You are getting excited for United, and so are we! Maybe you have already started packing (go-getter!) or maybe you will pack an hour before you have to be at the airport on November 3rd (risk-taker!). No matter when you pack, just make sure to pack these things!
We don't really understand ‘meteorology', being a photography website company and all. In the past, these are the kind of temperatures that we have enjoyed in Arizona in November. The weather is often in the high-mid 70s every day, with lows in the mid 50s to 60s every day. We'll see how close this actually ends up being this year. But just know that if you are coming from the East Coast, or somewhere North of Arizona – you are going to be enjoying SUNSHINE and WARMTH!
If you have never been to Arizona before, just know that when the sun is out – it feels pretty warm/kinda hot/absolutely glorious. But once the sun is gone, it can be legit CHILLY. So layers are going to be your best friend. And the ballroom gets pretty cold too. You better believe that Arizona is serious about their air conditioning.
If you are wondering how people dress at the conference – you will see a mix of people in flip flops and shorts, and other people in dresses, and everything in between. We want you to be comfortable! So wear what makes you happy, and helps you to feel like the best version of yourself!
This is our Welcome Party! So be as casual or as dressy as you like! Some people are showing up straight off of an airplane, while others have been basking by the pool all day. Come as you are. Which is kind of the way we want to see you everyday at United!
This will be a time to enjoy casual drinks and appetizers with no formal program. The party starts at 6, which means the sun will be setting, and it may be getting cooler. This will definitely be a fun place to hang out, unwind, and make new friends as the week gets started.
For the second year in a row, we will be having morning yoga with our sweet friend Allison Ewing, who is a great photographer, and Yoga instructor! So if you want to join in on the fun from 7 -8 am on Monday and Tuesday mornings, bring your yoga mat, or even just a towel from the hotel, and join us for some zen magic before the day gets all kinds of crazy. This was a HUGE HIT last year, and we are so excited to have Allison back with us. But if you are of the ‘Namaste in Bed til the very last second' variety, that's ok with us too!
You definitely DO NOT have to dress up for this. If you want to dig REALLY deep into your closet, and pull out any of your 80s inspired gear, bring it! We may be outside, so don't forget your layers! We don't have the location set yet, but just know that every year – the food is yummy, and the company is delightful. This dinner is INCLUDED in the price for registration! We provide transportation and everything, so all you need to worry about is having a fun time.
Immediately following dinner will be a karaoke party. An EPIC karaoke party. The likelihood that you will see CEO Todd Watson singing Vanilla Ice is very high. Very very high.
You don't have to dress up for this either, but be thinking about what you want to sing NOW, and start practicing!
We do not have a theme to this year's gala yet, but no matter what: Wear something bright, and whatever makes you feel happy, pretty, dressed up! We are going to party AND eat AND dance AND have the best time ever! No need to spend tons of money on new threads. Some people wear the same fancy and fun thing they wore the year before. Pantsuits, sparkly gowns, tuxes, slacks with a nice button down – all of these things are more than appropriate. If you need some Pinspiration, check out our Pinterest board dedicated to the ball!
If you are signed up for a Styled Shoot, you are going to want to bring your camera, and battery packs, and other things that go with your camera.
And since you will want to be taking lots of pics with your new, and old friends, and doing your Instagram stories and what not, you definitely want to consider an extra battery source! There will also be charging stations at the back of the conference room in case you need to get juiced up!
You do NOT need to bring a notebook and pen, since (spoiler alert ahead:) there MAY be one of each in your swag bag.
Also, you don't have to, but you can bring your computer and your website, no matter what stage of completion it is in! There will be opportunities to meet with a designer (Fo' Free!), and they will happily go through your website with you, and give you tips to improve your online home!
Have you heard about a growth mindset? It just means that you are open to new things, open to the fact that you aren't perfect, and that you aren't necessarily better than anyone else. When you have a fixed mindset, it means that you have an idea of how things are supposed to be, and when they are not that way, you are disappointed. It may also look like self doubt, or it's polar opposite – thinking you are better than others. Bring your growth mindset. Know that everyone who is on stage, and in the seats around you, has a story, and has something to teach you. And don't forget – YOU have something to share with others as well! So shine bright, open your mind, and your heart!
Things may not always go exactly as planned – maybe your flight will be delayed, or one of your bags might get lost, or it may be cold and rainy (it has happened in the desert before. Not often. But it has happened). But, as long as we all have great attitudes, and we are respectful, kind (to others, as well as to ourselves!), and are willing to try new thing – we are all going to leave better than we came.
Our heart for you, sweet United attendee, is that you are able to come to Arizona and feel like you have found an oasis in the desert. Literally and figuratively, socially, spiritually, entrepreneurally (that's a word, right?)! If you feel like your business, or friendships, or just YOU have been in a hard and lonely season – we hope that you would feel refreshed, inspired, and able to take action steps to make the changes necessary to improve!
See you in November, my friends!
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