What is Brand Camp?

Be Inspired, Learn, Connect

Grow is a branding and marketing summit for wedding and hospitality professionals in the Northeast.

At Grow, you’ll discover how the best wedding brands in the world have built successful businesses through branding and marketing.  Our speakers understand that to succeed in this industry one must be as digitally savvy as they are creative and inspiring. Learn the marketing strategies that put these businesses on top, and put a plan in place to take your own business to the next level.

Grow delivers an inspiring educational platform for three types of attendees:

  • entrepreneurs new to the industry
  • businesses expanding regionally
  • brands seeking national recognition

Camp out (at a nice hotel) in Portland, Maine and see why Maine is the fastest growing destination wedding market in the US! While you’re here, you’ll learn, network and most importantly, connect with colleagues who are facing the same challenges that you’re ready to tackle. Let’s tackle them together at Grow!

Venues 11%
Planners 13%
Photographers 38%
Caterers 5%
Other 33%
Inspiring Talks


8 inspirational “TED Style” talks to get you fired up! Each speaker will explore a topic that empowers them to be extraordinary.



3 tracks and 9 workshops to teach you new strategies to grow your business. Brand identity, target markets, digital marketing– the nuts and bolts of what you need to know to succeed.

Industry Networking


Network and make friends with people who can help you grow your business. Couples come and go, but your peers will always be there.

Years in the Industry
Couples Met
States Represented

Why You Want to Be There

Camp Directors

John Coleman

CEO & Founder, The VIA Agency



John Coleman founded The VIA Agency 21 years ago in Portland, Maine after thinking “there must be a better way” to have an ad agency. As it turns out, he was right. The VIA Agency boasts Welch’s, Samsung, 1800 Tequila and many other national brands as clients.  VIA is constantly on top of new trends in advertising, and their “Pass The Glass” Vine campaign for Welch’s is just one of many perfect examples of that.

Portland is lucky to have such a pioneer amongst our ranks, and Grow is honored to have John as our Keynote speaker. We can’t wait for him to show us all the way forward.

Rebecca Grinnals

Founder & President Engaging Concepts
Rebecca is a wedding industry consultant and trend expert.  Rebecca is also the co-founder of engage! events, an innovative series of luxury wedding business summits. She speaks and consults around the world on the business of weddings.

Carla Ten Eyck

Founder at Carla Ten Eyck Photography
Carla Ten Eyck  brings 11 years of experience to the wedding industry. In addition to photographing weddings, Carla has been teaching photography workshops and mentoring businesses to reach the next level for 7 years.

Dane Sanders

Converge Podcast; Author
Dane Sanders is a photographer and author of Fast Track Photographer, The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan, the Photographer DNA Assessment and The Business Stress Test. He has spoken at national and international conferences.

Christine Tremoulet

Christine Tremoulet
Christine Tremoulet is a business and blogging coach and photographer for creative entrepreneurs. Through her work Christine speaks on the importance of purpose in life and work, and helps business owners discover their authentic selves and, from there, build businesses that reflect their passions.

Shannon Kinney

Founder & Client Success Officer, Dream Local
Dream Local is a digital marketing agency that has worked with such brands as cars.com and careerbuilder.com. She is an expert in the filed of online marketing and social media, and speaks regularly on the subject. She was recently named a Digital Innovator of the Year by Local Media Association!

Krista Washburn

Founder of Literati Creative Group
Krista Washburn is an industry veteran, currently heading Vermont Vows and WellWed Magazines. Filled with inspiring and meaningful editorial content from each market’s finest wedding professionals, they are the definitive wedding guides for local and destination couples alike.

Bernadette Smith

LGBTQ Wedding Planner, Author
Bernadette is an expert in the gay and lesbian wedding industry. She speaks nationally on best practices in marketing to engaged same-sex couples. Bernadette is also an award-winning author of three books on same-sex weddings.

LaBruce Trammell

Marketing Director, The NotWedding
LaBruce Trammell is a marketing and communications specialist, currently serving as the Marketing Director for The NotWedding (a bridal show alternative in the form of a big, fake wedding).

Camp Counselors

Rachel LaCour Niesen

Wedding Startup Expert
Rachel cofounded ShootQ, a workflow program for professional photographers, in 2006. Lately she dominates the internet startup world, focusing on content marketing, community building and strategic collaboration.

Jason Sandifer

Founder, Tide Creative
J Sandifer is a recovering wedding photographer and founder of Tide Creative and LulaWed.com. He is a digital marketing expert and has helped bring success to countless wedding businesses nationwide.

