Last Updated on August 3, 2018 by Bryan Fiveash
When I attended my first Haven last year, I knew that I would return and that my wife would have to come with me! It was such a great experience, and unlike nearly every other conference I’ve been to, Haven was actually worth the price of admission.
Too many times have I interacted with brands who have paid a lot of money to be there, yet don’t bother to return follow-up emails. Why represent yourself at a blogger’s conference if you have no interest in developing the interest shown in you? My Haven experience has been the complete opposite and, as visiting with sponsoring brands is just one element of any conference, has been pleasant in many other ways as well.
This is a blogging conference where brands are actually interested in you as a person as well as a potential business partner. The panels are informative, and the other bloggers who attend are friendly, genuine people who aren’t afraid to help you get ahead. Talk about refreshing!
Haven traveled to Charleston, South Carolina in 2018, and it was another great experience, this time for our whole family!
Haven Conference 2018
The Charleston Marriott was the location for Haven Conference 2018, and in addition to being a great venue, we had a pleasant stay. The hotel was in a great location, there were great amenities, and the staff was very helpful and friendly.
While I was busy at the conference, my wife was able to sneak away with the kids to enjoy downtown Charleston and even the beach! They went several times and thoroughly enjoyed the amazing charm of the downtown buildings and picturesque city walkways. The beach, of course, was fun every time, except maybe for our 2-year-old. He’s just not sure yet about the waves!
In addition to the great location, the Charleston Marriott has several conference rooms and a large ballroom that seemed to adequately serve the needs of the conference. Like my first Haven in 2017, the atmosphere was relaxed and the brand booths were situated in a way that felt comfortable and easy to converse with.
Like my previous experience, Haven Conference 2018 was a packed 2-1/2 days of learning, relationship and business building, and all-out fun! I’ll narrow down my top-two favorite experiences: The “Ryobi Chopped” and “Detailing with Dremel and Gorilla Glue” panels.
Much like “Chopped” on The Food Network, “Ryobi Chopped” pitted three teams against each other in a fun race against the clock to build three different projects from pre-selected scraps of wood. I was in awe of the more experienced DIY-ers in the room who, after putting their brains together, came up with three awesome projects: An adirondack chair, a bench, and a fancy doghouse. I happened to be on the winning team, the andirondack chair, but the other projects were amazing too!
The “Detailing with Dremel and Gorilla Glue” panel was great! The participants got to build a wooden kitchen sign, using dremel tools and a Gorilla glue gun for assembly. Afterward, we got to keep our sign and our tools! I can’t wait to use them for future blog projects.
During the conference, I had the chance to meet new DIY’ers and catch up with ones I met at Haven in 2017. Among those I met for the first time, perhaps the most memorable for me are Shanty 2 Chic, Bower Power, and The Hesitant Handyman. I feel I could learn from everyone that was present at Haven Conference 2018, but these three in particular were very helpful and kind, and I hope to develop long-term relationships with them!
As you can probably guess, I plan to be at the next Haven in Atlanta, 2019, and hope to be at the upcoming WorkbenchCon in Atlanta as well. WorkbenchCon is similar to Haven in some ways, as it is sponsored by many of the same brands and is arranged by the same leadership team, but appears to be more hands-on project sessions. I missed the first one last year, but am planning to be at the next!
We’ve got more blogging conference experiences for you!