Engage! 17 Nizuc, Mexico

It’s been three days since we’ve been back from this whirlwind that is Engage! Summits at the beautiful Nizuc in Cancun, Mexico.  I now understand what the rave is about and I am kicking myself that we did not adopt into this family earlier.  As I sit here, Monday morning, with a full inbox and mile long to do list I can’t help but feel excited to tackle it all.  This trip has given me such a different outlook on the future of Le Reve Films and I am still in shock at how life changing this experience has been.  So as a moment of reflection, I wanted to share a couple of points that I learned as a “one baller”.  For anyone that’s planning one of the next trips to Engage! as a first timer, I hope you’ll be able to find these helpful.

Laura DeCarlo

Pack with Confidence

One of the most daunting things for me at first was wondering what to pack.  I was going to be on vacation essentially with the industry’s top leaders and I wanted to feel like I fit the part.  You can ask some of my closest friends that I was indeed in freak out mode a month before we left!  I quickly realized when we arrived that I was anxious for nothing at all!  It wasn’t at all about what designer you were wearing or what shoes you walked in with.  It was about becoming a part of their family the moment you stepped onto that resort.  The Engage! family are some of the most kind, welcoming individuals I’ve ever met.  A few weeks before we left for Engage! Rebecca and Kathryn sent out an itinerary, detailing the events of the week along with the themes.  It was a huge confidence booster showing up to the event and being in theme with everyone else.  So don’t stress about purchasing a whole new wardrobe in order to fit in.  Stay true to who you are, wear what you feel good in, and have FUN with it.

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Paul Morse

New Relationships and Old

Engage! is all about meeting people in the industry you never would have gotten a chance to otherwise.  Rebecca and Kathryn do such a fantastic job at creating experiences that cultivate more than just surface level relationships.  Like most couples, Lindsey and I are complete opposites.  He is an extrovert in the truest sense and I, on the other hand, am the introvert.  Or as someone put it last week, he is the Opener and I am the Closer.  Both these things are vital when it comes to being successful at Engage!  If you are an extrovert, don’t just make it a goal to meet as many people as you possibly can.  This will only give you hundreds of surface level relationships.  You won’t remember these people when you leave and they won’t remember you.  Now if you are an introvert, you’re going to have to push yourself a little here.  Something I would absolutely recommend is for you to attend the First Timers Meeting.  You will be assigned to an ambassador (someone who has attended numerous times).  Create a friendship with this person and ask them to introduce you to some others you might want to meet but are too shy to do so on your own.  Also, meet other first timers that are there.  Chances are they are just as nervous as you.  Talk to those at your dinner table during the dine around, hang out by the bar and share drinks with new ones, and get your butt on that dance floor!  Do not leave Engage! empty handed!  Create those relationships, and cultivate, cultivate, cultivate!!  I cannot express just how important that is.

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Laura DeCarlo

You Can Sleep When You’re Dead
I love this expression so much lol.  Be prepared for some long days!!  Seminars will start, some days, as early as 8:30.  After those you will have a party of some sort, then an after party, then (if you’re lucky) an after after party.  Always say yes to the after after party no matter how tired you may be!  This is where those new relationships you’ve created start to thrive and build into friendships.  Some of the best moments we had this trip were at 3:00am.  The night of the Gala, and after the after party, a handful of us ventured off to find the pier that stretched over the Nizuc bay.  There we laid down in our black tie attire and stared up at a spectacular meteor shower.  (Not sure how Rebecca and Kathryn coordinated that with the Celestial theme ;))  I felt like a teenage girl having a sleep over with her friends as we talked and of course laughed hysterically into the night.  And when I say hysterical, I mean 3:00am hysterical thoughts of “air crocs”.  THIS is what Engage! is all about!!!  Do not bow out early, push yourself through the exhaustion, have that extra couple cups of coffee and live your life to the fullest while you’re here!

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Unthinkable Goals are at your Fingertips

I’m a pretty realistic girl, especially when it comes to business.  Lindsey and I have been shooting weddings for 12 years and we just now attended our first Engage!  You can say we have taken things pretty slow.  Our goals have always been small, something I knew that was attainable.  I always dreamed of filming weddings at the caliber of Marcy Blum and Mindy Weiss.  DREAMED but never thought possible.  Lindsey Landman, an incredible woman, spoke about what’s called the Imposter Syndrome.  She said, “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.”  THIS was everything to me!  I began to realize throughout the course of Engage! that my dreams can be more than just dreams.  These are things that can be goals, these are things that can become REALITY.  Push yourself to reach, push yourself to grow, and move up in this crazy wedding world we all live in.

Phillip Van Nostrand

Reflect and Act Immediately

You just met the most amazing guy/girl and enjoyed your first date together.  The evening was going so well that after dinner, you decided to extend the date and go for a stroll along the beach.  You talked about the future, your goals, your family.  As the sun was beginning to rise you finally departed and went your separate ways.  You get home exhausted but elated from what seems to be the best date of your life.  A month later, you call this person you thought could be the one and they are now in a committed relationship with someone else.  Seems ridiculous right?  DO NOT wait a month to get in touch with those you met at Engage!  Don’t even wait a week!  You are going to be completely exhausted from the whirlwind trip.  The first thing you’ll want to do is sleep for 48 hours.  Don’t!  Get to work!  Do not take a break from that relationship and pick up later.  Chances are that flame will die and you will be left with nothing.  Kindle these new relationships, apply what you’ve learned from the speakers, make a list of goals and things you need to do and DO THEM!

Engage17! at Nizuc Resort on Thursday December 13, 2017 Photo by Paul Morse
Paul Morse

If you do all that, not only will you have one of the most life changing experiences, but you will be part of one heck of a family!  #BECAUSEOFENGAGE

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