I’ve been a planner girl for as long as I could remember, but it wasn’t until just recently — maybe the last four or five years — that it seems like it became “cool” again. The struggle of finding printable inserts, project planners, dashboards, dividers, notepads and stickers is a thing of the past and there is a huge community of awesome planner people that has come out of hiding. And I’m lucky that I found not only an online community of planner people, but I also have some close friends that share my love for all things planner related.
So, what is this PlannerCon thing all about? I get that question often when people ask me what I did the particular weekend that I attended PlannerCon. This year was the second international convention and had literally over one thousand attendees. Yes, 1-0-0-0 planner people all in one hotel! It was held at the Hyatt Regency at SFO and it was definitely a sight to see planner people from all over the country and even some from other countries. The weekend was filled with speakers and workshops and the part we all love the most — shopping! Planners, Traveler’s Notebooks, pens, washi tape, stickers, stamps, notebooks, paperclips, bags, hats, pins, charms, apparel; you name it, someone was selling it. Some vendors even had pre-order items that you could order online and pick up at the conference. Some also had special PlannerCon items and pricing. And of course, we all got a swag bag with lots of free planner goodies.
So now let’s talk about some details. Registration opened at 7:30 am. The line for registration/check-in was a bit long and intimidating, but actually went really smoothly and quickly since they separated the attendees by last name. Once I checked in and received my swag bag and name badge, I met up with my planner peeps (Les, Mai, Law & his hubby Jeff and a new planner friend, Rosanna) and we found a table to sit at.
Of note, for those of you thinking about attending PlannerCon next year, there are VIP tickets that include table seating among some other perks. Assembly seating without tables is included in the regular ticket price. The conference opened with a welcome and introduction by Louise Umeki, the visionary and mastermind behind PlannerCon. Hearing about how PlannerCon started and how much it’s grown in just a mere two years is incredible. All the hard work, time and TLC she and her team put into PlannerCon has definitely paid off. They have already extended PlannerCon to smaller PlannerCon Parties that are at different cities each year. I have not attended a PlannerCon Party yet, but I hear they are just as fun but take place in more of an intimate setting.
I absolutely loooooved the opening keynote speaker, Kristy Dickerson, the CEO of STARTplanner. If you haven’t heard of her, look her up! She is an inspiration for anyone who just wants to be more productive in life whether it be starting a personal blog, organizing your life, or even opening up your own business. I ended up purchasing her Daily Hustle Planner and I started reading her book, START balancing. Did I mention that she is only thirty-one years old?!? It’s only been about a month since I’ve been using her planner and I feel so much more productive than I have been in a while.
The first workshop I attended was a Travel Journaling workshop with one of my faves in the business, Amy Tan(gerine). I met her for the first time at PlannerCon 2017, but I’ve been a fan of hers since I saw her on HSN (I love Home Shopping Network!) demonstrating some of her new craft products a few years ago.
She graciously provided all of the attendees of her workshop with a packet full of fun craft items from her shop–scrapbook paper, stickers, washi tape, decorative tassels and even a travel notebook insert. Aside from teaching about her journaling techniques, she is also a great speaker/presenter with a great story of how she got to where she is today.
The next workshop I attended was a lettering class taught by Jessica Park from Sakura of America. She has also done quite a few online brush lettering tutorials for some of the biggest names in the industry. I took a lettering class at last year’s PlannerCon as well taught by Sharisse of Pieces Calligraphy. It definitely takes lots of practice to get as good as these lettering instructors. Sharisse teaches brush calligraphy all over the place and recently launched a full online brush lettering class that I’m slowly getting through. I wish I could practice lettering all the time! They make it look so easy.
Starting to see a theme here? PlannerCon is more than just making pretty things and buying stuff, which, don’t get me wrong, is really awesome, but it’s also about productivity (because that’s what planner people strive to be) and living up to your potential. It’s also a great place to network and meet new people with similar interests. There were also so many small business owners handing our free goodies with their business cards attached as a way to promote themselves and their businesses. Aside from the wonderful speakers, presenters and workshop instructors I mentioned, there were panels of more people with successful, inspirational stories and a few more keynote speakers who spoke throughout the conference.
One of the Diamond Sponsors, Erin Condren, creator of the Life Planner, closed out the day with yet another motivational talk and gave all of the attendees a swag bag with goodies from her store. The rest of the night was spent with a plan-a-thon where everyone was able to do some planning, check out all of their purchases and just have a good time. The shops were open late for even more shopping in case people didn’t have enough time to shop between their workshops.
I bought my (regular) ticket already for PlannerCon 2019 and I am looking forward to another weekend filled with planners, friends, fun and inspiration.