What is the ultimate form of gathering together? Workshops. It's a place where creatives convene to collaborate, inspire, share stories and help each other get better at their craft. It's the ultimate bonding experience where you leave with more confidence, more comrades and long-lasting relationships. You can swap success stories, pain points and laugh over inside industry jokes, that only someone in your field would relate to. We love workshops. Rhiannon of Hey Gorgeous Events certainly knows how to inspire and host really incredible gatherings for this very purpose. Recently she held the third ever Trouvaille Workshop in Chicago, at a beautiful historic venue called Firehouse Chicago.
DAY ONE - WELCOME!
"In my past six years of business I've noticed there was something missing on the workshop and education side of things in our industry. There are lots of workshops out there that promote community and lots that promote education for multifaceted wedding planners but not many that combined both into a really curated and intentional experience. Above all else for me, residing in and working in the Midwest has often left me feeling lonely and constantly at competition with everyone around me (when it doesn't have to feel that way!) So all that to say I wanted to make a change and in a small but purposeful way. Thus The Trouvaille Workshop was born." - Rhiannon, Hey Gorgeous Events
"It's exceeded ALL expectations so far and has really gained some wonderful momentum as the unique experience it is. I also wanted to find a way to shift my business slightly from handling so many events and towards something where I can help educate and bring others together while starting our family; which we are so happy to report is happening in January when we welcome out first little to the world!"
The Workshop Lowdown
"The workshop is trifold if you will. We focus on community. And not community in the catch phrase way our industry has honed in on recently. I mean in the way that you really can make lasting relationships with other creative wedding planners and designers from all over the country and world. There's networking then there's investing in others. Trouvaille focuses on the later. Education is very important to me. Tangible tools are given to attendees at Trouvaille so they can go home and apply what they learned to their business."
DAY TWO - Breakfast, Classtime, Picnic, Styling, Speakers, Calligraphy and more!
"I personally don't and I know my hand selected group of speakers don't want to simply tell attendees how awesome it is to charge what you're worth or how important it is to have healthy boundaries with your business (these things are true!). Instead we want to tell stories of how we made mistakes in our businesses and how we learned from them, how we booked that high end client, how we structure our contracts and proposals, and the list goes on."
"I want people to leave Trouvaille not only inspired and excited to get home and grow and better their business and brand but capable and equipped to do so. Lastly, Trouvaille is about being loved on. And all fluffiness aside I think this is what makes this experience different."
"I believe at the core of every professional (and certainly every creative woman!) is the desire to be accepted, cared for, and loved on. I do my absolute best to do just that at Trouvaille with each and every person that I come into contact with."
"On any given day at Trouvaille there are three to six different settings the group transitions through. From sit down breakfast to our first session to our next session, back to lunch, and into an afternoon of more sessions before a fancy sit down dinner at the end of the day, there's a lot of moving pieces. This requires many different floor plans, linen and floral changes, and a lot of labor for my team to make it all seamlessly come together."
Finding The Perfect Workshop Venue
"Typically when a venue meets the above criteria (aesthetics are spot on, accommodations and host venue are close by or in the same spot, and price point is right) I then check to make sure I can build at least three to four different to scale floor plans at the venue which will accommodate my target guest list number."
"If a venue is too small (or even too big!) then it's not in my best interest to book with them unfortunately; even if they are a lovely space with reasonable costs. I just cannot make the workshop be what it is without options to design unique spaces from session to session."
The Venue Search
"The Midwest is a tricky place to find spaces that offer the aesthetics I'm drawn too. I love airy open spaces and places that have a major romance factor to them and well, the Midwest has tons of ballrooms and barns! Planning a one day wedding is one thing but planning a four day event for a big group of wedding professionals is another.
Not only do I need to find a venue for each retreat that can accommodate the various sessions and meals we offer to everyone (think: hands on floral sessions, sit down meals, education sessions, afternoon surprises, cocktail parties and heart to heart conversations as a big group!) but it's also important that I find a space close to reputable accommodations and major airports. So many of our presenters and attendees fly in from all over the world and need easy travel plans and places to rest their heads. Phew! That in and of itself makes things a bit tricky for me."
DAY THREE - Floral arranging, classtime, speakers, stationary styling, and more!
The Workshop Venue
"With Firehouse Chicago I loved the history of the building and that darling side courtyard area that held most of the meals and hands on sessions we hosted. Even with two days of a little summer rain we were still able to do our thing out there under a tent the venue supplied us. It was also so easy to keep the decor of the workshop simple because the space has a pretty cool existing foundation."
"When we first found Firehouse Chicago and discovered the proximity to The Guesthouse Hotel in Chicago, we were hooked. Both spots had an aesthetic that feels chic and unique, enough space to accommodate my group for the workshop and for accommodations, and as a bonus, we were just a 20 minute Uber ride from the airport."
"It's like all of the pieces come together into one harmonious whole! Both the staff at The Guesthouse and the team at Firehouse were so accommodating to my requests and needs which made working with them an easy and comfortable choice for this event."
"We are in the process of planning out our next retreat which will be unfolding May 30th to June 2nd of 2016 in North Carolina. We have not yet released the details on our venue choice but it's a really charming, Southern spot that is a perfect match with the Trouvaille brand. We'll be relaunching the site in a month with our newest speaker panel, inclusions, photos from this summer's retreat and of course details on the exciting new space! We will only be releasing 22 tickets this time around to help keep the event intimate and anticipate selling out pretty quickly! We can't wait to take things south!"
Venue: Firehouse Chicago | Event by Rhiannon Nicole Bosse, Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Hey Gorgeous Events Celebration Planning, Editorial Styling and Floral Design | The Trouvaille Workshop: A Luxury Experience for Creative Business Women | Photography: Love the Nelsons | Linens: Nuage Designs | Paper: Smitten on Paper | Rentals: Tablescapes | Aprons: Oatmeal Lace Design | Videography: 314 Productions | Notebooks: MB Styled | Catering: Brix Catering