how to prepare for a conference + craftcation ticket giveaway
Back in January, Nicole and I attended Alt Summit, a super popular blogging conference in Salt Lake City.
If you have a business, whether uber-tiny, still-in-your-brain, or large, you should do yourself (and your biz) the favor and go to a conference/summit/retreat. If you’re wondering if you should attend a conference… check out Nicole’s post on why she attends conferences. Work-related breaks -like conferences- recharge, inspire and give new perspectives/ideas by helping you step out of your normal environment- that’s in addition to what you learn in workshops. They are also great for networking with like-minded people, increasing your community and support. These things are all felt long after you arrive home.
So let’s say you decided to attend a conference, now what!? While this is a break- there is some business to be done so here is a list of things to consider so you are prepared without bringing your whole house with you!
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Look at the weather and location. Going to the beach? Pack a swimsuit. For SLC, where it was snowing, I made sure I packed leather boots just in case I had to walk in the snow and 1 good coat. It only takes a few minutes to look-up the climate in an area and it’s worth it!
You need to bring things that make you comfy, you will be either sitting or standing for a while. I am into packing light and doing the most with what I have. Doing so will allow you to enjoy yourself but not feel out of place. My choice for must haves:
-Good looking but comfortable shoes, leave the 3-inch heels at home (unless you can REALLY wear them all day without a fidget, and walk in easily for a while in them). Bring shoes that you can wear with pants or a dress. Bring two pairs of shoes, a dressier heel type and a one that is flat. Just make sure that they can go with the clothes you are bringing (forget that one pair that goes with that “one” outfit)… You aren’t moving there!
-One nice outfit. Maybe there is a party or nice dinner off-site. Make sure you check the conference schedule for themed parties or special events. You can make it funky with accessories.
-A few of your favorite accessories: brooch, necklace or bracelet. Maybe cute earrings or scarf. They can dress up anything. These things are small and can change the look of your outfit.
-Cute lounge ware just in case you meet some new friends in the hotel bar after hours or at the pool.
-Bags: remember, you are not moving there. Bring one small event purse for when you are having fun and a large on for your work items for when you are serious. I am a big fan of the over-the-shoulder, that way you never have to remember to grab your purse because you will be moving and networking all the time.
-Your go-to clothing item. Maybe it’s a skirt or blazer, or maybe a pear of jeans that you adore at the moment. Bring that item- you cannot go wrong in your favorite thing.
Conferences are a vacation for your work, not from your work, so make sure that you bring what you need to get the things done. Just don’t bring the whole office.
-Business cards: Seems like a no-brainer, but people (like me) forget. You will meet lots of people so make sure they have your info! In fact when you check-in have them attached to your badge, that way you are never without your contact info.
-Computer or iPad and backup/flash drives: A computer glitch can happen away from home. Make sure you have some backup and a way to power your devices!
-Camera: Maybe it’s a phone or maybe a SLR, decide how much you want to capture (if you have a nice camera but don’t use it, just wait on it) before you go, you can always go next year to capture more. Check to see if the conference has a DSLR/photography class and use the trip to work on your skills!
-Do you make something as your business? Bring it! I say bring two, one to show and one to give away. You don’t need to give gifts to everyone. If you bring business cards, they will know where to find your great items!
-Pens and a notebook: You will be taking notes and jotting ideas down (some people use computers or iPads for this but I love old-fashioned paper and pen).
-YOUR LIST: Again, I am a list person! Before you leave, make a list of workshops you need to attend, people you want to meet or things you need to do. This will keep you on track and focused. I also make a list of things I want to do when I get home while at the conference. There is inspiration everywhere and I constantly come up with ideas of things I want to do when the conference is over. Make sure you don’t forget those ideas—write them down!
The one thing I hate while away is having to buy something that you left behind at home. Think of things like: sunglasses, sunscreen, Advil, socks, ear phones, music. I even carry a bottle opener because it seems that we are always looking for one!
Above all, bring a mind ready for meeting new people and new knowledge. Rest before so you have the energy to do everything you want to do!
craftcation ticket giveaway
Now that you’re ready to go. How about a free ticket to Craftcation Conference? That’s right we’ve teamed up with our sponsor Fairgoods to give away four free tickets to Craftcation!!! All you have to do to be entered to win one of them is like Fairgoods on their Facebook page here + leave a comment on this blog post letting us why you want to come to Craftcation. You must do these two things by March 14th.
*This contest is only to people who have not bought a ticket yet.
this contest is now closed!!!
Thanks to all who entered! Congrats to the winners: Rana Thomas, Yezenia Hernandez, Debbie Ungar and Stephen.
