Updated: Feb 19, 2019
Attending conference is always a great way to get out of the office (or shop) and the monotony of your daily grind. It gives you a chance to take a well deserved break from the everyday and refocus on what is important.
For Ross and I it was exactly that. It gave us a much needed break and it also allowed us to put our trust in our staff to keep steering the Tile Shed Ship. It was a test to see how the staff would cope without us. To our delight they coped brilliantly, seems like they don't actually need us after all.
For us it was a bit like returning home to the familiar beast that is Auckland. Love it or hate it, it is always nice to see some familiar landmarks and some new. We got to take a taxi ride through the new Waterview Tunnel which is just a couple of kms down the road from our old house....sniff sniff (I miss that old Villa and our wonderful neighbours).
We had accomodation at the Rydges Hotel in Federal Street in central Auckland and from there we were able to wander down to the Viaduct where the fun really began. There we meet up with the rest of the crew. This was a prelude of things to come with many not making it back to the hotel until well past 3am. Ross and I felt like Nana's heading back at a modest 11pm.
Despite the limited sleep everyone was up and amped for the conference. We got to see some of the AMAZING new tile ranges that are coming in (see them by clicking here) and learn about the manufacturers and the tile origins. It gave us a good insight into why Tile Space choose the manufacturers that they do and the complex process involved in ensuring that the tiles of of the highest standard in both design and durability.
Our afternoon consisted of some self reflection and we were very fortunate to have Ryan Castle from The Breakthrough Co speak on the importance of having a business plan and making time for yourself outside of work. Hopefully Ross took some of that message on board.
Dinner was at Jack Tar's in the Viaduct and here we got to meet all the wonderful Tile Space team and some of the other resellers. Another late night for some.
Come 8am the following morning and we were all ready to battle Auckland rush-hour traffic and go check out the spectacular Tile Space store in Albany. This place is huge and the displays are magnificent. If you are ever in Albany it's worth taking a moment to check out this store.....it must be good because we spent about 5 hours there.
Andrew from Tile Space showed us all some pretty cool tiling equipment. Check out some of the videos here.
The group gradually decreased in size over the course of the day as attendees made their way to airports or motorways for their journey home. Ross and I had a late flight back so we were some of the stragglers. Without the pressure of the large group and noisy bars and restaurants we were able to have a really good chat with people and we made some valuable connections.
Would we do it again? Yes absolutely!
Despite being away from our young son (and of course the Tile Shed) we got a lot out of this trip. We can't thank Peter, Matt and the Tile Space Team enough for putting this event on. Ross is just hoping for a Fiji conference sometime in the near future.....dreams are always free Ross.