If you’ve been a long-time reader of Home Stories A to Z, then you know how much I love, love, LOVE the Haven Conference! Haven is a DIY/decorating blog conference that takes place annually in Atlanta, GA. You can learn more about the conference here. Haven is a dream actualized for me. Six years ago, I helped co-found Haven, and I enjoyed working as a conference planner and facilitator. Late last summer, I made the difficult decision to step down from my role on Team Haven in order to free up some necessary time to tend to my family. You guys, conference planning is NO JOKE! It takes a tremendous amount of time, dedication, hard work, thought, and collaboration to pull off a special event like Haven, and I am so proud of all that the Haven Team and community have accomplished over the years! This year, I am thrilled to be returning to Haven as a Haven Mentor. And pinch me now because just LOOK at this talented group of bloggers!!
So why should you bother with the time and expense to attend Haven? Can’t you just gain the same info by Googling what you want to know, participating in blogger facebook groups, and purchasing bloggers’ ebooks? No. No you CANNOT.
There is no substitute for face-to-face time! You simply cannot create the same kinds of connections, friendships, networks, and memories that Haven provides! Seasoned bloggers know that some of the best learning at conferences takes place outside of the sessions and in small group discussions. This year Haven is making sure everyone has the best chance to glean as much info as possible through small group discussions. I’m so excited for this addition and look forward to learning from my group and acting as a facilitator.
This past week, the Haven Mentors participated in a blog hop to share a little about themselves and what Haven has meant to them over the years. If you’re visiting from my girl Mandi’s blog, a special welcome to you! Mandi was one of our Haven keynote speakers last year and did an amazing talk on blogging with authenticity. I encourage you to check out all of the links at the bottom of this post to visit all of the Haven Mentors!
Haven Mentor Interview
1. How many years have you been blogging?
January 2016 marked my 8th year of blogging! My youngest was barely 1 when I started this blog and we had just moved into our current home. It’s amazing to look back over the last eight years and see all that has changed in our home and family over the course of my blog!
2. What is your favorite DIY project you’ve completed?
Oh wow. That is such a difficult question to answer! There have been so many projects that I’ve been proud of over the years. I’m going to cheat and pick several. 🙂
My DIY Kitchen is definitely a favorite because it’s a cute budget kitchen that I think is obtainable for most homeowner’s.
Making over an Atlanta homeless shelter dining hall was another huge DIY project that I was proud to spearhead.
And I am also very proud of the Lowe’s porch and deck makeover I completed last year for a cute family.
3.What is something significant you learned from a conference?
I learn so many things every time I attend a blog conference. I think the key is to go to a conference with a teachable spirit and ask questions from the speakers, sponsors, and fellow bloggers—everyone is a potential source of knowledge. Over the years, Haven photography workshops have helped me improve my photography! Your blog is only as good as your photos, so this is an area that I’m continually trying to improve in.
4. What is one piece of advice you would offer a blogger–new or otherwise–who is going to Haven?
Attending any conference for the first time can feel intimidating. If you are an introvert and don’t know a lot of other bloggers, it can feel downright terrifying! My advice is to put yourself out there and take responsibility for your time at Haven. This is YOUR conference and your time–have a good attitude and take some social risks!
If you attend a class that isn’t what you expected, don’t be afraid to get up and leave the session and hop over to one that better fits your needs! If you don’t have a tribe of bloggers who support you, reach out to others at Haven and form one.
If you aren’t working with your dream sponsors, spend your time talking with vendors and sponsors that are a good fit for you and your audience and begin a relationship with those brands. A blog conference sets the stage for amazing opportunities–but it is your responsibility to make the best of those opportunities! Smile, network, remain teachable, and you will learn, grow, and have an amazing time! I hope to see you there. 🙂
Now hop on over and visit Jen and check out all of the Haven Mentors from the week!