how to plan ahead and budget for craftcation + win a ticket


Craftcation is in less than 5 months… Can you believe it??

Yeah, I know you are thinking, “I have about a billion shows and holiday orders to get through, not to mention prepping for the holidays with family and friends… I can’t possibly THINK of going to a conference to build/better my business! I have to make stuff like crazy and get through this season”!!

Nicole and I are always thinking about how to stretch our dollars so that we have a great time giving ourselves a break as well as create space for our business to grow. Even though cost is always an issue, I can say without a DOUBT that going away to a place where you can network, build your business, learn new skills and get some much needed downtime is oftentimes more valuable than doing a show (this will be a topic that I will cover next month-it is that important). But for now, use these next few months to plan and save and give yourself and business the gift of growth and inspiration.

Here are my tips:

1. buy a ticket now

I know it seems like you have time to save for all the other things for the conference (see #2) but if tickets sell out (which they will), it doesn’t matter how much you save, it won’t matter. Nicole and I have purchased tickets to conferences over 6 months out- crazy right?! But its not: you are committing to yourself and your business to take the time to grow and learn more. You can always sell your ticket if you really can’t go (and after tickets sell-out, there will be a number of people begging to buy your ticket).

2. Plan a realistic budget after your ticket purchase:

In my post about “Craftcation on a Budget” I broke down how you can go on a shoe-string budget. If you live in California, you can do the whole conference (including the ticket) for under $600, I would estimate $1000 max for out of state. But it takes planning!! You will need to save for the following: travel (to Ventura), hotel/stay (at a friends house, sharing, camping or at the Crowne Plaza), food (bringing it to your hotel or other), going out (drinks at the bar, outfits for parties, dinners/meals not covered by the conference), social activities (tours, pre/post conference events that are around $10-20 each not mandatory). At Craftcation you can take around 25 workshops during the four days. This means the cost of each workshop is around $20 not to mention that you’re getting a rad gift bag filled with goodies, once in a lifetime networking opportunities and two lunches and a dinner featuring local sustainable and organic menus with vegan, veggie and gluten-free options.

3. Make saving obvious:

Come up with what you want to budget for each of the following items and have jars/envelopes on your desk where you will save extra $ and put them into the jars. Add $5-20 here or there to each area…guess what, in 4 months you will have what you need!

4. Make a point to save:

Make coffee at home and put what you would have spent in your “jar”. Instead of going out, make dinner and drinks with friends at home. Bring your meals to a show and save $20-30 for a great meal at the conference (where you can relax and not work)! The thing to remember is that all of these little things add up to big things in a few months.

5. Use those holidays:

Guess what I am asking for Christmas? A cute pair of boots for a conference (ALT) Nicole and I are going to in January in Utah where it will be snowing. Ask family and friends to gift you what you need to go to Craftcation. Maybe it is hotel for 3 nights or a gift certificate to Trader Joes or a Ventura restaurant so you can party it up! Maybe it is a plane or train ticket.

6. Friends are the best:

Start reaching out to your local small business network or friends to see if they want to go in on a hotel, travel with you, plan meals/drinks. When you plan now, you have a ton of time to figure out the details, but you know you are not alone and you have a group of people excited about embarking on the same adventure .

7. Are you out of state: make your next purchase a plane or train ticket and buy early if possible.

So what are you waiting for? Next month I will post about what going away to a conference does for you and your business (so much more than happy hour)! A few years ago I had no idea how important attending conferences and summits was to my business and me. Now, I make these events a priority. The connections I’ve made, skills I’ve learned and time away from all hustle and bustle are so valuable.

Ready to take the next step? Check out the amazing things in store for you at Craftcation 2014.

-delilah snell


This year we’re letting you pick the theme for our Craftcation dance party!
One random winner to get a ticket to Craftcation. If you’ve already bought your ticket, you’ll have an extra one to bring a friend.


Vote now (November 21st) through Monday November 25th at noon
The winner will be announced on Monday November 25th at 5:00pm PST on twitter so be sure to follow us on Twitter here to be notified if you win.
1. The roaring twenties
2. Pop art underground party
3. Mad men cocktail affair
4. Disco celebration


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