Last summer, I received a DM on Instagram from NAPCP that Alice Park wanted to chat with me about their new event, Elevate Summit. I was giddy.
Fast forward to our zoom call, I immediately connected with Alice and the mission of Elevate. We had a great chat and I waited anxiously for the official invitation to be included in the speaker lineup.
Fast forward another couple months and the invitation came through and I was beyond thrilled. Over the next few weeks we had an all-speaker meeting via zoom and my excitement grew. I was SO honored to be included in the group of powerhouse women leaders. The lineup was incredible, the venue was incredible and I knew that the experience would be incredible.
Fast forward again, to January of 2023. It was finally time to fly to Nashville for Elevate Summit. I was excited to see friends, excited to speak to a new audience, excited to finally meet Alice in person and excited to see the event play out.
I arrived to The Graduate Nashville and it was every bit as cute as it looked online. Literally, every room felt like a suite and the lobby is drool worthy. My only regret is not flying in a day earlier to have some serious downtime before the event started.
The huge conference, Imaging USA, was happening in Nashville at the same time, so I headed over to spend the afternoon with my friends and sponsor, The Image Salon. I hung out at their booth, was interviewed, and photographed and chilled with online friends that I was finally meeting in person. After the showroom floor closed, I had drinks and dinner with my friend, Octavia Elease and Image Salon CEO, Victoria Dimaano.
The next day was supposed to be a gift to myself of sleeping in, except my 15 year old called me early before school. Oops. That’s okay, it was nice to chat with her before my day started. The rest of the day was spent catching up with friends who were arriving for the summit. That afternoon was an all speaker meeting and walk through. And we would finally get to see the much anticipated summit venue, Saint Elle.
Getting on the speaker shuttle and heading to the venue I was definitely nervous. I mean, the lineup was filled with such incredible women (who I was totally fangirling over) like Mattie James, Ellen Yin and Ashlyn Carter, just to name a few.
We arrived to the Saint Elle and it was every bit as stunning as expected. Alice and her NAPCP team did a phenomenal job brainstorming the space and creating something that was welcoming, functional, warm and elegant. It really felt like such a treat to be in the space that was filled with balloons, flowers, food, swag, beautiful seating, greenery and so much more.
All the speakers has a few moments to practice with the microphone, walking up on stage, and seeing our slides. I was definitely excited to present to the summit audience, but I was also a tad nervous because this was the largest group I had ever taught to in person.
The funniest moment from the speaker meeting was when Alice shared a surprise with us… Our spouses and/or children has all sent in a video introduction for each of us. My brain immediately goes into panic and says, “My HUSBAND is doing my intro!?!? Hold up. I am not even sure my husband knows what I do!” lol. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was nervous for the next 24 hours until I heard his intro.
That night, Elevate Summit hosted a pink part to kick off the summit at The White Limousine. It is the CUTEST rooftop venue at The Graduate. Of course, everyone was in shades of pink and red and it was such a fun way to kick off the week.
The next day was the official start of the summit and the day was beautiful. It was such a joy to see all the hardwork payoff and the details in place. And let me tell you, there were some incredible details… from personal snack boxes, to the open beverage bar, to the swag, to the tablescapes, to the vendor area, to the photo wall… there were truly fun details everywhere.
The day was smooth. The speakers were incredible. The information was inspiring. Everything was lovely. I was the last speaker on day one. And honestly, while I know it is an honor to be in the opening or closing position, I was nervous about my time slot… I know first hand how tired and overwhelmed an audience can be at the end of a long day. But in all honestly, it ended up being the perfect time slot.
The other speakers on day one gave practical talks with tangible takeaways. My talk was a personal one that I knew would leave parts of the audience emotional. And I was right.
Everything for my talk went so smooth, including my husbands introduction that I had been nervous about. (He really did great!) The tech ran smoothly, my lapel mic didn’t act up, I didn’t go over time or miss any major points. And more importantly, my talk, Bring the Bliss Back, landed with the audience. That was the most important part.
After my talk, day one wrapped up and I was flooded with women’s stories. So many came up to me for hugs and to say how much my story and the lessons resonated with them. As a speaker, there truly is no better feeling than hearing that your talk deeply resonated with someone.
That night, per the usual after I finish public speaking, I was friend. A group of my mastermind and membership students and friends that were at the summit gathered in the lobby for dinner. We ended up just ordering tacos via door dash and it was a perfect evening. We got to fellowship and catchup as a group and it was so fun.
Day two of the conference was another jam-packed and incredible day. Personally I was much more relaxed since my talk was behind me so I was able to really enjoy mingling and meeting people. That night, the summit ended with a western night at the Cross-Eyed Critter in The Graduate. Everyone dawned their best western wear and really relaxed.
Overall, I cannot say enough about how incredible the Elevate Summit experience was. As a speaker, I felt encouraged, inspired and well taken care of. As an attendee, I was educated and seen and loved on. The details, the lineup, the venue, the location, the people, every. single. part. Of this experience was top-notch.
I know I speak for many, MANY others when I say that I hope Elevate Summit happens again in 2024. I have already said that I would be honored to speak at the event if it happens again but also, I just want to go again because Alice, Kyu and Team NAPCP really know how to throw an incredible event.
(If you want to hear about the event from one of the attendees, check out my friend Kellie’s blog post here.)