqlo jeans
- There are NO fashion rules
- Shapewear 🙃
And there’s more…
Business Women’s Forum takeaway 🥡
It’s like a self-improvement therapy session, your favorite business podcast, a good comedy show, and a really great wedding all rolled into one women-power-ful day.
Until next year, Business Women’s Forum!
Pics: Lora / Words: Bev