We are less than ONE month away from Go Wild, which is a gigantic planner conference that is being held in Fabulous Las Vegas. In the event group, there is a lot of excitement around the lead up to the event and a LOT more questions from first timers about all sorts of aspects of going to their first “planner event”. I’m certainly no expert in this but I did go to Go Wild last year in Austin, as well as 5 other planner events of varying scales. There are lots of people imparting advice on their spaces, and I am going to join the ever growing throng to give you another point of view. Whether you’re “Going” with us to Vegas, or heading to one of the other planner events that are happening this year, allow me to pass along some wisdom.
The Advice I Wish I Had Listened To Before Going To A Planner Conference
Wear Sensible Shoes – NOT FLIP FLOPS
Y’all, I love me some flip flops but let’s be 100% here, they are not useful shoes. You’re probably going to be doing a LOT of walking at these things. Walking all the way across the hotel to get to the conference. Walking all your swag back to your room during breaks. Walking around the city during your down time. And, you’ll be doing a lot of standing as well. Standing in line for snacks. Standing in line to get on the elevator. Standing in line to get a photo with that speaker you really like. You know what kind of shoes SUCK for that sort of stuff? Flip flops. Get yourself actual shoes. Sneakers. Maybe buy some insoles. Baby the fuck out of your feet. They will thank you for it.
Take The Damn Pictures
I know, it’s weird to go up to someone and go “Hohmigod can i get a picture with you?!” I struggle with it, especially after working with musical acts and remembering they are people who fall going up the stairs too. But you know, you’re gonna get home and be really sad that you didn’t do it. Get in line for those photos; that’s why they have those times set to take the photos. Take the selfies with your friends. Make a gookie if you’re afraid to look dumb… that way you know you’ll look dumb on purpose and it’ll be a cool homage to Wakko Warner/Harpo Marx.
Nobody Cares What You Wear
There was one event I went to where someone had a light up dress on. The only reason I remember it is because I remember thinking, “Shit… how is she gonna get that dress and all her swag home?” Plus, remember all that walking and standing I mentioned before? You’re probably gonna have to be clothed while you’re doing those things. Pick comfortable stuff that you can hike back and forth in. My go to is black leggings, a t-shirt, and a flannel for if I get cold (actually… that’s my go to everyday. I have no sense of style). If you are flying somewhere and you know that you’re gonna be a tad spoiled by your sponsors, pack light – or make a plan to ship stuff home, and remember to leave some in your budget to do that.
Find the Bathrooms BEFORE You Have To Pee.
Just… trust me on this. And when I say find the bathrooms, I mean… don’t just find the closest ones. Find ALL of them so that if one is full you can go down the line until you find something that is open.
Schedule Time To Do NOTHING
So, for a bigger event like Go Wild it’s really tempting to want to schedule in EVERY SINGLE THING. You’re on vacation, you’re in a city that you want to explore, and you need to eat ALL the things. But, give yourself time to just wander around the hotel and hang with people. Sometimes there are hidden goodies around the hotel block. Sometimes you meet your favorite shop owners and get exclusive samplers. Sometimes one of your roommate does a really bad Australian accent to one of the main people of a major planner company (who happens to be British) and you need to have a spare half hour to literally roll on the floor laughing at her. So yeah… make time for those random things to happen.
Everyone is Awkward AF And That’s The Magic Of It
When you get right down to it, this is a weird hobby for a bunch of adults to have. We play with stickers and mostly know each other through the internet. Sounds super legit, right? But you know, we all have that experience of unsuccessfully trying to explain what this hobby is and why stickers are a vital importance to it. We all have that one horrible layout we will NEVER show anyone. Everyone is as awkward as you are and is hoping you don’t notice that their shirt is on inside out. Embrace it. You are among your peers who know that HP means Happy Planner and not Harry Potter, but we are probably obsessed with both.
Where ever your planner related adventures may take you, I hope you have fun, find a new shop to love, and that your pen doesn’t skip while you’re filling out your spread.