Offroad Blogging - The First Salon Event!

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It happened. After the dreaming and planning and imagining (with a little nail biting), the first salon happened. Here's how it all came together.

The right attendees

I already spoke over here about what I learned about branding and networking for my Salon. I was sooo happy to see everyone - we had ceramicists, artists, interior designers, photographers, jewellry makers and design bloggers. Even a couple of business-y types who do creative things on the side.

A unique location

We were in an artist's studio in an old, large industrial building full of painters, designers, furniture makers, and photographers. Ask around - you will be surprised at how many galleries, studios and restaurants will agree to host your event. You can even have it in your home if you have the room. I used to host jazz house concerts when I lived in Toronto.

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A theme that resonates

The theme for the evening was "Can You See What I See" or in other words, how to see creatively. 

I had a few opening remarks inspired by designer Michael Wolff who believes that to be able to design well, we need to learn to see creatively. He speaks of the need to exercise three muscles of creativity: curiosity, appreciation, and imagination.

"I am obsessively interested in everything."

Michael Wolff

Good food and drink

You get people together and you need good food and drink. That's where All & Sundry came in. Being fairly new to town I didn't have any of my own contacts for catering. I DID know that I wanted to work with go-getters, with up & comers who were building their business, someone who had new ideas.

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Amy and Kamelli were great! They handled the set up and the take down. They prepared a short list of caterers who met my criteria. I ended up choosing Roaming Dragon and their pan-Asian cuisine.

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Something for people to do

The theme was about seeing creatively, right? And what better way to exercise your creative muscles than some figure drawing. And not just any figure drawing, a model who is also a burlesque dancer.

First the figure drawing in reverse - from nude to clothed.

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And a little burlesque at the end of course.

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Something for people to take home

Yes, there was swag. And the story behind the swag for you has two parts.

First, if you don't ask, you don't get. Think about businesses who would be a great match with your event and attendees. Businesses who will understand what you are trying to do and happily take part.

The sources of the swag (can you tell that I love saying that word?) were the generous Cariann of Cargoh and Janine of Uppercase Magazine. Look at Cariann's attention to detail with the ombre tissue. 

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If you haven't yet picked up a copy of Uppercase Magazine (for the creative and curious), you MUST. Subscribe - you will be inspired with every issue.

The second part of the swag story is a reminder to be generous with your support. Cariann and Janine are powerhouses in the businesses that they have built. They were quick to say yes to my new salon and showed me again how important it is to support each other in our creative ventures. Good karma all around.

Next steps

Plans are being made for the next two salons. I have some calls to make today and some networking to do. Of course I won't give away yet what's in store. I WILL say that there'll be different venues and completely different events. And I KNOW that you will love the next two as well.

How are your plans going for hosting an offline event? Have you already done one? Let me know - I want to hear about it!

#thanksbing

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Generously sponsored by Bing. All opinions are my own.