FLOAT 2019 2020 2019 2018 2017 2015 2013 2011 2010 2009 2008 2004-2007 FLOAT 2019 St. Louis Airport Marriott, St. Louis, Missouri Strut Your Stuff Among the designers who participated in the surprise FLOAT Fashion Show was Kristal Yee. A few days after this photo was taken, Kristal created a modified version of this circular concept and took home an award for design at the Twist and Shout Convention, held in Chicago, Illinois. “Slide to the Left” No one wants FLOAT to end, so the dance floor was packed as the Designer Awards Gala went on into the night. A Little Branding Never Hurt Our friends from Anagram show off their own custom-created FLOAT lettering for our Designer Awards Gala. These letters were passed around all night as the perfect selfie station for social media posting. “But First…Lemme Take a Selfie!” One of the biggest academic draws for FLOAT 2019 was without a doubt Chris Adamo, CBA, from Sydney, Australia. Here Chris poses with FLOAT's own Dawn Girtman for a memento from the evening. Opening Night Antics The theme for this year's Opening Night event was "Cirque du FLOAT" so talented members of the FLOAT Family jumped in to add to the fun. Here Nate Culpepper and Andrea Noel lend their talents to bring joy to the almost 450 people in attendance. “30 Minutes Left…” This year's FLOAT Convention saw the creation of two new events, the Foil Design and Organic Decor competitions, but the live Table Centerpiece event, with only 90 minutes available, always provides the most drama... Stylin’ and Profilin’ One of the more noticeable differences at this year's FLOAT Convention was the presence of our newly formed Security Team. Team Director Phil Whitehead shows off the bright orange vests worn by the members. #YouAreTheKey This year's hashtag signified that you as a business owner truly control your own destiny, and you can overcome outside forces. So what better way to enter the Opening Night party that through a keyhole? Here David and Amanda Mahoney construct this stylish and unique entrance decor piece. Running the Gauntlet FLOAT's Laurie Straus enters through the Opening Night "Keyhole Tunnel" to a myriad of fun and frivolity from the FLOAT Faculty. It's this sense of excitement and energy that keeps people coming back for more... One for the Record Books FLOAT 2019 saw a lot of records broken, and it didn't stop with attendance. Tommy and Scott DeLorenzo pose with their six FLOATEE awards, a new record. The two eclipsed the previous record holder of Alexa Rivera who won five FLOATEEs in 2015. The Magical Garden As a tribute to our fallen friend and FLOATer, Deborah Fellman, FLOAT's Designer Awards Gala was themed as one of Debs' favorite type of place, an elaborate garden. Here, FLOAT's executive producer Steven Jones presents awards on the stage designed by Melissa Vinson, CBA. Melissa would later go on that night to receive the Don Cheeseman Career Achievement Award for her dedication to and accomplishments within the industry as a whole. The Vendor Showcase Another significant expansion at FLOAT was the Vendor Showcase. 26 different sponsors showed off their wares in a newly designed space. Here "Faraday", the official mascot of The Balloon Council, meets with delegates at the convention. Growing in Every Way Aside from the biggest attendance ever at FLOAT, our 2019 event saw growth in every direction. Two more manufacturers joined the FLOAT Family: Gemar and Tuf Tex. Here, Vincenzo Musto and Claudio Casagrande of Gemar mug for the camera. A Packed House According to our attendees, the single biggest reason for attending FLOAT is the quality of the classes. Here Melissa Vinson, CBA, representing Anagram showcases various designs and techniques. The Love Story Continues At FLOAT 2015, Peter Schmaus and Magda Calvo met and fell in love. At FLOAT 2017, they got married. And at FLOAT 2019, they introduced the newest member of the FLOAT Family, little Valentina. 🙂 A Truly International Event FLOAT 2019 featured delegates from 23 different countries, another first for the convention. Here delegates from Ecuador show their national pride at FLOAT's Opening Night event. And the Winner is…. FLOAT's newly revamped Designer of the Year competition drew a record number of competitors in 2019. Here, the winners of the Organic Decor competition stand with their prizes. Sara Meyer, center, would later to go on to be announced as FLOAT's 2019 Designer of the Year. All That and a Bag of Chips… FLOAT 2019's Opening Night was the biggest ever! Included in the night's festivities was a surprise fashion show, and here, FLOAT instructor Brook Rogers strikes a pose with her three models during the curtain call.