We know, it can feel a little daunting planning to go to a large event on your own. If you didn't attend last time, we wanted you to hear what some of the people who attended last time thought about it.
At a guess, roughly 80% of the people who attended You can make it 2017, didn't know each other. And about 15% knew absolutely no-one else at the event.
On the first day, some arrived with a slight "deer-in-headlights" expression, not sure what to expect. Others had got to know some people through the YCMI Facebook group, so were scanning name badges for familiar names (by the way; we kept looking for cats, David Bowie, and horses - we soon realised you can't trust people's Facebook profile photos...).
There were people from 19 different countries. Some were total beginners, others were confident makers. And there were many well know names and professionals - as one person said, it felt like being amongst metal clay "royalty". But, everyone had one thing in common - their passion for metal clay and jewellery making. And that passion was all that was needed to break down barriers and create new friendships. Within hours it felt like being surrounded by long-lost friends.
Everywhere you turned, there were people chatting, laughing, looking at each others jewellery. And this continued all through the weekend. By Sunday afternoon, we didn't want to leave! We'd been in this amazing friendly funny supportive metal clay bubble, and now we had to go our separate ways?! People made plans to stay in touch, swapped numbers (or the year-2017-equivalent; Facebook friended each other), planned to meet up at YCMI 2018, and before on "play-dates" all around the UK - there was even a Facebook group set up for everyone to hang out together.
But, don't take my word for it.
Here are some of the comments we received after YCMI 2017:
"I just wanna say to those who plan to go to the YCMI conference next year, don't. It was rubbish. Don't bother getting tickets (until after i get mine. :):) ) This is of course a complete fabrication, but i expect demand to be insane next year and need to do all i can to secure my spot."
"Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, the best weekend ever. My very first meeting with all you talented and lovely people. Thank you for making this so special... New skills and new friends ❤️🙏"
"Such an amazing experience this weekend, a long time in the making and over so soon. Action packed, exciting, serious but wonderfully silly too."
"A absolutely fabulous experience and can not wait until next year!! Came away with a wealth of experience, techniques, tools and goodies galore! Head is full of ideas and creative mode has definitely kicked in."
"Thanks to all the lovely people I've got connected to at YCMI and for the warm welcome I received. You all are so talented."
"This is also to say a huge thank you to the Metal Clay team for organising the best party in a long time. Thank you and for all the lovely tutors and delegates it has been a wonderful few days still on an endorphin high it's brilliant."
"I had the most fantastic time... I learnt so much and made so many new friends, and was still buzzing when I got home"
"I loved every minute of the YMCI conference and cannot wait for the next one."
"Almost bursting and thankful to be able to be a part of this mind blowing amazing event. I had one of the funniest creative weekend of my life."
"I had a wonderful time, it was lovely to see that everyone was having a ball, smiley happy faces everywhere, a testament to our 'MC clan' as we are surely family now ."
"Roll on next year! "
"Well, was that an amazing weekend or what! It was such a great event, I felt amongst the Gods, surrounded by such lovely like minded people, amazing teaching and generosity of the fabulous tutors. I came away with so much confidence to progress my own adventures with Metal Clay. YCMI was enriching, enlightening, energetic and positive experience it was just "Epic and Off the Scale”! It so exceeded my expectations! BIG THANKS, looking forward to coming again next year!"
"A huge and heartfelt thank you to ... the open, friendly and creative community who filled this weekend with inspiring, encouraging, creative and positive energy. Every time I look at ... my charm-swap chain... I will remember the fabulous sound of that crazy "christmas morning" like excitement of everyone connecting and sharing. It was a true pleasure to share time with everyone, take part in the fantastic classes and generally have my creative consciousness expanded beyond anything I could have imagined."
"Lastly, the goodie bags were out of this world! So thank you again everyone who was involved in this wonderful event, I look forward to next year and seeing all of your lovely faces again! 😁"