Today I’m sharing my Haven Conference 2019 review. Learn about 7 sure-fire fails to avoid making at the Haven Conference. Ask me how I know… go ahead… ask.
Just like last year, the 2019 Haven Conference was amazing.
But with the amazing-ness came some “wish-I-could-do-over” moments.
You know what I mean, right? Like, I hate to say it… but I had a few regrets!
But, you don’t have to have these ‘wish-I-coulds’, because I did them for you. And you’re gonna learn from my mistakes, amen?
7 SURE FIRE FAILS TO AVOID MAKING AT THE HAVEN CONFERENCE
Okay… let’s be honest here. The fun and successes at the Haven Conference FAAARRRR outweighed the ‘man, I forgot to do that’ moments. Seriously.
Oh, and fair warning… this is a long post today, but I hope you’ll stick with me until the end!
The Haven Conference has become a highlight of the year for this gal. Why?
- Community… You get to see your best blogging buddies that are sprawled out across the country for this once a year ‘shot-in-the-arm’.
- Education… Learning in class from leaders in the industry regarding marketing, SEO, best business practices, photography, and more!
- Community… Yes, this is already #1, but this is part II! Meeting new bloggers and commiserating over the investment you put into your blog and the successes that come with it (and sometimes don’t) is like drinking from a cool water fountain.
- Brands… Introducing yourself and meeting with sponsors and brands is scary, but actually quite fun, and productive.
- Community… Do you see a trend here? Part III, this time I’m talking mentors. Being able to share with and ask for advice from successful bloggers is encouraging and so stinking helpful.
- Fun and relaxation… The Haven Conference is always held in a lovely hotel with yummy food, comfy beds, and beautiful surroundings. The perfect place to get-away to.
However, there were definitely some areas I plan to improve upon next year! So let’s take a look at the 7 sure-fire fails to avoid making at the Haven Conference (or any conference), starting with number seven.
7. Neglect Researching Local Restaurants
Now, you may not realize how important this is, but if you plan on visiting restaurants in the area that have been recommended by a well-known celebrity (we won’t mention any names), make sure you do your homework. Find out what the current state of the restaurant is before you take 10-15 people with you, or you may get this…
Mind you, the food was great, and so was the company (who were all wonderful ‘sports’)!
And guess what… I made the same mistake… TWICE! Again, the food was great, but let’s just say the packed restaurant may not have seen a group of ‘young people’ (like us) in the place for a long time. Seriously… one of the patrons came up and told us so. He just said it in a much creepier way! LOL!
6. Forget to Take Pictures
Y’all… I went in with EVERY intention of taking lots of photos. Do you know that for each post here on My Wee Abode about 250-500 photos are taken?! For just ONE post!
Guess how many I took at the five days in Atlanta (oh, did I mention that’s where Haven was held this year)?
Fifty-eight. Epic fail!
Here are a few photos you should not miss taking:
- You with your roommates
- You with your mentor (as in my blogging mentor, who also happened to be my Haven mentor, who also happens to be my dear friend!)
- Your tribe (blogging buddies that work together throughout the year)
- The brand booths and area
- And so many more that I can’t think of right now!
So here is a photo of part of the Haven mentor group I was in. The only photo I have ‘with’ my mentor, Yvonne! (Photo credit goes to Kippi At Home… See I didn’t even take THIS one!).
5. Believe You’re Too Small to Pitch
Introducing yourself to sponsors, brands, and companies can be intimidating. Last year, I didn’t approach any brands… not one.
This year, I pitched FIVE companies, including Home Depot (their new online textile shop is AMAZING), Behr Paint (do you know that have a chalk paint line now?), Hunter Fans (a So Cal ‘must-have’), and several other rental-friendly companies (one of which I’m SO excited about… more about them soon… I hope!)
So, be sure to do your homework and research the brands before you arrive, follow all their social media, and start engaging with them! Then when you arrive at Haven, let them know the fantastic and unique ideas you have to feature them on your site!
4. Miss the Keynote Speakers
Just don’t. Even if you have to sit in the aisle. Which I should have.
Amy Howard is an amazing, godly speaker and happened to be our closing keynote at Haven this year. So many people raved about her speech and how affected them in a big way (she always bring much glory to God through her speeches).
Unfortunately, I was too late arriving and there was less than standing room only. Next time, I’ll stand in the aisles.
Be sure you don’t miss keynote speakers. I didn’t miss this one! My sweet friend KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms.
She made me cry, and laugh, like she always does on her blog and in her books!
3. Be Fearful of “Celebrities”
People… those big, successful bloggers are just like you and me! They have good days and bad days. They need encouragement when they are down. Some get smudges of red lipstick on their teeth (no, KariAnne, you didn’t… I would have told you!).
And they are some of the sweetest people you will ever know!
The Penn and Kim Holderness were also speakers at Haven. Though I didn’t meet them, Penn wrote a song about Haven in 5 minutes, using shout-outs from the audience about Haven happenings. He used my restaurant mishaps as part of the song!
2. Miss the Community
What a surprise, right? Don’t miss spending lots of time with blogging ‘family’ and meeting/helping new members in the community. I always feel like I could do WAY better in this area.
Owning a social media company (aka ‘blogging’) can be hard for many to understand. But, during the Haven Conference, take plenty of time to relax, share, and commiserate with your blogging buddies! It will refresh you!
Suzy is one of the bloggers that inspired me to start My Wee Abode. We finally met face-to-face and found each other to be kindred spirits. We were blessed to be able to spend lots of time together in Atlanta! (Only photo I had of us together. Yikes!)
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to members of the community. Amy from @thefetchingfarmhouse was a sweetheart when I explained that our dear friend Rita from Harbour Breeze Home wasn’t able to make it to Haven, and was struggling with illness. She even did an IG story with me to wish Rita well! Be sure to visit Amy and give her a follow!
And quick intros/photos from last year’s Haven resulted in sweet reunions this year with so many (but, I didn’t get nearly enough pics!)
Me and Katie from Bower Power
1. Forget Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing
Now, this can be different for all of us. Don’t forget the reasons why you are blogging and the reasons you go to Haven.
Let me share with you my Ultimate Reason… maybe it will help you find a reason, too.
The Sunday before I left for Haven, during our praise and prayer time at church, I asked my church family to pray that I would bring much glory to the Lord during my time at Haven. That I would have lots of opportunities to share the love of Jesus and make it clear that He is my life, and therefore the main reason I blog.
By God’s amazing grace, there were so many times that Jesus was shared… by me AND by my sweet blogging community:
- Breakfast with KariAnne where she asked if she could pray before we ate… and what a God-glorifying prayer it was!
- Talking with my roomies about the Lord each morning/night… sharing our weaknesses and how we desire to trust the Lord to change us.
- One-on-one conversations with dear friends about the conference truly being a bigger picture of what the Lord is doing… sanctifying us, even through our blogging journey.
- Thanking the Lord with each other and for each other.
And so much more!
Haven Conference reminded me that I blog because the Lord is calling me to blog, for HIS glory! I’m far from perfect in this… I never will be perfect (until I’m Home with Him). But, my heart’s desire is to know Jesus in a bigger way, through the blog, and that others might know Him, too!
Now It’s Your Turn
How ’bout you? Have you ever thought of attending Haven? What conferences have you gone to? What’s your favorite conference memory? Please leave a comment, and let me know… and feel free to ask questions, too!