Go Wild | Austin, TX

It has been about two months since this year's Go Wild and I am now ready to process my experience and share it with you all about at this amazing event. Go Wild is an annual planners conference put on by the admin of "Wild for Planners" on Facebook. This year's conference was held in Austin, TX (Spoiler Alert!! They announced next year's event will held be in Las Vegas, NV). In addition to bringing planners together, this event gives you the opportunity to listening to some amazing speakers, be introduced to new friends, and receive some unbelievable swag. 

I have been a member of their Facebook group since 2015 and have wanted to go to the conference for the past two years, but the timing just didn't work out. A lot of people see this conference and say, 'looks like a lot of fun and look at all the free crafting stuff, I want to go!' But I am going to tell you now, the reality of the conference is, it's so much more than that. To put it bluntly, if you are only interested in the swag, you should stay home and use the money that would have been used for the price of admission to go on a huge shopping spree. But if you are interested in an amazing weekend with people that fully understand the true you because you love to plan with a paper planner, this is the conference for you!

This year's conference started on a Thursday afternoon, but I decided to fly in on Wednesday night to meet my roommates and have the morning to explore the Austin Domain area before the conference started. Meeting my roommates was something I was nervous about, but it truly ended up being one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Erin, Kristin, and Julie where amazing and we connected easily. For most of the conference we stayed together and enjoyed the whole conference experience together.

The official conference started at the hotel, with registration and meet & greets. KrissyAnne Designs (KAD) sponsored the checkin swag and we each received a tote bag, hand sanitizer, shirt, water bottle, and of course stickers. That night there was a happy hour hosted by MAMBI: The Happy Planner Company. Stephanie Fleming and her team went all out and rented out the entire bar in downtown Austin. It was so much fun!

Friday morning started bright and early at 8am but the doors opened for the conference room at 7:30am. Most of the conference goers (all 1,300 of us) lined up as early as we could, which was 6:30am. The event started off Friday morning with the various sponsoring vendors and shops decorated tables filled them with swag. This meant everyone received different swag depending on which table you are sitting at. When the conference room opened my roommates and I all sat at a beautifully decorated table by LucKaty. Her table was so well put together and it had a spa like theme, I knew it was the spot for me.

After opening remarks from Amanda Hooper the welcoming address was from Erin Condren. I really enjoyed hearing more of Erin's story of her path to creating her business and how it changed and grown over time. After a small break we had a creative planning workshop with Meka Allen with materials provided by The Planner Society. We learned how to decorate some aspects of a travelers notebook with one of the TPS kits. After having another small break we got to hear from Emily Ley. Being a family person myself I really liked hearing Emily's aspect on running a business and how she balances her business with her personal life. She also talked about some key pointers I really could relate with. They where, 1. Claim what matters most 2. Set boundaries 3. Prep and Plan 4. Fill your well. To close out the first day we heard from Heidi Swapp. Heidi has a larger than life personality and I really enjoyed hearing her story. She talked about her sons suicide, there was not a dry eye in the conference room by the time she was done talking. Her core message was, Live the story you want to tell. With the planned events for the conference being over, my roommates and I all took time to compress the speakers and really just hangout the rest of the day /  night. 

Saturday morning started off with an All Star panel. This panel was filled with some known planner people and a few bloggers. It was great to hear all there different answers. It just shows you we are all so different and so alike at the same time. But this hobby we all love can bring us together for a once and life time weekend. Then we had a small break that was followed by a workshop with Kristin Damian, the owner of KAD. She walked us through how to document this weekend in a notebook. She also announced that KrissyAnne Designs will be coming to Michaels! So exciting for her. After another small break we heard from Stephanie Fleming. I was excited for all the speakers but being a happy planner user I was especially looking forward to hearing Stephanie speak. And she did not disappoint. Stephanie is so real and has a wonderfully bright personality. She talked about the growth of her company and how The Happy Planner came about. After a final break the Keynote speaker Dascha Polanco Spoke. She is not a planner girl but had a interesting store and really did a Q&A with the audience. My biggest take away from the all the speakers was hearing a common theme about being successful and dreaming big. Almost every speaker we heard from at the event had some kind of failure before they found success.

That night the real fun began, It was Planjama which took over the huge ballroom and the hallways around it. The ballroom had a overall club atmosphere. KAD offered karaoke, which was fun to watch. There was also an area Sweet Kawaii Designs Lounge and Confetti Carpet sponsored. Those pictures where so much fun to take! On top of all that there was food, drinks, photo booths, and face painting. At the end of the evening the Admins handed out trophies and announced where the next Go Wild is Las Vegas, NV. We then went to go rest for a few hours before all heading home. It was a fun and exhausting three days.

So what did I get from Going Wild. 
These are 3 things you will definitely leave with from going to Go Wild!
1) Real genuine friendships, with people that were once internet strangers
2) inspiration from the speakers
3) Having a sense of belonging

So yes, I left Go Wild with a lot of stuff but I also left with new friends and had real connections that gave me the sense of belonging. Going to Go Wild was a huge self care gift to myself! I felt so spoiled from the weekend. I am counting down the days until next year when I get to do it all again! 

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