I can't even tell you how surreal it feels that I boarded a plane bound for Atlanta, GA for the Haven Conference '14. Last year I wanted to attend, but missed getting a ticket. I made it a goal of mine to attend this year & am so very happy I did!
I headed off to the Haven Conference on Thursday morning (really early) with goals in mind but not a clue to what my expectations were.
I made my way to the airport nerves in hand, but excited for the adventure that was to come.
We Mavens were spoiled immediately as we were greeted with a beautiful swag bag from Ballard Designs. And, disappoint they did not!
The bags were filled full of goodies from the many great sponsors attending. I mean seriously take a look at that sponsor board.. Impressive group!!!
I was super nervous because I only knew 1 person my roommate Dagmar Bleasdale. We had such an incredible journey at Haven together. We spent hours chatting about the sessions, what we learned, and what we were taking away from the weekend.
I am so happy I stepped out of my social comfort zone and out of my introvert box. I met some amazing women (Cassie Karah Sarah Anna...to name just a few) that welcomed me right in, and we danced the night away at the parties each night...
Hanging with Cassie from Primitive and Proper
I based my session choices on the specific goals when I signed up for the conference. The 1st day I took Blogging Trade Secrets that some special ladies taught.
I loved this session so much & could have spent the rest of my time just hanging, but I choose to maximize my time ;) Great advice given by Dusty Rogers Erin Spain Jen Schmidt Laura Putnam
The next session I took was from Andy Marzka. Andy truly gave such an amazing overview of Ad Optimization! To the point where this blogger that isn't "there" yet got it! Andy's wife Kelly blogs over at View Along the Way. And, the two of them are absolutely adorable...and adorably in love!
Allison from Refunk my Junk spoke about the Business of Blogging. Another great session that I took away so much. Plus she is such a sweetheart and super cute! I don't think coming into the blog world I ever thought I'd be thinking about these things...talk about putting things into perspective! Allison was happy to sit and chat a while after her session.
I attended a few other sessions like Dan R. Morris's class. Dan provided fantastic content, yet it went right over my head. I don't think I am advanced enough to have been sitting in this class, but I stuck it out because by next year I will be able to look through my notes & a light bulb will go off!
A recap of some fun things from the weekend -
Some of the sponsors booths -
What I had hoped to gain from attending is to really build my blog, to take it to the next level. I wanted to connect with others and build real relationships with other bloggers and sponsors. To have that face to face interaction.
The connections I made and the advice I was given coupled together with the material provided in the sessions left me walking away from my 1st Haven Conference as a Newbie motivated, energized and equipped with a whole new level of confidence about what this all means to me.
I'd say that would make this a successful weekend. My "newbie" advice to those of you that want more, crave more & would like to connect, make that step and go for it. I learned things I never imagine, and had a fantastic time... Now I can no longer say I am a newbie :) I call that a win win!
My hope is this gave a glimpse into just how wonderful the blogging community is!!!
And, me... well I am MOTIVATED..
With much love, peace & happiness!