Monday, August 08, 2011

ICES 2011 Convention in Charlotte NC

I'm back from the ICES convention. For people who don't know, ICES is an international cake club that holds a convention every year in different parts of the country. There is a cake show that is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday - the cakes are not judged - this is a sharing event and all cakes are solely for the purpose of sharing your passion. This year there was a new event at the convention - a 5 hour cake challenge, where some familiar faces from the TLC and food network challenges competed, as well as a couple of newcomers to competetive caking. There is a vendor area, where hundreds of vendors come to sell their cake goodies - this is usually a fun area to learn of new products, pick up some items at special pricing and to see the different vendors demonstrate various techniques using their products. Fun. There are demos, hands on classes, meet-n-greets and just 5 or so days of constant cake related activities.

I'm sure you would like to hear some name dropping so for starters - Nicholas lodge kissed me on the cheek, Mike Elder held the door open for me and Kerry Vincent almost bumped into me. I passed James Roselle on the street along with many other TV personalities. I took demos with Mike McCarey (Mike's Amazing Cakes), Mike Elder, Carrie Bigger, Geraldine Randelsome, and Betty Van Nordstrand. Famous cake people were everywhere. No Cake Boss was not there.

I got there on Wednesday and stayed until Sunday. They have a cool night of sharing on Sunday but my lame-ass hotel was kicking me out of the parking lot at 5:00 so I couldn't stay. Besides I was ready to go home. I'd been walking around like a pack mule for 5 days, toting my laptop and purchases and I was tired.

So I'm back to work today. Catching up on emails, and nursing my sore muscles. If I owe you an email - it's on it's way!

P.S. I do not recommend the Westin by the Charlotte Convention Center. WAY overpriced! It ended up costing me around $215 a night to have a place to sleep and park my car. It was suppose to be $169 which is high enough, but there were $25 in taxes - PER NIGHT - plus $18 a night to park. SO LAME! The room just wasn't all that. I've had the same amenities in $69 hotel rooms. They charged extra for internet in your room and I didn't have hot water on Sunday morning. Just FYI.
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