I would love to come to craftcation to meet other makers and get focused on my biz plan!
awesome cindy! there are so many inspiring creatives there 🙂 best of luck!
I would love to attend Craftcation, I really want to take my Youtube diy craft channel to the next level. I feel like a Craftcation would be an amazingly motivating and awesome networking experience.
ohhhh! a you tube craft channel! sounds awesome!
Julie: i cant wait to see your channel!! let us know about it or post a link on our FB page!
I’ve just started a business and I would love the opportunity to network with like minded people and learn the dos and don’ts . This looks absolutely wonderful!! 🙂
awesome rana! best of luck in the contest 🙂
This would be so awesome to attend.
wendee! it really is so amazing 🙂 best of luck in the contest 🙂
Thank you!! If not this year. I will budget for next year. I love being around other creative souls to learn and share and to meet other creative.
Craftcation is super new too me, I just found out about it super late, by taking classes online last week through creative bug and kinda stalking my fav artist also who I found on there, Lisa Congdon. Who will be speaking there…And it was on since then. I am realized how late I was to register after I got the OK from my hubby to do such a thing over the weekend and found out this morning that most workshop classes are filled but the business ones are still open. Kinda perfect! Would adore this chance to win a ticket in! Thanks!
awesome! myra… we love creativebug and lisa congdon too! hope you win and if not, you can still register until midnight on march 15th. -nicole
Craftcation would be an amazing opportunity to expand my Etsy shop and meet other like minded creatives. Like Myra, I discovered the conference through Lisa Cogdon’s Facebook page. Best of luck to everyone entering. I’m sure it will be an amazing conference!
love seeing how many people are lisa’s fans! i’m a huge fan of her work as well 🙂 good luck to you in the contest 🙂
I would love to attend Craftcation for a much needed mental reset!
A weekend spent learning and connecting with other creative entrepreneurs would help put me on the right path for the rest of 2014. Even after being in business for 21 years, there are so many things I want to learn!
totally!!! when i come from a conference, i always feel so inspired! good luck 🙂
I’ve attended the last 2 craftcation conferences and learned how to get started on social media there. There is still so much to learn and I would love to go again. Crossing my fingers for good luck!
awesome stacy! would love to have you back and love hearing how it helped you with your social media stuff 🙂 best of luck!
Many people in my creative community have recommended I go to craftcation and as a new small business owner who is trying to feed her brain with all things related and is trying to get her mojo on in this arena–I agree!
awesome michelle! it is such an amazing resource resource for a new creative biz owner 🙂 good luck! -nicole
excited that you heard about it! it really is a great break- the most fun you ever had working!
I’m running two businesses and could use all the help I could get. I love so much about what you guys are doing already. Our experiences at 3 of the Patchwork events (so far) were such important parts of our first year, and I know that craftcation would do so much to help us with our next steps (moving into fully commercial from CFO – and putting our products in stores).
glad you enjoy patchwork! i know craftcation would totally benefit you 🙂 best of luck 🙂
this is the best help- there are so many people to learn from it is kind of overwhelming- but the community you meet is gold!
I would love to be in the presence of some craft-loving people. So far I’ve got my unenthusiastic tween and impatient boyfriend as an audience to my craft bug. I think feeling the buzz in the room would light a fire under me to finally get my etsy shop decent and active. Plus being able to soak up as much knowledge as possible would be an amazing experience!
best of luck to you in the contest! i can’t tell you how awesome it feels to be a place filled with like minded hardworking creatives 🙂
I would love to go to Craftcation to open my mind to the possibilities for starting a small business in a field I actually enjoy. I’m tired of feeling stagnant in my current career.
yes! even if you don’t win the ticket, i hope you make the move to start a biz doing something you enjoy! best of luck 🙂
yezenia: the conference is just a great way to connect and see all of the possibilities that can happen- hope to see you!
Looking for inspiration towards my cupcakery start-up by being surrounded by creative people.
ohhhh… a cupcakery!!! please keep us posted! we love sweet treats 🙂 and best of luck 🙂
Multi-talented crafter seeking energy, inspiration, and close contact with like-minded individuals to break out of her corporate rut before it’s too late. Send me to Craftcation and save me from a life trapped in a cube farm! Many thanks for your consideration.
yes!!! get out of the corporate rut as soon as you can! life is too short to hate your job 🙂 best of luck to you in the contest 🙂
jessica: this sounds GREAT! the best thing is to have a supportive community that encourages you and helps you gain more success- hope to see you!
