5 Important Reasons to Attend a Conference
Sharing my top five reasons why I make it a point to attend a conference. 1. Relationships 2. Education 3. Confidence 4. Networking 5. Focus
I recently returned from the Haven Conference in Atlanta, Georgia and wow! I am so glad that I made it a point to attend a conference like Haven.
Whether your area of interest is in the DIY/blogging industry or perhaps something completely different, such as education, medicine, theology or philosophy, gardening, or crocheting…there is a conference out there for you and YOU SHOULD GO!
I thought it would be fun to share my top reasons why I make it a point to attend a conference like Haven. I also attend an education conference each year and the same reasons apply. Like I said, no matter your field of interest, you should try your best to attend a conference!
Reason #1 to Attend a Conference
There is nothing like sitting in a room full of people who share your passion, hobby, or interest. Quite honestly, it is kind of exciting to realize that there are a lot of other people who love the same thing as you. In fact, they love the same thing enough to travel to a different place, pay a conference fee and lodging, take time away from their families and regular lives…to sit in the same room as you.
There are friends whom I will only ever see in person at the Haven Conference, because that is a central meeting place for those of us who love DIY, blogging, and social media in the home decor niche. I have other friends who wouldn’t attend Haven…even if it were free…just because that isn’t our shared interest or passion. And that’s okay too!
Some of these “Haven Friends” have become true, real-life friends who I would DM in a heartbeat if I needed help, encouragement, or to share exciting news with. But it all started because of our shared interest in the home decor niche.
When you attend a conference with people who have the same exciting passions that you do, you will find a room full of people who are just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them.
You have the opportunity to connect over a topic that you probably can’t connect in the same way with most of your “real-life” friends. You’ll be so glad you went. Share contact information, business cards (don’t forget your business cards!), and do your best to put faces with names of the people you felt the strongest connection with.
And you’ll leave the conference with new, amazing friends!
Reason #2 to Attend a Conference
After all, that is probably the first thing that popped into your head when thinking that maybe you should attend a conference. Right?
I know I’m supposed to say this since I am a teacher in real-life, but you’re never too old to learn. In fact, studying is a scientifically proven way to keep your mind sharp. It is also an effective way to fight negative feelings that can accompany older ages, such as loneliness. Remember those new friends we talked about?
Beyond the benefits for your brain, you should attend a conference to help you grow and learn in your area of interest. At Haven this year, my main focus was learning more about my blog. I wanted to learn ways that I can make my blog better, reach a wider audience, and add to our family’s small business of Robyn’s French Nest. (This is a good time to say that I’d love for you to subscribe to my blog and follow my social media platforms. That is a completely free way for you to enjoy my content and also a huge boost for us!)
Shameless plug for myself is over.😂
I met my goal of learning at least three specific ways that I could grow my small business through my blog. I also learned a lot more about how to use my Pinterest and Instagram platforms. There are so many exciting ways to share my love of home decor through the blog and social media, so it was especially wonderful to learn more about those things.
One of my favorite things about the Haven conference, specifically, is that while there are hundreds of things to learn, there are also mentors and people to help you focus the educational aspect of the conference to help you reach your personal goals.
The education I received by attending Haven was an investment that will pay off in dividends, both in my time and finances. No matter your field of interest, you can benefit from all the learning you will receive when you attend a conference!!! And it is so exciting to get home and start putting your education to work!
Reason #3 to Attend a Conference
Maybe that sounds kind of silly. But for this girl who really could be perfectly happening running the Robyn’s French Nest business from behind a curtain somewhere…the girl who gets nauseous to get up in front of people…the girl who has to force herself to walk into a room of people that she doesn’t know (or sometimes a room of people that she DOES know…)
Yep. That’s me. And that’s another reason why I am so grateful for the Haven Conference.
This was my third time to attend the Haven Conference. If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you should attend a conference a second or third time, let me be the first to say that it only gets better!
This year, I felt so much more comfortable with everything from the layout of the hotel/conference center to what I should wear to the schedule and where to eat to knowing that I could undoubtedly find friends, old and new alike.
The entire Haven experience, overall, has really boosted my confidence. I feel more confident that I can, indeed, make this small business into something that benefits my family and fuels my love for home decor. I feel more confident that I can learn the ins and outs of the industry. I feel more confident that I have friends who have my back. I feel more confident with the next steps I can and should take to grow my business.
All because I decided to attend a conference…for the second and third times. And I already can’t wait for Haven 2022!
Reason #4 to Attend a Conference
A quote was shared in the closing statements of the Haven conference that really stuck with me. In discussions with friends afterward, I know it resonated with them too.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” African Proverb
Networking always sounded like such a big, fancy thing to me. When, in reality, it’s relationship-building. One of the huge benefits of attending Haven is getting to make personal connections with the brands who also attend.
I had great conversation with representatives from Boutique Rugs. I love working with the Boutique Rugs brand (you all love that gorgeous rug in my family room!) and it was so wonderful to put faces with the names of the brand representatives that I’ve already been building relationships with through email.
Magazine brands are also there to represent their companies. I enjoyed genuine conversation with Kelly from the Cottages and Bungalows Magazine, just to name one. My only goal in that conversation is to build relationship over our mutual interests of thrifted and flea market finds! It was so fun (and of course, I was excited to support my girl, Toni , who is the Brand Ambassador this year!
I can genuinely say that, even as somewhat of an introvert, I love networking at the Haven conference. It is not a difficult thing to network..relationship build…with people who share your passion and interest! In fact, it can be so fun.
Networking is a great reason to attend a conference. Even if it feels out of your comfort zone, push yourself to make those connections and you’ll find great relationships begin to form with other people who appreciate and share your niche.
Reason #5 to Attend a Conference
While there are many reasons that I would encourage you to attend a conference, the last one I will share today is focus. Anything that I’ve ever tried to learn has benefitted from specific time, set aside, to just focus on that topic.
As a wife, mom, teacher, and all the other hats I wear, there can be a lot of distractions (however wonderful and important they are!)I think it is super valuable to set aside an hour, a day, a weekend to focus on something that you are intently trying to learn.
It is so rewarding to have a goal to learn something, dedicate and invest your time (and money if need be) to an opportunity to learn, have the chance to focus on the learning, and then see the reward of that investment. Focused time to learn something new or build relationships doesn’t happen on accident. It takes intentionality.
This is the reason that my family and I all work to make sure I can attend the Haven Conference. It is time that we all agree is worth setting aside to learn and focus.
I encourage you to find a conference you can attend that allows you that same opportunity. Focus can sound quite serious, but when you’re passionate about something, focus results in fun too!
I hope that by sharing my experience at the Haven Conference, you are inspired to find and attend a conference in your own niche!
If you have any questions about Haven, feel free to drop those in the comments. I love going and would love to chat more about it with you! I also have a reel over on Instagram that will give you a little sneak peek at some of those fun Haven moments!
Personally, I think with a welcoming-home party like this, every week should be a conference!
Very well written and interesting piece on attending a Haven. Conference! It looks like a great way to learn and evolve !
Debby ( bambiemeadows)
Thank you Debby! I have loved every year I’ve gone!
It looks like a great time. I really wish I could have attended.
You would love it! Maybe next year…
Robyn, this made me miss you all so much….seriously, my heart hurts!! It was such an amazing experience and I can’t wait to go next year!!
In funny news…OMG, I didn’t even notice your picture on the Delaney poster when I was there😂
Wasn’t that fun? I didn’t see the picture either at first. Next year will be even better!