This last weekend was the most fun I have had in probably, 22 years. The only way it could have beat my cousin’s 6th birthday party was if there was a ball pit. Maybe next year.
I spent the last four days at my very first blogging conference. I know a lot of you all aren’t bloggers so let me give a wee bit of background. Haven is an annual conference in Atlanta where bloggers who are in the DIY, crafting, painting, woodworking, decorating, and general awesomeness category get together. We get to learn from the pros, network with brands, and meet people in real life that we have talked to online for ages.
There are lots of blogging conferences, but Haven is special. This niche is incredibly supportive, and blow-your-mind talented. An obvious choice for my very first conference.
I am absolutely positive I could write a whole weeks worth of posts about what a great time I had, but instead I am just going to tell you why you should go next year. Besides the fact that we could sit and drink lemonade and gossip together, that’s obvious. Without further ado…
Wait, an ado, I didn’t take any photos (tisk, tisk for real) so I am relying on the #havenconf instagram feed to drive all my points home. I have already decided my resolution next year is to have my camera surgically attached to my hand so I take more photos. Bad blogger award 2013 goes to….me. Shoot I didn’t write a speech. End ado.
Nothing puts a little fire under your rump like a blogging conference. We got a whole new site design, pretty business cards, and made these cute little swedish fish favors that Jackie loved (yay). Do you think any of that would have happened if I weren’t about to go talk to 400 fellow bloggers. Absolutely not.
When you are going to hang out with a bunch of people you stalk on the daily you have to look good right? This means you have a completely valid excuse to buy those cute flats, that new makeup, and an adorable camera bag. Necessities ok. How funny is it that Carrie and I ordered the exact same camera bag, great minds I tell ya.
The obvious reason for going to a conference is to learn. I took sessions on everything from photography to SEO to social media advice to hands on design tips. I am still trying to wrap my head around all this new knowledge. The learning doesn’t stop with the sessions though, the chatter with fellow bloggers can be a wealth of information. Isn’t that a lovely group Sarah captured? So fashionable, I needed those tips.
If you are a blogger, you spend way too much time behind a computer screen. This I know. Sometimes it is nice to get out and smell the
roses hydrangeas that Mrs. Hoff snapped a pic of. This weekend I actually, sort of, kinda felt like I had a life….for a minute. It felt like Christmas and my birthday made a baby and called it Haven.
Do I even need to mention this? Clearly when you get that many creative minds in one place you get on an inspiration high, which is the only kind of high to be. Everywhere I looked there were beautiful things and brilliant ideas. This map that Breida posted a photo of really got my proverbial juices flowing.
Ok, if you come for nothing else please come for the cheese plates. Kidding, sort of. The food was amazing and I gotta send a standing ovation to the fine folks at Buckhead Grand Hyatt for the stellar service. The second I set my fork down, someone was there swooping my dirty plate away so I could make room for dessert. Now it’s time to buy a treadmill, Tiffany’s photo is making me hungry. Seriously, get in my mouth cheese.
Haven’s sponsors were fantastic. There were parties and swag, sure, but they were some of the nicest people I have ever met. When I came home and Tim opened up my suitcase he thought it was his birthday. I don’t think I have ever seen him so happy to see safety goggles. I met a ton of amazing people on that couch up there from Ballard Designs that Jamie grabbed a photo of. That rug and I have a real love affair going too.
To balance out all the tasty food, you gotta make sure you get out on the dance floor and bust a move. I worked up quite a few sweats between dancing and walking to vendor booths. Now some brave souls went hiking and running, but I think doing the robot on repeat burned just as many calories. Holler. Double holler to Ryobi Tools for throwing such an awesome party. Good time had by all.
The whole way down to Atlanta I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t be starstruck. Newsflash, I was a total creeper that stared just a little to long at the bloggers I have read for years. It wore off after the first day, but it was so amazing to see all these ladies being so normal. They had so many inspiring stories and endless knowledge, I just soaked it up like a sponge. I loved Ana White’s keynote, and I am so happy Ashley got such a great photo of that little baby bump.
By far, hands down, without doubt, no competition the best part of this conference was meeting so many new friends. I can’t say enough nice things about some of these girls. I am so lucky to even have the opportunity to know most of them, and can’t wait to be reunited next year! In fact, I am really bummed that I have to wait a whole year to see them again. I’ve said it a million times but this weekend just instilled it in my brain that blogging is all about the community. This community blows my socks off. Thanks Megan for snapping this pic.
It’s easy to see that I have a lot of nice things to say about Haven. I had such a great time and feel so blessed to have been able to experience all the awesomeness. Let the countdown to 2014 begin.
Have you been to Haven?
What’s your favorite part of conferences?
Are you craving a cheese plate now?