I would love to come to craftcation for three reasons: 1) I want to learn more about the wholesale craft industry in order to grow my business. 2) My family life for the past month sounds like a bad country and western song. 3) This winter in Indiana has been awful and I need some sunshine and warm breezes. Thanks for the opportunity! 🙂
those are three great reasons!!! best of luck 🙂
I would love to go to Craftcation to be surrounded by creative people, recharge, and get new tips to further my business. I can only imagine how much inspiration I could leave this conference with!
seriously… so much inspiration awaits you at craftcation! best of luck in the ticket contest 🙂
This sounds wonderful. I love crafty anything and would love to go.
awesome! good luck 🙂
I’d love to soak up the information, inspiration, and good vibes at Craftcation this year! I have the basics down, but know that workshops on managing the business side of things and Q&As with successful makers would be so helpful.
Thanks for the conference tips and for the chance to win!
the biz workshops are amazing! i’ve had a creative business for over a decade and i still learn so much in them 🙂
This would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me! Not only would it be boatloads of fun (and my first time seeing the west coast as an adult!) but it would be the push I need to take my creative small business ventures to the next level. I was lucky enough to get engaged this past fall, but with that comes a lot of financial responsibilities, which made craftcation fiscally impossible. If I won, I’d be there in a heartbeat!
Wishing the winners and those who already have tickets an excellent experience!!
how sweet are you! if you don’t win this year – you can start saving for craftcation 2015. also, congrats on the engagement. i got married last year and delilah is getting married this year – so we both totally know all the planning and saving that goes into weddings. best of luck with yours and in the contest 🙂
I’ve dreamed of attending Craftcation to learn from all the talented instructors and develop the skills to become one myself.
awesome! i always get so recharged and inspired by the amazing teachers at craftcation too! best of luck in the contest 🙂
I would love to be surrounded by other passionate, creative people to network, learn and find new inspiration!
all great reasons! best of luck 🙂
Finally have time again to get back to crafts and sewing and embroidery and to learn quilting.
best of luck in the contest 🙂
So excited to attend Craftificstion ! We will be there on force from the Antelope Valley.
awesome kathe!!! 🙂
I want to get tips on getting a cottage food license!
awesome patricia! there will be some great food biz classes this year 🙂
Ventura, a bunch of creative and fun people, awesome classes and panels, so many reasons it’s hard to pick one. I hope I win 🙂
would LOVE to have you join us 🙂
I would love to drive up the coast and join you for Craftcation! I had such a great time meeting you at Alt (speakeasy *). Attending conferences is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people, learn and grow together.
totally #teamspeakeasy we had soooo much fun there 🙂 best of luck to you in the contest.
Oh wow, I would love, Love, LOVE to go to craftcation! I live in Ventura so it pains me to know it’s going on just a few miles from my home, and I just can’t swing the cost of it right now. 🙂 Luck to everyone!!!
best of luck to you in the contest. even if you don’t win- our awesome attendees will be running around your city and hopefully we’ll run into you at one of ventura’s awesome restaurants or spots 🙂
I’ve volunteered for Patchwork, Santa Ana, and the edible edition last fall. I am simply amazed at the draw of people and talent in your events. I feel like I got a “backstage”view as a volunteer and would like to participate in the goodness that is Craftcation. Regardless, if I win or not, I’m hoping to attend 2015. I know it is worth every penny and I need more time to save up for it.
You rock, Delilah and Nicole! All the best for another amazing event!
thank you so much for volunteering your time at patchwork! we could never pull it off without the help of our amazing volunteers, like you! best of luck for the 2014 contest and if you don’t win… start saving and we’ll see you at craftcation 2015! yeah!
we might be still accepting spots for volunteering at Craftcation- if you are interested email Tiffany right away at:
I would love to attend Craftcation because I need help! I just found out about this awesome conference via Lisa Congdon’s blog. I think that I have been living under a rock not to have heard about this fantastic conference sooner. I design and make jewelry but I struggle with the other “stuff” – you know the businessy – kind of scary – not so fun – but very important stuff. I think that if I won a ticket to attend Craftcation it would educate me on how to do the “stuff” in the best – happiest and not scary at all – way and would also be a great opportunity to meet and network with so many super talented people.
so glad you found us! we’re also huge lisa congdon fans 🙂 i totally get it – the businessey stuff tends not to come as easily for creativeminds- one of the big reasons we created craftcation! best of luck in the contest and if you don’t win, hopefully you’ll be able to join us in 2015!
Hi Nicole & Delilah, I was just checking to see who to congratulate on the craftcation tickets 🙂
This would be a D R E A M come true for me!!! Crossing my fingers!!! Liked the Facebook page as well . =)
thanks sara! sadly – the contest is now closed as noted above but please join our craftcation email list at http://www.craftcationconference.com – hopefully you can come to craftcation in 2015! 🙂