On Friday 3/8, Jennifer and I woke up to a beautiful day in Ontario, California. After breakfast at the hotel, we walked across the street to the convention center where Pinners Conference was held.
Checking in was quick and easy.
The VIPs (including presenters) had early access to the shopping floor before general admission started. I really appreciated the chance to see everything before it got crowded.
The floor had around 160 booths selling a wide variety of items, including She Sheds...
... and LOTS of painted, chalked, and/or decorated wood signs.
There were booths selling makeup, hair accessories, clothing, protein powder, marshmallows, shoe insoles, massage pillows, totes, books, and more. We saw a lot of bunnies, which was awesome. I think that is because of the time of year more than anything.
Some of the booths were offering make-and-takes in addition to selling product. Most of the make-and-takes were either jewelry-related or stenciling on wood. Most cost $10. Many were similar to, or the same as, the projects we'd made the night before at the VIP Party.
It took about 90 minutes for Jennifer and me to see everything on the show floor, which was perfect timing. We headed to our first class: "How to Create Unique Cookies." It was demonstration-style (rather than hands-on) with two large screens that allowed us to see what the instructor was doing.
There is a 30 minute break between classes, which is supposed to allow 15 minutes for the previous instructor to clean up and 15 minutes for the next instructor to set up. In my case, it took 29 minutes for the previous instructors to clear out, leaving me just a minute to get myself ready to present. Fortunately, I didn't have materials to set up and was not selling class kits, so it wasn't a major issue. My class, "Destination Discovery: Family-Friendly Educational Travel," went well. I didn't have very many attendees, but those that I did have seemed to enjoy it and asked fantastic questions.
Jennifer and I made a quick trip back to the hotel to drop off my laptop and other supplies from my class, then headed to our next class. We'd hoped to take a sewing class together, but it was full. We split up. I went to another lecture-style class, "Lifestyle Photography for Branded Content Creation." It was excellent. Jennifer went to a hands-on class to make a "Let Love Grow Chalkboard Sign." She learned a lot and had a good time.
We went back to the shopping floor to look around and noticed there was another cookie class in progress. The room was 90% empty, so we went in and sat down. During the last five minutes of the class, the instructor let us come up and try our hand at decorating. So much fun!
I've never piped with flooding glaze before. As you can see, I need to practice! I had a hard time keeping my initial barrier line straight, as I'm used to piping with thick icing that holds its shape. The instructor made it look easy!
After class, we walked a short distance to Spires Restaurant to meet up with 6 of our Southern California friends from back in our Fiskateer days. One of them had suggested Spires for its hearty, inexpensive, tasty diner food.
The food was just as promised - hearty, classic comfort food like you'd expect to find in a diner. The eight of us had a wonderful time eating and chatting and catching up.