Just got home from First Event in Waltham MA and thought I’d share my thoughts on the event.
This year’s event, presented as always by the Tiffany Club of New England, was the 35th annual and was held on January 21-25 at a new venue – the Westin in Waltham MA on the western edge of Boston.
My darling Kim came with me to the event. We decided to leave home for Boston on Tuesday but stayed Tuesday night in Auburn since it wasn’t possible to get an extra day at the Westin. Some of you who have visited or ordered from the Glamour Boutique’s TG Fashions might be familiar with Auburn Massachusetts.
So we arrived at the event hotel early on Wednesday. The hotel was quite impressive and checkin was very professional and smooth. Undergound parking, very nice room, very elegant lobby and smiling staff.
Although parking and internet are usually at additional cost, both were free to those attending First Event.
On Thursday, after a rather pricey but fabulous breakfast in the hotel restaurant, I hit the event registration desk to get my name tag and event program before spending time socializing with friends in the hotel lobby area. Also had a wonderful chat and a couple glasses of Merlot with my friend Samantha in her hotel room.
Event registration wasn’t easy to find and was not exactly efficient but was relatively friendly.
On Thursday night, we were off to Club Cafe in downtown Boston using provided transportation. The trip to the club took us down Boylston Street and the site of the marathon bombing.
Buffet dinner and Merlot was good and the drag show, featuring Judy Garland and Bea Arthur impersonators was very well done but I’m not sure how well suited it was to our crowd. I stayed for the entire show but many left early. Community Service Awards were presented prior to Ms Garland to Jennifer Levi, the GLAD Transgender Rights Project and to John Warrener, the founder of The Glamour Boutique.
Back to the hotel .. drinks in the bar! And a rather late night.
Friday was a shopping day. After a quick breakfast and lots of coffee, I visited Hera at the Klymaxx Unlimited spot in the vendor area. I bought some fabulous bling and Kim bought a very cool handbag. I should have bought the glitter clutch purse.
Friday night dinner was an oriental buffet at the hotel in the ballroom. It was excellent, and was followed by the fashion show. Now, I’ve been to, and have participated in, fashion shows before but this one was the absolute best ever. Great music and dynamic commentary, an awesome runway, a fast pace and gorgeous models.
To the other events that do fashion shows, consider learning from this one. It was that good.
My friends Samantha, Stephanie and Lauren participated and all did a wonderful job.
After the fashion show, we went for drinks in my friend Pauline’s room. More vino and it was wonderful, and the conversation was a lot of fun!
After a late breakfast on Saturday, I did a little more shopping. Bought a very high quality, “gently used” pair of oxblood Italian heels from the Tiffany’s Closet fund raising shop for $15 .. my bargain of the year. Enzo Angiolini’s are typically sold at finer department stores and these have barely noticeable wear similar to a store demo pair. Not exactly sky-high stilettos .. they’re just under 4″ .. but they’ll be fabulous when I have to be on my feet all day.
Spent most of the day chatting with friends around the hotel. Finally got to meet a girl I’ve been chatting with on and off for a decade. Melissa is a sweetheart and I finally got to give her a hug in person.
I also got to meet someone I only recently started chatting with online. Sara is a stocking lover like me and is totally gorgeous.
Saturday evening was the gala. The ball. The big event. And it was wonderful! Hors d’ouvres, good wine, a nice dinner (I had the chicken and it was good. Sorry beef people .. lol), the best keynote address I’ve ever heard (you can read about Wayne Maines here) and the fab jazz group, Dale LePage and the Manhattans, were there after dinner for dancing or listening.
But what impressed me the most that night was how everyone looked and behaved. The evening was to be elegant and everyone looked elegant. It was the first time I ever felt that everyone made the effort to look they’re best. And it does something to the air. The vibe just feels so right, and it was a fitting way to conclude a wonderful conference.
In summary, I wish I had made the effort to attend this event in the past. In my opinion, it was one of the best events I’ve ever attended. A good value, the volunteers are efficient and nearly invisible, the organizers weren’t all about patting themselves on the back, the best keynote speaker ever, and all in a very, very nice hotel.
According to my friends who attended many seminars, the seminars were also very good.
From the comments made by organizers both online and in Waltham, there was 500+ in attendance over the 4 days although it seemed that just under 400 were at the gala. Huge growth over previous years.
And lastly, one more shout out to the Westin in Waltham MA. The hotel is beautiful, staff were excellent, no waiting for an elevator, great event room rate, wonderful restaurant. The bar was cool too but it was a little difficult to get a drink at times, especially on the final night.
They made us feel very welcome and even posted on the event Facebook page prior to the event, to tell us they were looking forward to our arrival as well as to thank us when the event was over. Very classy.
Grace, Andrea and crew … you ladies rock.