Andrew Niesen

Co-Founder, echoindX
Self-taught in coding and all things tech, Andrew has a penchant for innovative leadership in the SaaS/cloud software, and if you don’t really know what that is, all the more reason for you to let him explain it to you in person. Hint: you should be using it in your business.

Christine Tremoulet & Stephanie Ostermann

Christine Tremoulet/Vivid & Brave
Christine and Stephanie help creative entrepreneurs grow their confidence by rediscovering their voice and building a blog and brand that is both authentic and successful.

Matthew Robbins

Senior Partner & Creative Director at Matthew Robbins Design, Author
Matthew is a contributing editor for Martha Stewart Weddings, and regularly contributes to InStyle, New York Weddings and Modern Bride. He writes an ongoing blog for The Huffington Post and StyleList. He is regularly featured on the Martha Stewart Show and Martha Stewart Living Radio.

Get Your Money's Worth

The Schedule

The First Day

Please join us at 8:00 AM for Camper Registration on The Porch (58 Fore Street, Building No. 2, Portland).  In addition to registration, coffee and a light breakfast will be offered. After you check-in, enjoy an early Portland morning in one of our Adirondack Chairs while you begin networking with your industry peers!

John Coleman, CEO and Founder of The Via Agency in Portland, Maine will kick off our event at 9:30AM. John will school us all on how he took a tiny agency in a tiny city in Maine and made it into a nationally renowned agency representing clients like Welch’s, Klondike, 1800 Tequila, Samsung and so many more amazing brands.

10:15-10:35: Shannon Kinney

As an expert in online marketing and social media, Shannon will talk us through how to leverage the web to build your brand, gain customers and grow your business!

10:45-11:05: Bernadette Smith

Lessons Learned from a Decade of Same-Sex Weddings

11:15-11:35: Dane Sanders

The Critical Difference Between Productivity and Creativity: Why You Need To Keep A Firewall Between Your To-Be List and your To-Do’s. This talk will provide us with clarity on how to develop a daily method for systematically changing your business and life for good.

11:45-12:05: Christine Tremoulet

You are enough! Sit back as Christine guides us through the power of embracing who you are and what you love to build a successful business that fulfills you.

Bag lunch (sandwiches from Foodworks) will be served as attendees board the Narrow Guage Railroad for a trip along East End Beach.

1:15-1:35: Carla Ten Eyck

Carla will impart her knowledge about being and staying authentic to yourself, your business and your  brand!

1:45-2:05: Krista Washburn

Krista draws upon her rich history in event planning, marketing and the wedding industry to share her seasoned advice for promoting your wedding business. Emphasizing the value of local vendor partnerships, strong visual representations of your work (products, property, services, etc.), marketing investment and editorial exposure, she will enlighten business form all categories and years of experience on how to build a brand.

2:15-2:35: LaBruce Trammell

Own It: Know Who You Really Are! LaBruce will give us the good, the bad and the ugly of defining your business and staying true to who you really are. You’ll walk away with a sense of your business identity, learn how to be proud of it, and more importantly, how to protect it!

2:45-3:05: Rebecca Grinnals

The Wedding Industry Unveiled: In this session, Rebecca will share a 30,000 foot level, up to the minute view at happenings from the business side of the wedding industry. She will explore the latest consumer behaviors and insights from a variety of research sources, while directly relating them to how they impact any wedding-related business.

3:30-4:45: Innovation and New Technology in Today's Wedding Market

Today’s wedding market is ultra competitive. Staying ahead of the competition by implementing innovative tactics and new technology is essential to the success of your business. This Town Hall style discussion will help us all fearlessly navigate the modern wedding industry.

Panelists: Rachel LaCour Niesen, Andrew Niesen, J Sandifer

Moderator: Dane Sanders

Join us back on The Porch at 5:30 for salad, apps and pizza provided by Fire & Co for dinner. After dinner Ryan will whip up some of his famous peanut butter s’mores while we enjoy some time around the campfire that is his truck.

After dinner, grab a buddy (or several) and check out what Portland has to offer. Whether you choose to rub elbows with the college kids at Rira or join the yuppies at Hunt & Alpine Club, you’re sure to have a great time! Check your Camper’s Guidebook upon arrival for suggestions on all of our favorite Portland spots.

The Second Day

Join us on The Porch from 7:30-9a for breakfast, coffee and networking with your industry peers.

