So I’m back from Chicago and you guys I’m on such a natural high! I had to come and tell you all about it and also of course convince you why you should go to one if you’ve been on the fence!
Last year, I heard about this amazing Chicago Planner Conference and KNEW that I had to be there if they chose to do it again. Just my luck, they did. From beginning to end, the committee that led this conference exuded levels of excellence that is a rare find. I am literally writing this still in shock because I simply did not anticipate…excellence. Sure I knew I’d have a good time and I knew I’d meet up with my girlfriends and make new friends but it was the DETAIL that caught my attention. So to the women of Chicago Planner Conference, KUDOS TO YOU!
So how did I end up in Chicago and what all happened to make it such an amazing experience?! First, I decided that since the conference was the weekend of Valentine’s, it only made sense that me and my husband go and experience this beautiful city together. Although extremely cold, we had an amazing time. The hotel upgraded our room free of charge because we were also celebrating our 9 year anniversary, the staff was incredibly friendly and attentive and not to mention they also had strawberries and champagne sent to our room. Already I was on cloud 9 and excited for what the city had to offer. We spent the day going from the Sky Deck to Harold’s Chicken, Walking on Magnificent Mile and finishing up at the Auto Show. We opted for dinner at Uncle Julio’s since we couldn’t get a reservation into The Signature Room. Next trip, I promise 😉
Day 2, was equally as amazing as Day 1. After my hubby left, my girls flew in and you guys we had a blast! Planner Conferences aren’t only for you to come and plan because trust me you typically don’t do any planning at all. These conferences are the perfect place and opportunity for you to have a girl’s trip, to meet up with the many faces you see online and of course to get some amazing swag. Day 2 was on Friday, the conference didn’t start until 6:30 that evening which gave us enough time to explore. We went shopping, had lunch at Sugar Factory and sadly for me walked in the cold lol. I’m from the south, I didn’t know what cold was until this past weekend. Never Again, KP! Lol. When I am able to go out of town I like to try and meet up with as many customers of mine as possible. I’m able to hug them, laugh with them and truly say thank you. It means the world to me for them to come out and loan me their time. We managed to host Pizza & Planning in our room that evening and had an awesome time in fellowship!
The Day of the Official Conference is super exciting! There are speakers, swag, table mates, more swag, workshops, swag and did I say it? More swag. Our Keynote Speaker this year was, Amber from DamaskLove. If you didn’t already know this about me, I love me some Amber! She is what I aspire to become. She’s beautiful, witty, funny, talented and simply herself. Her message was amazing because it wasn’t boring or dull. It was in fact exactly what the doctor ordered, fill with cute stories and food for thought moments. She said some things that completely resonated with me in regards to dreaming and planning to execute said dreams. If you ever see this, Thank You Amber. You’re amazing!
Next, we had swag. Y’all the SWAG!! OMG! The SWAG. Now let me say, swag is always a plus and even though I am excited for everything I received, please do not attend a conference for swag only. Your focus should be the experience, meeting new people, networking and gems that you are able to take back home with you. Okay back to the swag, it was so overwhelmingly good we literally COULD NOT TAKE IT! Lol My heart was racing and I thought if they bring out one more amazing item I’m going to lose it. If you watched my live that Sunday then you saw the swag and YOU KNOW, there was no room for disappointments.
We also did workshops and I loved the way they broke out the workshops into rooms which gave people the opportunity to really listen in on what was being said and to share their thoughts. The workshops were GREAT! I attended the Self Care Workshop with Jessica Chung. Let me tell you, if you can get to anything, anywhere with Jessica, GO! Her energy is so contagious and she is 100% authentic, of course we hit it off.
As the day continued and things begin to wind down, we had a rest period from 6-8pm and came back for more laughter and more fun. There were more workshops and also KARAOKE NIGHT!! Whoop Whoop! Karaoke was led by the BEAUTIFUL Lhey of MommyLhey Designs whose talent far expands that of just a shop owner. She’s a wife, mom, girl boss, singer, artist and kick ass dancer. Work it Lhey! She’s also one of the sweetest souls I’ve ever met. Needless to say, we had a grand time! I performed Cardi B – Money and would do it all over again if I could lol.
This conference was surely one to remember. From meeting Amber of DamaskLove, sitting beside and chatting it up with Belinda Selene, meeting some amazing women that are shop owners, customers and now friends and we of course can’t forget the amazing men that were there as well; Heeeyyyy Cain! I’m so grateful to have simply been in the same space with all of these amazing human beings. If I haven’t convinced you by now why you should attend a Planner Conference and more specifically this one, well Gem, I can’t help you. However, If I have sparked your interest, make sure you mark it on your calendar. Decide to take that leap of Faith and don’t be afraid to travel alone. Once you get there it’ll feel like you’ve finally found your tribe. I look forward to meeting all of you one day sooner than later at one of these conferences and don’t forget to say Hi!
This Week On #GemTalk, we’re going to continue the conversation about Planner Conferences. We’ll discuss how much they cost, what you should look forward to, why you should go, who you’re going to see and much more. Join me there this Thursday at 7pm CST! Smooches!