Chef Eric’s note: This was originally written on April 28th, the Friday after the BOOST conference. The craziness of May kicked in and one of my favorite things I do each week, writing this newsletter to you, got sidetracked. In May I went to my brother’s awesome wedding in Temecula, was accepted into the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Los Angeles (even though I live in AZ, it just worked out that way), traveled to Los Angeles three times for interviews, a chapter retreat, and forum training… and even spent some time in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Btw, if you want to start planning your fall healthy culinary workshops, I’m taking a few more meetings by clicking this link.
My point is
, that my excuses are done, and we are going back to WEEKLY newsletters on everything LIFT Enrichment, after-school, healthy cooking, teaching kids, and random travel updates.
Palm Springs, CA – April 28, 2023
I’m sitting in the tiny Palm Springs airport where the heat is just starting to set in.
It’s my fourth time at the annual BOOST conference, an after-school education and enrichment conference with thousands of attendees.
As I board my flight, I look around and see weary-eyed travelers.
Looking back, it started on Tuesday as I pulled into the airport and met with Chef Jackie (my go-to conference companion, and one of our best Chef Teachers).
The conference, for our team, is a mere forty-eight hours of work.
Here were some highlights (and one big mistake)
Highlight 1: The Big Client Dinner
Last year, we had a client appreciation dinner with ten attendees and this year we had nearly thirty!
The day before, Jackie and I went to the steakhouse (that shall remain nameless) to make sure they knew we wanted one long table, so everyone could chat and get to know each other. It was a unique opportunity for district supervisors to talk to other high-level staff.
I was not excited to have a “pre-fix” menu but understood that it probably had to be that way because of the large reservation size.
Jackie and I arrived one hour before our 6:00 p.m. event began to make sure that the table setup was correct.
, as a few guests came in from After-School All-Stars, LA, Pomona USD, and Aspire Public Schools.
At 5:55 p.m., I went outside to see our setup to discover that …there were a dozen tables all spread out and set for four people each!
It was fun to see these people in person after a full year of chatting on Zoom. Some were a lot taller than I imagined.
Fortunately, my new strategy was to have the appetizer course with one table of eight the entree with another group, and then dessert with the final group.
I arrived at the end of the dinner with the Aspire Public Schools in the Bay Area, a fun and more boisterous group, that enjoyed their cheesecake and
, before the meal ended, ordered one last round of Lemon Drop martinis.
Overall, it was a very fun dinner.
The One Big Mistake
The biggest mess up, which was 100% my fault, was that I did NOT book a booth for LIFT Enrichment.
, and a voicemail or two.
And suddenly, all the booth spots were filled up.
And I was without a spot at the BIGGEST conference we attend all year.
Fortunately, I have friends.
My buddy Nick from Professor Egghead Science Academy let me join his booth.
Highlight 2: Spending The Conference with Egghead Was Awesome
Imagine four adults packed into one tiny booth.
And yet, we made it work.
When an attendee walked by, they might talk to one of us and then we’d guide them straight to the next person.
Ali, the head of sales at Egghead, and her colleague were a delightful pair to hang out with.
Later, we all met on Zoom and helped introduce each other to our district clients.
At the welcome reception, I experienced a first. While walking through the main lobby, as everyone was getting drinks, people would come up to me to say, “Hi Eric!”
At most conferences, my team and I are the ones walking around and getting to know the attendees, but here, since we’ve been a regular at this conference, I had moments like this one:
A few of the Aspire Public Bay school directors in the Oakland area came over to say hi and bring me into their group.
I looked the director in the eye and confidently said, “We’re running amazing programs at the sites of all of your colleagues, how about we get some going this fall at your schools?”
That’s the power of having a good network.
And great clients.
BOOST was a huge success this year, and I know next year it’ll be even better.
And I learned my lesson.
Don’t put me in charge of the logistics.
Our booth is already paid for and ready to go (thanks Slava).
And here are our 3 most recent newsletters
- The 2 Big Ways We Hit 7 Figures (and Rebounded Post-Covid)
- 5 TipsTo Do Well At A Conference (Beyond School Hours 2023 Recap)
- 4 Mistakes We Made This Fall
See you there,
Chef Eric Horwitz
CEO, LIFT Enrichment
Are you ready to plan your fall after-school classes at a Title 1 school? We’re meeting with clients this month to plan for in-person or virtual-live healthy culinary workshops. Let’s plan a quick Zoom call at the link here.