Inventing Badge

From great idea to finished  product: the fortune is in the follow up! Take all of those great ideas and sift through them to craft the best idea for your business while maintaining your brand!

Led by: Carla Ten Eyck
Recommended for: Cubs (0-3 years in business)
Held: In The Tent

Leatherwork Badge

MIND THE GAP: Transform Your Mindset, Change Your Habits, and Win at the Business of Creativity. The space between where you’re at and where you want to be is closer than you think. After this session, you’ll have a rich understanding on how to expand possibility through stretching your perspective, establishing a daily method for continual business improvement and living in the tension between making things and making money from those things.

Led by: Dane Sanders
Recommended for: Scouts (3-5 years in business)
Held: Around The Campfire

Pulp and Paper Badge

You have a website, a Facebook page, and you even dabble in the art of Pinterest. That’s all well and good, but what you really need to take your business to the next level is an awesome blog. Enter Christine & Stephanie. This dynamic duo will outline the importance of blogging, and teach us how to make our blog work for us, whether we already have one going or need to start from the beginning.

Led by: Christine Tremoulet & Stephanie Ostermann
Recommended for: Scouts (3-5 years in business)
Held: Around The Campfire

American Business Badge

Here we will take a deeper dive into global sales, marketing and communication trends and opportunities within the luxury wedding industry. We will show real world examples of who is getting it right, and why it is so critical to continually evolve to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of today’s wedding business.

Led by: Rebecca Grinnals
Recommended for: Eagles (5+ years in business)
Held: In The Counselor’s Lounge

Citizenship In The Community Badge

Alternative Marketing: What the Heck? Learn more about when to participate, how to put your best foot forward, and what it means to capitalize on your investment.

Led by: LaBruce Trammell
Recommended for: Cubs (0-3 years in business)
Held: Around The Campfire

Journalism Badge

How to Catch An Editor’s Eye: Krista will give attendees the “low-down” on what wedding industry professionals can do to get noticed, and get published! Offering a wealth of expertise, she will share advice on styling inspiration shoots and how to capture the pretty little wedding details publications are after. From a submissions standpoint, she will give industry pros insight on what an editorial team needs for optimal exposure along with little tips and tricks to get your work to the top of the review list.

Led by: Krista Washburn
Recommended for: scouts (3-5 years in business)
Held: In The Tent

Nuclear Science Badge

You’ve put in a ton of work building your business, and the options of where to take it now are endless. Matthew will review his own commitment to editorial relationships over the years as well as his path for staying authentic while also evolving and revising along the way.  We’ll come away with an understanding of how to maintain the authentic spirit and core of our businesses, and in doing so maintain our client base and a large network of client referrals.

Led by Matthew Robbins
Recommended for: Eagles (5+ years in business)
Held: In The Counselor’s Lounge

Join Matthew Robbins for a picnic lunch (bag lunch provided by Foodworks) on the Eastern Promenade. There he will continue the discussion about maintaining your authentic spirit and core business values while also building a client base and network of referrals.

Board the Bagheera for a two-hour sail on Casco Bay, the perfect way to experience the beauty of the Maine Coast, complete with lighthouses, seals, seabirds and the rugged coastline.

Join us back at Camp for the End of Camp Dance! We’ll start the evening with a cocktail hour, followed by family style dinner and dessert. After dinner we’ll dance the night away to the beats of Boston’s Rishi Bawa of Silk Events.


Worth Every Penny


Handy Tidbits of Information

Camper's Guide

Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way

The Portland Company Complex is located in the heart of Portland’s downtown district. The address to plug into your GPS is 58 Fore Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

Bunk Assignments

Bunk Assignments

It is recommended that troops make reservations at either the Courtyard Marriott, the Residence Inn Downtown Waterfront or the Hampton Inn.

Brand Camp Essentials

Brand Camp Essentials

Just like cargo shorts and polo tees were essentials in your Camp packs of summers past, you’ll need certain essentials to be prepared for Brand Camp.

Mess Hall

Mess Hall

We will provide you with all of your meals while you are at the conference, from morning coffee to casual lunches and gourmet dinners as a group.

Field Trips

Field Trips

Everyone needs time to reflect and regroup during camp. On day 2 of Brand Camp we’ll be sending folks off on a variety of field trips around Portland.

End of Camp Dance

End of Camp Dance

Much like we anticipated our first slow dance with our summer crush back in the day, so too will we anticipate the final night of Grow.

Portland, Maine