Things You Should Do at the Haven Conference

Now that you surely won’t wear pants several sizes too big or chip a tooth before you attend a conference like the Haven Conference, here’s a few things that are good to do while at Haven:

  • Attend some sessions that feel like a coat that’s a size too big for you. Rather than feeling intimidated, I believe we should look at it as something to grow in to. Definitely go to sessions that deliver the tips and techniques you need right now. But also choose a few things that are several steps ahead. It will open your eyes to new possibilities, and who knows, you might be surprised and you might be using that info within the year! As for what I learned today? Well, I’m going to check out Google DFP, something I did not know existed. It’s for blog advertising and too advanced for me right now, but knowing about it gives some new “stretch goals” to work toward.
  • Instead of a laptop, which can get heavy to lug around, bring a tablet and/or pen ‘n paper. A pad of paper is great when you get visions (or hallucinations?) of an idea and need to draw. Such as this:

Not-Just-Doodling

Well, I can “see” exactly what it is. It’s all in the mind’s eye even if my lack of drawing ability can’t quite get it on paper.

  • At Haven Conference, if it’s your first time and you don’t know anyone, no worries about meeting people! Just jump in and say “hi.” It’s as simple as that. I speak from personal experience: you will wind up laughing and enjoying yourself as you meet so many talented and passionate people. Here’s a map of where bloggers here are from:

Haven Conference 2013 Attendee Map

  • If you have introvert tendencies, be sure to take care of your need to recharge your energy. You’ll know when you start feeling tired and glassy-eyed and need to retreat for a few minutes. There is a coffee bar here but I took a short walk outside to Caribou Coffee. After sitting for hours, a brisk walk feels good, and just 20 minutes of quiet rejuvenated me for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Bring business cards. Some advise to not stress about having media kits here because you can always follow-up with people after Haven. That’s a great way to follow-up and stand out after a whirlwind of meeting people. But bloggers are sharing business cards with each other so we can find each others’ blogs after the conference.

And of course, feed your imagination with visual inspiration. I spotted this ball of knotted rope on the Ballard Designs bookshelf decoration contest here, and it reminded me that there’s a draft “ball of rope” post to finish and share with you. It all started with a hilarious family joke about a rope knot that cost $200. Yes that is $200, I did not misplace the decimal. FWIW, Ballard Design’s rope knot does NOT cost anywhere near that, and it’s a hefty size:

Haven Conference and Ballard Designs Bookshelf

The Online Fabric Store has big swatches here and this was my favorite. Hmmm, where can this fabric fit in our house or the India pied-à-terre?

Online Fabric Store

And from Southern Accents Architectural Antiques, isn’t this the coolest idea – use fragments of old wood and tile to make a collage:

Architectural Remnant Collage from Southern Accents

Haven Conference has a little bit of everything: blog business advice, power tools, paint, stencils, search engine optimization tips, photography tips, great people, fun people and outfit-watching, the cutest mini portobella burgers and really tasty margaritas. For more posts about this conference, visit here.

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