(Gorgeous cover image captured by @laureltracehome)
I thought it might be helpful to those of you considering attending the Haven bloggers’ conference next year to hear about my first experience! From their site: Haven is a “design and DIY blogging conference open to all who are passionate about blogging, do it yourself projects and creating beauty in the home.” I love that description! And I’d add one extra descriptor in there: INSTAGRAMMERS! There were so many IG-ers at this conference that didn’t have a blog, and they were able to soak up so much good info and make valuable connections and brand partnerships, too! Let me break it down for you from my experience.
1 – It’s like summer camp for blog/IG buddies!
My VERY favorite part of the entire conference was being surrounded by my peers, my “coworkers,” in a sense. Hundreds of fellow bloggers and Instagram influencers gather in one place and are broken up into smaller Haven Maven groups to get to know one another and share the experience together. Everywhere I went, there were people who totally GET what it is that we all do for a living, and we could compare notes, share funny fail stories and basically just commiserate about this strange profession of blogging/Instagramming as a job! It can be a sort of a solitary job for many bloggers, so to have a large group of peers all together was such a blessing to me!
(It was a packed house for our class at Haven, “The Power of Instastories!” So honored to be asked to speak, and it was such a great way to meet IG friends and chat about our experiences!)
(Holly and I about to nervous-barf all over ourselves right before our conference room seats began to fill up! 😂 )
(Hugs, face squeezes and more hugs as I got to meet up with IG friends face to face after our class on Power of Instastories! Thank you @lemonstolovelys, @31girlathome and @emeliaanneporter for capturing these moments!)
2 – Menu of class options you can attend
Throughout the day, you can pick and choose classes you’d like to attend based on your interest or curiosity! There were classes on photography, SEO, attracting dream sponsors, and more! Yours truly taught a class along with Holly and Lauren called The Power of Instastories, and I loved that the Haven conference includes the IG community, too! It was such a blast sharing my experience using IG stories to grow my brand and biz, and we were so honored to have so many sweet buddies in attendance to cheer us on! I left wishing I’d had more time to attend more classes and soak up all that knowledge, and you better believe there was something for everyone!
(One of my very favorite small shops that I’m honored to support was at Haven! Sweet Brittany with the cute and yummy Antique Candle Works!)
3 – Brand partnership opportunities
In the ballroom at our hotel, there were around 100 brands (like Home Depot, Antique Candle Works, Ryobi, Behr and more!) that set up booths and were ready and waiting to meet up with the bloggers during mingle sesh time, and it was a very hands-on experience: tools you could try out, products to paint with or DIY, candles to smell, blankets to weave, and so many other funzies! I was impressed with the networking I saw going on around me, and I’ll tell ya: it was a great place to connect and set up future partnerships. Don’t be too shy to approach a brand that lines up with your own: be brave! Go talk to them, because they are there for YOU! Don’t miss out on this part of the experience (like I almost did….) from being a little introverted. 😉
(Image from @savvybydesign)
(Image from @thecottonfieldcottage)
(Image from @townhomediaries)
4 – Go sightseeing!
My one regret from the week was that my flight times didn’t allow for much sightseeing at all, but if you go, maybe get there early or stay late in whatever city Haven takes place so you can sight see! I wish I could have experienced more of Charleston, but leave it to my sweet #CottonStemmies to send me gorgeous photos as they walked Rainbow Row and discovered the lovely vintage homes in the area! I’ll be back someday, Charleston….
All in all, Haven Conference was such a great experience, and I truly hope I can go back in some capacity in the future! Loved teaching a class, loved squeezing BUNCHES of Cotton Stem buddies IN PERSON, and I loved being with my blog/IG peers to build each other up and commiserate together. It was good for my soul, y’all. Until next time….!!