Today, I wanted to share with y’all about my trip to Haven this past weekend…what I learned, friends (new and old) that I met, and goodies that I picked up at all the booths. 😉 For those of you who aren’t familiar with Haven, it’s a fun and informative bloggers’ conference that meets once a year for about 3 days in Atlanta, GA. The conference is filled with jam-packed sessions, such as insightful blogging tips, creative decorating ideas, tips for SEO, etc….even some hands-on classes.
My mom and I have been to Haven together the past 4 YEARS IN A ROW (can’t believe it!!), and every year, we learn super-great tips, meet some sweet friends, and receive an ah-mazing swag bag filled with all sorts of goodies….not to mention the fun memories that my mom and I make every year. It’s a special time that I treasure with her!
Let’s start out all the way back to Haven 2014. 😉
I had just had a spinal fusion a few months prior to this conference, and so I was still recovering, as you can see in the picture. 😉 Anything that touched my back was so tender, and I couldn’t quite stand up straight. I still cringe just thinking about it.
This is my sweet mama with me. 😉 I didn’t even HAVE a blog at the time, but I still wanted to go, because I was thinking about starting my own blog. If that’s what’s keeping you from attending Haven, you definitely need to put that fear aside and join us next year!
It was so exciting to pick up my swag bag upon arrival! Check out all the fun goodies!
LizMarie (the beautiful friend sitting next to me who has the blog, LizMarieBlog.com) is the one who encouraged me from the get-go to start a blog! I remember we were sitting in those very chairs, and when I told her I didn’t have a blog yet, I asked her if she thought that “The Rustic Boxwood” would be a good name for my blog. She replied with a hearty “yes!” Because I already respected her so much, I knew that was the name I’d give my blog! So, thank you, LizMarie, for giving me the push I needed!
This is the year I met my new friend Kirsten from Sweet Tea and Saving Grace. The great thing is, she’s a fellow GA peach, and I love it that we can meet up and encourage each other every once in a while! She is super with all that techy stuff for your blog! So, if you need help with your email list, or pretty much anything that has to do with the not-so-fun part of running a blog, she’s your girl!
My sweet friend, LizMarie, is always so much fun to run into at Haven. 😉
Everything at the conference was decorated so beautifully! There were even styled sitting spaces in the middle of the ballroom, courtesy of Ballard Designs. They were just gorgeous!
Yet another great weekend with my sweet mama! Check out this nice, utility tool bag by Hefty! Talk about being well-made!
I know, I know….I’m sorry this pic is the only one I’m sharing for 2016. I didn’t take many last year, sadly, but I’m making up for it in the 2017 section! 😉
What a great weekend we had last week!
This year, I finally had the chance to participate in the mentor groups. My mom and I had Jen Rizzo (from Jennifer Rizzo blog) as our mentor, and she was an amazing leader for us and answered so many questions! The pic below shows you how small each mentor group was. Ours was the perfect size! I’m on the far right, standing next to my sweet mama (who’s in the yellow capris). 😉
And guess what?! The Maytag booth picked ME as the winner of this gorgeous, stainless-steel fridge! I still can’t believe I actually won something! This fridge is not just ANY fridge….It’s from their new line of finger-print resistant, stainless steel appliances. And I’m telling you, it really works! Even chocolate syrup wipes up so easily off this refrigerator! A huge thank you to the Maytag team!!
I ordered some new blog cards just for Haven, because at this conference, you’ll be exchanging so many cards with other bloggers and brands! I love how they turned out!
I loved getting to spend time with our mentor, Jen Rizzo. She’s an awesome lady, and I appreciated how intentional she was with all of us bloggers!
I had the opportunity to play with Ryobi tools, and they even made a video of our experience at Haven. Pss…I might have even made it in the video a time or two. 😉 (Click here to watch.)
We had a gorgeous view of downtown Atlanta outside our window! It was so nice to watch the sunrise!
And of course, the Crates and Pallet display was just as adorable as their mini farmhouse!
I really enjoyed chatting with Everbilt Hardware, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with them in the near future!
Isn’t the Haven backdrop so pretty?! I’ve had the desire to make some of these DIY floral wreaths for quite some time now, so be on the lookout for a tutorial on the blog soon!
Isn’t the bag so cute?!
Suggestions for all of those who’d like to attend a bloggers’ conference:
- If you don’t have a blog, but you still want to attend, DO IT!! You won’t be sorry!
- Bring comfy clothes AND cute outfits. You’ll need both!
- Bring a cute backpack or tote to carry your belongings in as you go from class to class.
- Bring an extra dufflebag for all those goodies you’ll pick up from the booths! Yes, you do get a bag from Haven, but you’ll DEFINITELY need another bag for extra swag!
- If you already have a blog, make sure you come with your blog cards….and maybe even a printout of your media kit with photos of your work that you’ve done in the past.
- Don’t forget something to take notes with…a laptop or notebook and pen, and your phone with a charger!
- Have something to freshen yourself up a little during that mid-day slump, such as gum, lipstick, and perfume. The days are full, so by the afternoon, you’ll be pretty wiped. A little paint to freshen up the barn is always a good idea. 😉
- Look for someone who might need a friend. We’re all in this boat together, and sometimes, we all need a little cheering up!
- As soon as you check in, thumb through your schedule and highlight the classes you want to take. Be prepared!
- As soon as you get home, give the brands a couple of weeks to unwind, and then follow up with each one, especially the brands you’d like to work with! I learned the hard way….Last year, there was a certain brand that promised all of us bloggers that they’d send us their crafting machine and any accessories free of charge. I didn’t get around to emailing them until about 6 months later. By then, it was too late. They had already hired a new PR person, and they were no longer sending bloggers their products. You can imagine how disappointed I was! So don’t wait too long. Get out there and email those brands!
Well, that’s it, friends! I hope this post was helpful! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via email at TheRusticBoxwood@gmail.com, or comment below. Or you could always stop by and say hey on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It always makes my day to hear from my sweet readers!
Have a wonderful day!
You might also like: