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Thursday, August 8, 2013

{Blogger Conference} Haven Recap

If you follow me on InstaGram (@cassiesugarplum), then you know last week I was at Haven, a blogger conference specifically for Home Decor/DIYers. My feed was a flood of pictures with one thing in common....me grinning ear-to-ear, standing beside a favorite blogger. 

What you didn't see, was my chaotic journey of getting there! Like a total blonde bimbo (I can say that, because I am one), I had Mr. Sugarplum drop me at the wrong airport! And do you know when I figured it out??? When the ticket agent told me, after I'd waited in line for 30 minutes!

By then, Mr. SP was long gone, and I was out of luck getting a flight from that airport, unless I wanted to pay $1,200. After months of preparation and anticipation, there was no way I was going to miss the conference...but ain't nobody got time for $1200 plane tickets!

So my sweet man rushed back to pick me up (I may have been excessively sweating and on the verge of tears by then), and drove like a maniac to the correct airport. I missed that flight by about 5 minutes, but by some divine intervention, the agent was able to waive all fees and book me on the next flight (4 hours later). I may have kissed him. No tongue though.

I was a little rumpled and wilted when I finally arrived, but managed to make the tail-end of the cocktail party. We all hugged and greeted each other like life-long friends...not like people who'd only met on the internet.

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It was so surreal to see them in person, and to actually hear them talk. In my head, they all had Southern accents, but turns out that's my voice, not theirs. Any anxiety I had about meeting 'strangers' evaporated in the first few minutes. The conference was an amazing group of women, all creative and talented, who share the same joys and passions of blogging.

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Ana White gave a fabulous Keynote Address (did you know the girl gets over 10 million pageviews a month!?), and I picked up some great tips from her:

* Every post should do at least two: Educate, Inspire, Entertain, Reward
* Love the haters, because they are readers, too.
* Fellow bloggers are not competitors, their successes help to pave the way for others.
* If you're not proud of it, don't do it.

Then it was time for our first of two panels on Social Media...(we're working on posts with all our tips, so stay tuned). Update: check out How to Grow Your Blog with Facebook here.

http://distilleryimage4.ak.instagram.com/1dd35372fc6d11e2af2c22000a1f9069_7.jpg
{snagged from Kristin's instagram}

Megan wasn't able to make the conference, but she surprised us with a bottle of champagne in the room. Courtney, Carmel and I toasted her, and a successful panel discussion, once we were done. Yes, this was after our panel. In no way were we drinking before the panel. 

http://distilleryimage2.ak.instagram.com/c06f3074fbb411e2b88822000a9f1947_7.jpg
{thanks for the sweet treat, Megan!}

There were so many sessions available, it was hard choosing which to attend. I learned some great new styling tips from these ladies.

 http://distilleryimage0.ak.instagram.com/5920f27cfbf511e286b422000a9d0dd8_7.jpg

And am even more motivated to get organized after listening to this power couple.

http://distilleryimage11.ak.instagram.com/13d22c06fbad11e280ce22000a9e05dd_7.jpg
{Chris, me, Jen}

Who knew you could actually approach magazines about being published?! The adorable Erika gave some great tips and pointers.

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In between the learning, and eating, we had so much fun meeting all the other bloggers. Every single person was open, friendly and down-to-earth. How about this super-sized blogger sandwich I managed to get in?!

http://distilleryimage11.ak.instagram.com/8905e8d0fb9111e2969322000a1fc655_7.jpg
{Katie, me, Sherry}

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Hi Sugarplum | Haven Recap
{Kristin, Sarah, me}

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{Jen & me}

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I happened to be hanging in Chris and Sarah's room on the first night, so I was suckered recruited into Traci's flash mob. Let's just say, Mandi is very persuasive.

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Update: lots of emails about my lacey shorts...found them here

I can't thank the Haven Team enough for such a fabulous experience. Everything was completely top notch, from the hotel and facilities, to the speakers and swag bags. I'm already counting the days until next year, and crossing my fingers I get asked back! I miss my new friends so much already!
 
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And I'm proud to say I made it home with no drama, on the right plane, in the right airport. I guess me + traveling = dramatics these days (remember this incident?!).

44 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! SO MUCH FUN! You looked so cute the entire time, but your lace shorts outfit was EXTRA darling! :)

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    1. thank you, thank you!! and thanks to F21 for the lacey shorts!!
      (found here: http://popsu.gr/kNhM)

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  2. Oh I'm just so bummed I wasn't there to see you. You all look adorable.

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    1. I was so bummed you weren't there also!!! :(

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  3. That looks like a blast! You're the second person I've heard of recently showing up to the wrong airport...talk about stress!

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    1. Girrrrrl -- I thought only Southwest flew out of Love Field...but apparently Delta does sometimes, too! And it doesn't help that both airports have similar airport codes!!! You can bet I'll never do that again!

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  4. Bless your heart - that was almost tragic! It was so great to meet you at the conference! Yeah- I was the one that introduced myself as your blog stalker at the cocktail party. Oh well, cat's out of the bag. :)

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    1. I totally remember...you are too adorable to forget!! It was so great to meet you! xoxox

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  5. Glad you had a fantastic time once you arrived. Was sorry to miss seeing you guys, but will be out your way a few times this year again.

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  6. Ugh - I would have been sweating bullets at the airport, too. Sounds totally like something I would do and I'm not blonde. On the bright side - I love all your cute shorts and wedges! Haven looks like it was so much fun. I've got to go next year.

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  7. Love it all! What is the source for the black and white striped dress? Fabulous!

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    Replies
    1. J.Crew Factory!!! Got to love discounted stripes! :)

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  8. So So So glad we finally got to meet! I was a little depressed the first couple of days after the conference. I felt like I had just left summer camp and already missed all my new found friends! Thanks also for all the great Social Media Tips! XOXO

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  9. I'm about to raid your closet. Prepare yo'self.

    YAY love your recap! Looks like SO much fun. I was like a crazy Bieber fan seeing everyone's IG pic.

    (Was wondering how you missed your flight when I saw you comment on IG, that's crazy! And something I'd totally do. Between you & Carmel's delayed flight out of Atlanta, gah! #Imightnotflyagain ;-)

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  10. So, I jotted down a note this morning to come back and comment, and the note said "I Heart Sugarplum". It is true, I heart you, but I also just think you and Jen are so adorable and sweet! I never would have guessed you were late from the airport at the cocktail party...you were so cool calm and collected. So glad I got to meet you! And, your class was fabulous...I am still digesting all the great social media tips!

    Speaking of blonde bimbo, I just forgot about my bacon on the stove while reading your post. It burnt to a crisp and set of the fire alarm.

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    1. I'm so flattered that your ruined bacon for me. That's like the highest compliment ever! LOVED meeting you!!!

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  11. I want to go back!!! I miss everyone so much! Fun recap girl. And just so so relieved you didn't leave me hanging as the lone speaker!

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  12. Oh my goodness, you are too cute! It looks like you had such a fun time! What an amazing experience!

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  13. Wrong airport is probably something I would have done too. You actually held it together. I would have been in tears sobbing in the corner. I lost my ID at the airport somewhere between checking in and security a month ago and I about died. I was trying so hard to keep it together talking to the very lovely TSA gentlemen. They probably thought I was a loon!
    Can't wait to hear more about your social media sessions!

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  14. Loved the post! You looked adorable in every picture & seems like you had a blast!

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  15. So nice to meet you and thanks for all the great tips at the Social Media session. This post already made me nostalgic for Haven! I went so fast... I may even have taken one of those cute pics of you girls at the party? Nice to meet all of you girls in person!
    Amy

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  16. Looks like such an awesome time! Can't wait for next year when I can come! :)

    Also looking forward to your session recap post!

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  17. it is so cool to see so many women I admire in the same pic!!!! I hope to one day have a blog as awesome as all of yours! thanks for the tips!
    Lauren

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  18. Haha! I would have so been in the wrong airport too with Mr. running to save me. Would love to meet all of you wonderfully talented ladies. It was fun following the pics on instagram! :):)

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  19. I feel for you Cassie...I have once gone to the wrong airport and what I panic I was in that day. Besides feeling utterly silly. So glad you made it on time and I am sure you looked as cute as can be! Your new haircut is fabulous! Looks like such a fun event. Ditto on what Rene said, I would one day love to meet all of your beautiful, talented and inspirational women!

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  20. You make me laugh, hilarious airport story, again! Glad you had such a great time!!!

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  21. OMG, I laughed out loud about the Southern accent, Cassie! So true!! I missed meeting you, but totally enjoyed your Social Media session!! Great tips! Hope your trip home was smoother than your one out. Look forward to seeing you NEXT year!
    xo Heidi

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  22. You and airports don't mix ;) So glad you made it to Haven. I loved seeing all your photos with my fave bloggers. I'm determined to get a photo opp with you there next year!

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  23. I LOVED reading that post!
    I'm totally coming next year!!

    Annie XO

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  24. You are just a little cute thing, aren't you?! Looks like a great time was had.

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  25. Glad your trip home was very uneventful!

    When are you coming to Charlotte???

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  26. What an ordeal getting there...seriously, what is it with you and air travel in 2013?? Looked like a total ball though once you arrived. And I love what you shared from Ana's keynote speech. I adore her. What great advice to keep at the core.

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  27. I'm gonna have to sweet talk my hubby for the next twelve months so I can go to Haven next year - looks like a great conference. Thanks for sharing it with us, good and bad!

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  28. SO fun! I need to meet all these people, and I would have loooved to hear you speak.

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  29. Had SO much fun with you girls. Y'all are the best-est! Let's meet up again soon. xo

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  30. Hi Cassie! I met you at Haven and I blogged about it at http://www.the-byrds-nest.net/haven-2013/. For me, it was that embarrassing moment where you say to yourself after it is over "What just possessed your body?" ;-.) LOVED your class and I hope to get to speak coherently with you next year.

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  31. it looks like it was so much fun!

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  32. so bummed I couldn't come! all my fav's were there!!!! that includes you!!!

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  33. Tear. I miss your sweet self like you wouldn't believe. I am packing up the fam and moving to TX. We belong together.

    Great, great recap doll!

    xo,
    Jen

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  34. Wow! That conference looked like a most amazing time! Can't wait to see your follow-up posts with the tips you mentioned.
    Amy @ http://giftedgabber.blogspot.com/

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  35. I totally picture everyone with a southern accent. I guess it's because I have one so everyone else should too. I really need to blog to I can go to Haven because it looks like a blast! Can't wait for your tips!

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  36. So fun to get to see all of you together! :)

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Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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