I didn't get back from Vegas until late Friday night, so I'm a little late chiming in with my two cents on the staging conference. This year's was even better than the previous year (hard to believe, right?).
There were an additional 110 home stagers in attendance over last year, bringing the total to 360. Just like last year, it was a sold out event. We even had stagers from the U.K. and the Netherlands - how amazing is that!
I was PROUD AS A PEACOCK to be amongst such amazing people:
My first awesome "staging moment" of the conference happened before even setting foot on U.S. soil. In fact, I hadn't even left Toronto airport yet. When the U.S. border patrol/customs agent asked me the purpose of my visit to the U.S., I told him that I was attending a conference. He asked what the conference was about, so I told him that I was attending the RESA Home Staging Conference in Vegas. I was half expecting a blank look, the handing back of my passport and to be sent along on my merry way. Instead, he engaged me in a lengthy conversation about home staging (with a long line of other people anxiously waiting behind me I might add)! He shared with me that he had just had his home staged and listed for sale. He told me how he's a believer in staging and went on to talk about how his stager accessorized, the rooms she staged and then wanted to know if he got a fair deal on the price. I couldn't believe that I was actually having this conversation with him! It was really exciting to see another example of how mainstream staging is becoming. Most people now know what it is and that it's a valuable tool to the home selling process.
We arrived in Vegas two days before the start of the conference, but for this blog post, I'll fast forward to the 'main event'. Here are some faces I'm sure you'll recognize from Active Rain:
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Picture 1: My good friend Sally Weatherley of Exit Stage Right with Valerie Sagheddu of Apostle Art Home Staging. Picture 2: Heather Cook of Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design. Heather lives just 45 minutes from me. We've spoken on the phone before, but it took a trip to Vegas for us to finally meet! Might I add that Sally was awarded Rookie Stager of the Year for Canada and Heather was awarded Professional Stager of the Year for Canada - way to go ladies!
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Picture 3: Linda and Gary Barnett of Home Matters. I have so much respect for both of them. They have always been so supportive - they're wonderful people. Picture 4: Nik Murrow and David Peterson of Synergy Staging with Matthew Finlason (in the middle) from HGTV's The Stagers and stager extraordinaire from Los Angeles. Matthew was also the key note speaker at the conference.
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Picture 5: Karen Dembsky of Peachtree Home Staging. Picture 6: Michelle Drewry of Staging the Essentials. Karen and Michelle were two of my table mates at the conference.
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Picture 7: The SAR training team who are about to set the staging training industry on fire - an amazing, dynamic bunch! Picture 8: Ashley Whittenberger of Interiority Complex (in the centre) with Karen Otto of Home Star Staging to Ashley's left. Unfortunately, I don't know the names of the other ladies in the photo. There were just so many people there, that it was impossible to meet everyone.
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Picture 9: Jackson West of Reveal Estate Home Staging & Annie Pinsker-Brown of Stage to Sell, who, I might add, was awarded Professional Home Stager of the Year - congratulations Annie, your work is amazing! Picture 10: You guessed it, Matthew Finlason. I was so glad that he came back again this year to the conference. His personality and energy just lit up the room. I'll be in L.A. in June so I'm hoping to meet up with him and some of my other California stager friends while I'm there. I was thrilled to be awarded RESA Regional Vice-President of the year, so here I am sporting my award. It was a total shock!
When I came back and looked at my pictures, I was so disappointed to see that I didn't get photos of so many other great people that I wanted to. I won't mention names, because there are way too many of them and I'm afraid I'll leave someone out. I'll be sure to get their photos next year though.
Since I'm late to write about the convention, I won't go into the details of what each speaker presented on. They were all fabulous and I took away a lot of valuable information from each of them. Beth Lester wrote an excellent two-part post recapping each of the presentations, so stop by her blog and have a read.
If you're planning on attending in 2012, you better reserve your spot as soon as the tickets go on sale or you'll be disappointed. Something tells me next year will be a sell-out as well. And hey, once you're in Vegas, there are so many other things to do and see while you're there. I'll be writing about that in my next post. Until then ....
Dezigner Digz is Burlington, Ontario's premier home staging, styling and redesign firm. The owner, Charlene Storozuk, is a member of the Canadian Decorators Association and the Real Estate Staging Association and currently serves on RESA's Executive Committee as Regional Vice-President, Canada. Her work is featured in the book FabJob Guide to Become a Home Stager. Charlene has written several articles on home staging, some of which have been published by the International Business Times and the Women's Council of REALTORS. She is also a Contributing Blogger for REALTOR Magazine. For more information about us, visit our website at www.dezignerdigz.com.