The National Gay Wedding Association (NGWA), the only professional association dedicated to cultivating partnerships with LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendors, is pleased to announce its first-ever LGBTQ+ Inclusive Awareness Conference, #sharethelove from September 15 to 17, 2020 in Palm Springs, CA, at the iconic Riviera Resort & Spa, in the heart of the city’s Uptown Design District.
The conference brings together like-minded, inclusive wedding vendors and industry partners for three days of exclusive networking opportunities, hands-on training, and an opportunity to gain valuable insight into the billion-dollar LGBTQ+ wedding industry.
Those interested in attending are urged to register soon to reserve one of the limited seats available at this ground-breaking event.
“Our Inclusive Awareness Conference, #sharethelove, is the first conference to bring together LGBTQ+-friendly wedding vendors and industry partners in one setting to share insights and build lasting relationships,” says Ric Simmons, Founder & CEO, the National Gay Wedding Association. It’s a unique opportunity for wedding vendors to come together for support and education about this lucrative, billion-dollar segment of the wedding industry. Attendees will have the chance to meet and mingle with some of the most prominent players in the LGBTQ+ wedding industry at dynamic educational sessions and intimate dinners. The attendees will also be guests at an actual LGBTQ+ wedding at the conference hotel. “I’m confident attendees will leave the conference energized about new possibilities and motivated to implement what they’ve learned to improve their businesses, and be empowered as active and informed advocates for LGBTQ+ couples planning their weddings,” Simmons continues.
- September 15: The conference will kick off with the NGWA LGBTQ+ Wedding Expo and VIP Reception, followed by a poolside welcome dinner & reception. Mingle with leading industry advocates and thought-leaders. Network and discuss the latest trends, outlooks, and best practices. This is an exclusive opportunity designed to help wedding vendors discover new ways to attract and serve the billion-dollar LGBTQ+ wedding industry.
- September 16: The all-day conference will feature
eight well-known, dynamic, and inspiring LGBTQ+ advocates*. The speaker
line-up is designed to take the attendees on an inclusive journey
through the eyes and hearts of LGBTQ+ couples. The conference focuses on
one fundamental concept: love. As advocates for the LGBTQ+ industry, we
need to learn how to share the love we feel inside for the work we do
as wedding professionals. Attendees will receive an Inclusive Awareness Certification
recognized by The National Gay Wedding Association. Attendees will
receive take-home materials from each course with information and
helpful tips to help them grow their LGBTQ+ wedding portfolios. They
will also build valuable business relationships and have the rare
opportunity to network directly with our well-known speakers in an
- Attendees will experience an authentic LGBTQ+ Inclusive Wedding. A lucky LGBTQ+ couple will be selected to win an all-expenses-paid destination wedding in Palm Springs, CA, via a nationwide contest that began on Valentine’s day. The deadline for entry is June 14, 2020. Follow NGWA on Instagram (@nationalgayweddingassociation #NGWAdestinationwedding) for details on how to enter. The winning couple will be announced on July 1, 2020 on Facebook Live. The wedding officiant will be Sara Cunningham, Founder & CEO of @freemomhugs.
- The NGWA will honor Dolly Parton with the presentation of The Dolly Parton Inclusive Legacy #sharethelove Award. In Dolly’s 2019 “Heartstrings” family-friendly series on Netflix, the episode “Two Doors Down” includes a gay storyline. “It’s important to touch on everything that all families go through. Everyone has gays in their family,” Parton explains. “I tried to give all the different angles in the stories. I just wanted to present people and lives, and what people go through,” she added. “I just wanted to touch on everything for everybody.”1
- September 17: The conference will end on a light note with a champagne brunch to allow attendees a chance to network, followed by a spirited session of Drag Bingo! There will be discount tickets available for local attractions for those attendees who wish to extend their stay to enjoy the beauty and attractions offered in the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas.
The list of nationally-renowned LGBGT advocates scheduled to speak at the conference and interact at all functions includes:
- Jove Meyer / Award winning event planner and designer of Jove Meyer Events. LGBTQ+ advocate and speaker. Named “Wedding Guru” by US Weekly! @jovemeyer www.jovemeyerevents.com
- Troy Williams Owner Simply Troy Lifestyle Events – Event designer | Planner | Lifestyle Influencer @simplytroy simplytroy.com
- Kirsten Palladino Editorial Director and Co-founder @equallywed com , equallywed.com
- Jason Rhee Director of Celebrations Owner Rheefined Company @jasonroars rheefined.com
- Chanda Monique Daniels Executive Designer and Owner – A Monique Affair @cd_chandadaniels http://www.amoniqueaffair.com
- Sara Cunningham Founder and Executive Director – Free Mom Hugs @freemomhugs freemomhugs.org
- Cathy O’Connell President & Co-founder – COJ Events, a Destination Event Design & Planning Company @cojevents cojevents.com