Being new is intimidating, but get armed with insider info and you will rock your first HAVEN CONFERENCE.
“Hi, are you Laura?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said as I was stepping into the black car.
“Where am I taking you today?” he said.
“To the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Buckhead, please” I said nervously. I was full of butterflies.
“Sure thing!” he said with excitement.
OK, I’m in the Uber, I can’t believe I’ve made it. My very first Haven Conference. First thing’s first, text Lauryn. We met on Instagram, cause that’s now like Tinder for bloggers. We had connected through comments on the Haven Insta feed. We had been discussing the conference for weeks. My insecurity didn’t want to do this ALL alone, I have Lauryn.
What do I wear… ok 5 outfits later, I’m ready. Newbie mixer, here I come!
“Lauryn!! Hi! We finally get to meet!” I gasped, butterflies still flying inside.
And the rest is history, as they say…… Well it is, it’s been two weeks since Haven and I almost don’t believe it.
Warning: Outstanding cell phone photography to follow!!
See my full Haven scrapbook at the end of this post!
OMG, two weeks has already gone by! Two weeks since the inspiring, get your face-to-face game on, opening speech from Rachel Kate. Two weeks since I took my last blogging class, since I spoke to my awesome mentor Rachel from Maison de Pax (and her adorable new baby!.. well the baby wasn’t talking), since I met, laughed, and shared with hundreds of other bloggers. It’s been two weeks since I left Atlanta, since I walked out of the Grand Hyatt Hotel Buckhead. since I listened to the tear-jerking amazing closing words from KariAnne from Thistlewood Farm.
I feel like I’m still recouping! Mostly mentally recovering from information overload (in a good way) and feeling crazy inspired by all the bloggers I met. My family might just be blocking my calls now, because I literally haven’t stopped talking about Haven Conference since I left. It was educational, motivating, encouraging, and connecting. By far one of the best blogging experiences I’ve had thus far to connect with bloggers and learn.
Planter display at the Home Depot Booth
I’m new to the blogging scene, Yellow Rose Life has only been alive and breathing for 5 months. I wouldn’t have even known about the conference if it weren’t for my new friend Laura from Junque Cottage, and I’m so glad she told me about it! (is it obvious yet?)
OK enough about me.
The nitty gritty: Newbie Mavens, How to do Haven Conference.
What would I tell myself before packing and planning? What do I pack? What do I wear? What are the days like, in general? What would I have done different or the same?
Let’s first go over some terms (that I’m ashamed to say were totally over my head at first…..)
What is a Maven? It’s a female, Haven-going, feeling fabulous, blogger, DIY-er babe!!
What’s a Swag Bag? A large tote bag FULL of stuff all for you, for free!
My business card holder, a small make-up bag
What to plan?
Business cards!! You need business cards. It’s how you will help other bloggers remember you, and you will hand them to brand representatives at the vendor booths.
You need a schedule. I consulted a trusty friend, and she helped me make class selections. It’s so hard to decide what to do. I took her suggestion to learn as much as I can my first year and play next year. The night before I left, I printed the whole schedule from the Haven website, and highlighted the classes I was going to take. It was SO beneficial to know where I was going next, because there is not much time to decide between classes and events.
Speaking of classes, bring a notebook. You will want to take notes. The instructors do give you access to the slides, but I jotted down lots of tips they gave that weren’t in the slides.
“I don’t believe in magic, The young boy said. The old man smiled. You Will, when you see her”- Attucus, from the Home Depot Booth
What to pack?
Pack a second suitcase! I flew from Texas and regretted not having more room to take stuff back!! You will get a TON of swag, and there are so many craft projects you will want to bring back. In fact, I didn’t participate in a lot of projects because I didn’t have room in my suitcase to bring them back! Big regret!
I was so worried about what to wear, I was creeping on Google images, “Haven Conference,” to see what people were wearing. You don’t have to do that! The dress is casual to business casual, some get fancier than others, but as long as you dress cute, comfy, and fabulous you’ll be just fine!
Oh one more thing, comfy, wear comfy shoes, there’s a bit of walking and standing when visiting all the vendors.
4 minute design challenge at the 3M booth
What are the days like?
They are busy! As I said before, go into each day with a game plan so you don’t get lost and frazzled. The days are packed with back-to-back classes, if you choose to attend all you can like I did. During downtime between classes, and in the mornings, I talked to brands and vendors. I asked questions about the different ways they worked with bloggers, and even practiced what I learned in the “Working with Brands” class on the second day :).
Every time your mentor group meets, GO! I learned so much from my mentor and other group members.
After the last event of the day, take advantage of the down time. Relax and recharge yourself.
Watercolor from Lady’s Night In
What would I do different?
As I already said, next year (in CHARELSTON!) I’m bringing an extra suitcase to bring everything home. There are so many fun projects like painting pots, trays, making concrete casts, building things with wood and metal, the list goes on!
I also wish I had played a little more, maybe done the calligraphy class! I had my eye on that one, but I was trying to cram in all the education.
Next year I want to mingle more. When I got back, I wished I’d put more emphasis on talking with peers and getting to know more people.
Take down time in the evening and recharge. The preview of KariAnne’s new book was amazing (no-pun intended).
What would I keep the same?
Stay at the hotel that is hosting the conference. For literally a split second I thought, “ooh I’ll stay somewhere cheaper.” I’m so glad I didn’t! Throughout the conference, you will be getting lots of handouts and freebies from vendors and classes. Since my room was just an elevator ride away, I was able to free up my hands and un-weight my purse periodically in my room, then run back downstairs. It was so convenient.
Fly in early on Thursday so you’re not rushing. Fly out Sunday afternoon so you can take it all in.
Hope this helps all the New Haven Mavens bound for Charleston, SC next year! If you have any questions, just comment and ask!
My Haven Scrapbook 2017 Atlanta, Georgia