This past week I celebrated my two year anniversary with Precision Meetings & Events, Inc. I found myself on that day, standing knee-high in a body of water, in waders, holding a pole, fly fishing. I thought to myself, it has been two years and I am still experiencing new things that I never thought I would in my years at Precision or in my life.
This last meeting, I spent a whole week in Stowe, Vermont. Being a city girl myself, I had the opportunity to experience an entirely different environment that Stowe had to offer. They are known for their hiking trails, fly fishing, and many different art vendors, such as jewelry makers, glass blowers, and furniture makers. We took the opportunity of being in such a different location (this particular group had never really been to this part of the world for this meeting), and immersed the group into all of these activities throughout the meeting.
We began by taking the Executive Committee Spouses fly fishing one morning. We put them all in waders, taught them how to tie a hook to a fishing line, and allowed them to practice casting. Then with our four experienced guides, we allowed the group to hike to their perspective locations and fly fish for a couple of hours. This is something this group had never done before and it really allowed them get outside their comfort zone and try something new. We even had someone catch bass which made the experience all worth it!
Next, we brought artisans in from nearby towns to our Opening Reception for our larger meeting. We had stone jewelry makers, glass blowers, wine makers, craft-brew makers, and local cheese and chocolatiers. They all had the opportunity to set up a booth to show off their crafts and tell their story. This truly allowed our attendees to experience and taste a little bit of Vermont.
One of our more overwhelmingly liked events was the presentation by Miranda Thomas and Charles Shackleton. This husband and wife duo own a Vermont based company, Shackleton Thomas. They pride themselves in their handmade fine pottery, furniture and accessories. They shared their love story and how they began their lives together and found their passion for creating items with their hands. They also told us about one of their most meaningful projects, The Naked Table Project. This allows a group to take the day to learn to make tables –bonding and creating lasting tables in an environmentally friendly manner. Participants learn about a sustainable approach to furniture making, how to prepare and assemble its mortise and tenon joinery, and how to finish their tables to look their best. To fully understand the process of sustainably making furniture, you must go into the forest. Guided by expert foresters and sawyers, they take the participants on a tour through the forest where the iconic Sugar Maple trees were harvested for the table workshop.
Lastly, we ended our meeting with an optional tour to Quechee, Vermont to visit Simon Pearce glass blowing factory. We feasted on a traditional Vermont brunch with views of the Quechee George, a spectacular waterfall. We then received a private tour to see the glass blowing and interesting machinery that creates the glass.
I have learned so much in my two plus years with Precision and every day there is always something more. I have been blessed with many opportunities and I am fortunate to keep experiencing all the new challenges, rewards, and places. Vermont opened my eyes to another part of this world and its unique culture. To say the least this meeting was versatile (adapted our meeting agenda to Vermont’s environment), varied(offered many new options for tours and programs), and vibrant (two words: green mountains). To those who have never been…I urge you to go!