I spent the past few days down in Atlanta with a few hundred other bloggers at the Haven Conference. It truly exceeded my expectations. If you have ever thought about attending a blog conference, let me tell you, you should!
1. You meet other bloggers…in person!
You might be thinking, duh, Jena. BUT it is so important to have that community and connection with other bloggers. I met so many amazing friends over the past few days. These are your support, people you can go ask questions, ask how they do things, laugh with, and collaborate with. Nothing beats meeting these people you talk to every day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and blog comments in person.
2. Blogging is hard
It’s hard to jump into this world where you need to figure out how to be an IT pro, creative thinker, writer, photographer, social media expert, SEO master, branding guru, and business owner. Haven was a placewhere I had the chance to learn and ask questions about all of these things.
3. You’ll learn things
I thought I knew a lot about blogging. I was wrong. VERY wrong. You will learn things about blogging, the little ins and outs, that you will never learn by reading posts about blogging. I had a few side conversations with bloggers rocked my little blogging world. Those conversations are worth their weight in gold. They actually taught me things that I was doing wrong that more than made up for the cost of attending. The sessions were taught by fellow bloggers in the haven niche, and those bloggers were open and willing to share how they have been successful…super secret stuff I can’t share here :)
4. It’s fun
Haven was FUN! Between the chatting it up between sessions, breakfast, lunch, cocktail parties, late night dancing, and after parties in our rooms, it was a sleep deprived, but so worth it, 3 days of fun.
5. You will come away more inspired than you thought possible
Being surrounded by over 300 other attendees and sponsors and spending a few days immersed in a world of blogging has left me with pages of notes and ideas I am just dying to do.
And of course no Haven recap post is complete without pictures and stories!
Ana White was the keynote speaker, and let me tell you, she is one smart businesswoman.
I got to meet the super sweet KariAnne from Thistlewood Farm. She’s just as nice, friendly, and hilarious in person as she is on her blog.
I participated in the Ballard Designs Bookcase Challenge, and my team each won a $100 gift certificate to Ballard! Woo hoo!
The second night we had two awesome parties to go to. Here we are at the second one hosted by Ryobi.
Carrie from Making Lemonade was actually the one taking that photo, so I’m glad I was able to get one of us during the day. We spent a lot of time chatting it up at the cocktail parties and between sessions. Sweet girl!
The third night I went to dinner with such an awesome group of girls . I hadn’t had a chance to meet a few of these ladies until this last night, but we all became fast friends!
Debbie was actually one of the first bloggers I met at the opening reception. As it turned out, we were on the same flight back (my destination, her connection)…and in true serendipitous form, who was in the seat next to me? Debbie, of course!
Dinner was followed up by a night of cake and dancing. This is Roeshel (DIY Show Off) and me in the midst of dancing our tails off. I’ve known Roeshel for a long time now, and I was glad to finally get to meet in person!
And I’m really sad I didn’t manage to get one good picture with Karah from The Space Between! It was so great meeting her in person, and I totally enjoyed eating some s’mores with a fun group of girls up in her room the first night! She’s just as nice and genuine in person as she is on her blog.
I was actually really bad about taking pictures, so I stole a few of these from some of my blog friends. Thanks, ladies!
I’m already looking forward to attending Haven 2014!