If you are thinking about going to the Haven Conference, today I’m sharing the inside scoop with highlights from Charleston and tips for a conference newbie!
You may have seen highlights of my trip to Charleston last week on Facebook or Instagram. When I tell you it was a whirlwind, that is probably an understatement, but definitely in a good way!
This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you. Please see my full disclosure here.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Haven Conference, it is a conference for DIY/Home Decor Bloggers filled with a jam packed 3 days of learning, networking and meeting other bloggers! It has been on my bucket list since I first started blogging four years ago. When I heard it was going to be in Charleston, South Carolina this year, I jumped at the chance to go. I had never been to South Carolina and couldn’t pass up this great combination.
Highlights – Downtown Charleston
One of the best things about attending a conference that is specific to your niche-in this case DIY and home decorating-is that you meet other bloggers who are passionate about the same things you are. There is something really inspiring about sitting in a room with a group of creatives and brainstorming! Each day I left the conference with my head spinning with information, and while it may have been a little overwhelming at times, it was also pretty freaking amazing!
I was most looking forward to meeting my blogging buddy and conference roomie, Leanna, from Faeries And Fauna. Leanna and I became friends through blogging and she came all the way from Canada (eh) to go to Haven. How wild is it that a girl from the smallest State in the Country, would be roomies with someone from Canada? We met in Charleston a day prior to the conference so we could sight see. Here we are getting ready to go downtown:
You see how fresh faced and ready to see the sights we are in this picture? Well, by the end of the day with 98 degree weather, we didn’t look like this, lol. Although I should say I didn’t look like this. Leanna said she was “thawing out” and loved the heat. I, on the other hand, was literally melting! It was worth every drop of sweat and body aches and pains though to see the gorgeous sights in downtown Charleston. I took so many pictures, but here are just a few of my favorites.
As we had never been to Charleston before, we wanted to see as many of the landmarks as we could. Luckily Beverly from Across The Boulevard put together a great list of Free Things To Do In Charleston, SC that was a huge help to us. She lives in Charleston so she knows her stuff. Rainbow Row was on the top of the list and it did not disappoint. The colors and architecture of these homes are breathtaking!
What a fun place to take the kids in the Summer to splash around the cascading water fountains. It is also home of the Pineapple Fountain which is gorgeous all lit up at night! The views are absolutely stunning:
St. Michael’s Church
Both Leanna and I wanted to see St. Michael’s Church, which is one of the oldest Churches still in use in the Country, EST 1789. Look at this stained glass:
Here is my favorite picture of the day:
Just look at those doors! Not to mention the window boxes and brick detail. Amazing! If you haven’t visited Charleston yet, definitely add it to your list of must see places. We also went on a ghost tour at night that was very cool! Now here are my top five tips for a Haven conference newbie:
Tips For A Haven Conference Newbie
- Take time to rest and regroup
- Bring an extra bag for swag
- Don’t be afraid to approach other bloggers
- Attend sessions and ask questions
- Most of all have fun!
Rest And Regroup
As this was my first time attending the Haven Conference, I wanted to share a few tips for a newbie. I will be honest and say there is a lot packed into the the three days and you will definitely be tired. You have to make sure you are doing what is best for you. While you definitely don’t want to miss out on anything, if you are feeling tired or overwhelmed, there is nothing wrong with taking a little break in your room to refresh. This is something I had to do each day and I was able to take in more once I rested.
Bring An Extra Bag For Swag
When I was packing for the trip I read that you should pack an extra bag for the “swag” or goodies that you receive at Haven. A huge tip that I cannot stress enough, especially if you are flying, is to bring an extra suitcase to check. This bag was just from Day 1 at checkin!
Don’t Be Afraid To Approach Other Bloggers
A lot of creative people tend to be introverts and I heard this quite often at the conference. I am that way as well, but I pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone and say hello to bloggers that I wanted to meet or had worked with in the past. I am so glad I did, because I left with several new friends! I have to point out just a few who I was able to spend some time with.
In the upper left hand corner I am with the Tablescape Queen, Chloe, from Celebrate and Decorate I participate in several Tablescape Blog Hops with Chloe each year and just love her blog. Her Holiday crafts are amazing! Not only did we meet, but we actually spent time together in classes and workshops. We hit it off and I hope to meet her in SLC for a craft conference next!
In the upper right photo I am with the amazing Ariel from PMQ For Two a colorful and fun blog that I am constantly inspired by. Check out her blog, you will see what I mean. Meeting her was a “moment” and she couldn’t have been nicer. She taught one of the classes and it was definitely a favorite!
The bottom left photo shows me with Beverly from Across the Boulevard and my fellow Merry Monday host Shirley from Intelligent Domestications. We went out for a lovely dinner one night right on the water and had a great time! Shirley and her husband were so sweet and took me out for a real Southern breakfast, as I never had grits. Yum!
The final photo in the bottom right corner is me with Lynne from My Family Thyme. We are both from CT and met a couple of times prior to Haven.
There are lots of workshops and classes going on during the day and also time to meet the sponsors throughout the 3 day conference. The classes, or sessions, were extremely helpful and Haven is great about having a variety of options so you can attend a photography session one day and then learn about SEO the next. Be sure to ask more experienced bloggers for any suggestions on how to approach a brand, etc. Most are more than willing to help. After all, they were a newbie at some point right?
At the Dremel and Gorilla Glue workshop we made a really cool sign and three winners were chosen to receive the new Dremel Saw Max. I was shocked to learn I won! Plus Gorilla Glue is shipping us a box of goodies as well!
If you don’t know who this is, it is Amy Howard. She held a workshop and a book signing and I was positively giddy as you can tell in this picture! I read her book on the plane home and enjoyed it immensely! The main thing is to enjoy yourself. This is an incredible opportunity that puts you face to face with potential sponsors and gives you an opportunity to learn from bloggers who have been doing this for many years. Each attendee has a mentor whom they meet with daily. I was lucky enough to have Brooke from All Things Thrifty as my mentor and definitely walked away with inspiration and helpful tips.
Haven Conference 2019
The dates for the Haven Conference have already been announced for next year. It is moving back to Atlanta -where I also have never been :)-and will be July 18-20th. If it is something you are considering, you have an entire year to plan for it. It is something I am so thankful to have been able to experience and I would love to attend again! If so and you are there as well, please come up to me and say hello! I would love to meet you!