I've been planning in a paper planner ever since I started middle school and we were given an academic planner to keep track of anything school related: assignments, tests, projects, extra-curricular activities, etc.
^One of my previous Life Planners^
Almost nine years ago, I purchased my first Erin Condren Life Planner. I have been using an Erin Condren planner ever since. The EC planner is seriously my favorite planner. I use it to keep track of everything: work schedules (including when I substitute), birthdays/anniversaries of family & friends, medical appointments, fun events such as marking when I have a planner meet up, when library books are due, when I receive happy mail, etc. Next week, I will be making a post reviewing the 2018 Erin Condren Life Planner but today's post is going to recap the amazing experience I had earlier this year when I attended the Go Wild Planner Conference in Nashville, TN with a ton of amazing planner girls!
^Another previous Life Planner^
On, Thursday, April 20th, a few of my friends and I headed to Nashville, TN for the conference which was held this year at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Before our hotel room was ready, we went out to lunch at an awesome place called Biscuit Love. We also spent some time taking photos at various murals in downtown Nashville. Two stores we went into were Paper Source and Reese Witherspoon's store Draper James. When we got back to the hotel, we checked in and got situated. The event registration started at 6pm and we got our first set of swag that included an amazing Go Wild tote, t-shirt, Krissy Anne Designs stickers, a water bottle, hand sanitizer, and more! The first event was the happy hour party with Stephanie Fleming, the creator of The Happy Planner. This was the only event that was off-site and not in the hotel. My friend Melissa and I didn't go to this event but we had friends that did. During this event, we received new Happy Planners delievered to our hotel room door. It was quite a fun surprise!
^On our way to Nashville, TN!^
^At some of the murals in Nashville, TN^
Friday was the big kick-off! We had many different speakers during the 2 full days of the conference. On Friday, our first two presenters were Mica May, the owner of May Designs, and the amazing & talented Cindy (aka Llama Letters). The next speaker, Shay Shull, was such a thrill for me because I've been a devoted reader/follower of her blog (Mix & Match Mama), which is my favorite blog, for a few years now. During the Question & Answer, I raised my hand to ask a question and was so surprised when they called on me. I was so nervous that I was shaking and I thought I was going to drop the microphone. After Shay answered my question, I was handed one of her cook books and it was signed too! I was so surprised. After each session, we had little breaks to get refreshments, meet with other fellow planners, and the speakers. I was so excited to meet Shay and she couldn't have been sweeter. When Shay was announced as a speaker at Go Wild back in January, I was so excited that I wrote it in my planner. The last speaker of the day on Friday was Olympian and motivational speaker, Michelle Carter! Her session was so motivating and inspiring! I took notes during all of the presentations because the speakers were so talented and inspiring and I wanted to remember their words of wisdom and advice. The last event of the day was setting a world record for the largest planner stack which we exceeded! After the events were over for the day, I chatted with my good friend Shannon (aka my second sister) and her mom aka Mama Bee (aka my second mom) for a while and then I had a very awesome night hanging out with Mama Bee, eating pizza, chatting, and bonding. Queen Bee & Mama Bee are so very special and dear to my heart and I love them so very much!
^Meeting Shay Shull! I could barely contain my excitement!^
^Asking my question to Shay during the Q&A session! Thank you to the photographer for capturing this awesome moment. By the way, I have no idea what I'm doing with my hand. I tend to talk with my hands a lot. I think it's an Italian thing?^
Saturday was the second (and final) full day! We had another round of speakers. First up was the admin panel (the admins of the Planners Gone Wild Facebook group and other planner related Facebook groups), which consisted of Amanda, Jen, Betsy, Lameka, & Claudia. Then we had the Kit Life girls (Jessica, Liz, & Jen). Our third speaker of the day was Christy Tomlinson (owner/creator) of The Planner Society. The fourth speaker was Whitney English who is the owner of The Day Designer. Our key-note speaker for Saturday was the one and only Erin Condren! It was so inspiring to hear speak and listen to what she had to say. After the keynote, I stood in line to meet Erin Condren. I also met her the day before but I wanted to meet her again. She is so supportive, positive, bright, charismatic and passionate. She is such a huge inspiration and role model to me!
^Erin Condren & I. She complimented me on my shirt and I said "my shirt. Your outfit is amazing. I wish I could rock an outfit like you do!"^
^It was so amazing to meet Erin Condren. Without her planners, I never would have found the planner community and I wouldn't have the amazing friends I now have.^
After Erin's key note speech and meeting people, we had the rest of the afternoon to do whatever we wanted before the Planjama party that night. My friend, Lisa, her husband, and I did the gondola tour in the hotel, checked out a few of the gift shops, and ate amazing burgers at the burger place before heading back to our rooms to get ready for the party.
The Planjama party was so much fun. We had the best time talking, dancing, and having fun with our planner friends! It was such a wonderful time!
^Watching the water show before the party started.^
Sunday morning we checked out. We stopped and got doughnuts at Five Daughter's Bakery and then had lunch at The Flipside before getting on the road to head home.
^Eating lunch at The Flipside. I asked our waiter Tony for a photo! He was so awesome.^
Planning started as a hobby of mine when I was younger because it was something I didn't need friends for, something I could do alone. Having so much fun with it by myself, I always thought "I wish there were other people out there who loved planners, stickers, pens, etc. and decorating their planners/etc." Fast forward to my late 20's and I find this amazing community full of planner addicts just like me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever meet so many amazing woman who enjoyed and liked the same things I do. Also, never in my wildest dreams, did I think I could attend an event with over 700+ people and not be nervous and anxious the entire time. This experience proved to me that I could conquer and overcome any challenge that I set my mind to.
Go Wild 2017 was an amazing experience. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and I'm so glad that I got over my anxiety and went. I had the best time ever, met so many amazing people, and gained so much confidence in knowing that I didn't let my anxiety get to me. All of the admins, the event people, the speakers, the planner ladies that attended, all were so very sweet and kind. When I talked to people about my anxiety, they were all so helpful, supportive, and understand. A lot of people told me that if I was feeling anxious to seek them out and they would help me. These were people who I knew through the planner community online, some of whom I had met previously, but the majority of him, I was meeting for the first time. For these ladies to be so sweet, supportive, comforting, kind, and caring just reiterated to me how amazing and wonderful the planner community is. Yes, we received tons of swag and amazing goodies but my favorite part about the conference was meeting these amazing, inspiring, encouraging, talented, devoted, dedicated and amazing woman who make up the amazing planner community! I'm being 100% honest when I say that before I found the planner community and started attending planner meet ups, I didn't have true friends (outside of my family). After the past few years and the Go Wild 2017 Planner Conference, I can say with 100% confidence, that I've met so many amazing ladies that have become true friends of mine. Without the planner community, I wouldn't be able to say that.
^I took this photo right before we checked out of hotel on Sunday.^