When I want a vibrant color I definitely use the electric Americolors. I still use the no taste Wilton red when I need a very saturated red color. I use buttercream on all of my cakes so that is what I a coloring. Also, I color my icing the night before to allow time for it to bloom. It does darken considerably more. Hope this helps.
Worth every penny no matter what level you can afford! Attend all that you can. Can't wait to get there. There are vendors that do not take credit cards. I did find they would take a check though. Wouldn't miss it! I've only. Been decorating for a little over a year and the knowledge under one roof at ICES is priceless.