Convention season — and that includes USANAfest — is upon us at the Home Office. You know what that means: everyone is running around dreaming up the best way to put on a fantastic event.
We all take on different jobs this time of year, which can get crazy but usually it’s crazy fun.
One of my favorite things is seeing everything we dream up come to fruition. A few that came to mind from past conventions:
- I was surprised to see the Pill Heads come to life a few years back. I think it was Brian Paul in USANA Studios who came up with that one. We used them again when we created the Nutritional Hybrid Technology “super pills” in ’10.
- Remember the T-shirt cannon last year? The guys in maintenance worked on that for weeks to perfect the high-speed delivery. They even did a crash-test video of sorts on a similar contraption.
It’s a busy time of year but I love the energy in the building as we all rush to make this the best event ever.
My primary convention job for the last few years has been USANAfest. Yep, I get to plan the opening party. I love it. For two months each year I get to do something completely different from my normal job (which, as online content supervisor, involves mostly USANAToday.com).
I’m not sure how I got the USANAfest job initially, but since I love to plan parties, it’s a perfect fit. Planning USANAfest is made so much easier by us having such talented people to work with.
One group that fits that category is The Free Radicals, a band made up of USANA executives.
Did you know?
- Kevin Guest, USANA’s president of the Americas, Europe and South Pacific toured with Collin Raye as his bass player and toured as a cameraman for an MTV series starring Bon Jovi, as well as KISS? That would be so cool to tour with KISS!
- Oh, and Shawn McClelland, USANA’s vice president of media and events who oversees the entire convention production, is no slouch himself. He had a recording contract with Capitol Records in the 90s and was a music producer for 25 years.
- And let’s not forget Alan Bergstrom, USANA’s vice president of Europe and customer service, who has been playing the guitar since the fourth grade, drums since the seventh grade and he started his first band as an eighth grader.
- Then we have Mike Rytting, USANA’s event production manager. You might not know that it’s Mike’s job to plan and manage a lot of the logistics relating to the Salt Palace Convention Center leading up to and during the International Convention. He also handles everything on stage for the annual Asia Pacific Convention. But it’s his music career that I really should be telling you about. He’s professionally trained and played in a jazz composition band while he was in college. Even more, he took a page out of Kevin’s bio and toured with Collin Raye.
I love that we have all this talent here. Our executive team ROCKS — literally.
Always a Surprise or Two
The fantastic talent I get to work with is only part of why I love USANAfest. Another big reason is the fact that you never know what’s going to happen.
Remember these incredible moments?
- USANA CEO Dave Wentz singing “Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
- The R&D team dressed in lab coats, funny hats and singing with the band.
- In 2011 we had a group of our USANA-sponsored athletes on stage singing “We Are Family.” And when they weren’t on stage they were roaming the game area, signing autographs, posing for pictures and chatting with everyone.
USANAfest: For a Good Cause
USANAfest is so much more than a fun convention-opening party. It’s also a great way to support the USANA True Heath Foundation.
All proceeds from the carnival-like games and other activities at USANAfest go straight to the Foundation, and in the past we’ve put together some fun games to earn money.
We’ve had a rock climbing wall twice and a mechanical bull during our Wild West-themed party. And remember the year we had a racetrack with remote controlled cars?
I like the year we had the booths that took an image of your head and placed it on little dancing figures. Those were fun.
I know one of the management team’s favorite years was when we had a dunk tank and everyone got the opportunity to dunk them. Or maybe that was the employees’ favorite year?
Who knows what we’ll have in store at USANAfest this year? I know one thing: The Aug. 14 event will be a lot of fun!
No matter how you look at it, USANAfest is always a great time and knowing all the money you spend goes to help others makes it even more fun.
I know that’s part of the reason I love the event. USANA pays me to plan it and pays for the event, but then gives all money raise to those in need.
That’s pretty awesome. So make sure to stop by this year and play some games, listen to some great songs and get ready for what’s sure to be an incredible convention week!