The C@H Family Feature is a monthly blog series featuring women & men in the C@H family who are building community & education right where they are. Whether it’s through hosting their own educational experience, building a community-driven team, or fostering education with their industry peers, they are doing exceptional things in small business and we want to cheer them on!!
This month’s C@H Family Feature is an interview with United, a conference presented by Showit!
Showit is a website builder that provides drag & drop features to allow you to completely customize your brand & online home (even if you’re not a designer!)! You’re actually on a Showit website right now! 😉
Creative at Heart began using Showit in 2016 and we’ve not only loved our website but we’ve loved getting to know the company, too!
Showit hosts an annual conference called United, and this year I’ll be joining them in November as a breakout leader! Even though I’m not a photographer, it’s been a bucket list conference for me. I’ve heard great things about the community they foster & the content they deliver. And you know I’m alllll about community & content at in person events! 😉
I knew I wanted to hear more about the heart behind United and the history of the experience, so I’m glad Cassie, United Director, is sharing a BTS of United with us!
1. When did United first begin? Why did Showit – a website platform – decide to host an educational experience? (Especially since the content shared isn’t necessarily centered around websites!)
When United first began we started meeting in hotel rooms during WPPI. Showit was wanting to connect with the Showiteers (those who are in the Showit family of users) and since the majority of our clients are photographers, a way Showit could serve them was to provide educational opportunities where they could further their businesses and lives. So what started as just meet ups in those hotel rooms at WPPI quickly turned into us wanting to pour more and more into Showiteers. United was born out of a heart of service to our users because we value them, their businesses and their personal lives so much. We want them to win at business, at life, and at any personal journey they’re going through. We wholeheartedly want United to be that place where they come to be refueled, learn how to be better businessmen and women and better photographers so that they can in turn, be better spouses, parents, humans. Our theme for this years’ United speaks a LOT to the heart behind United as a whole. This year, we’re having a bit of fun with our overall United theme and going with an 80’s inspired tropical oasis. A little bit of the heart behind that theme is that we want United to be like an oasis in the middle of the desert – life giving and sustaining in the midst of hardship and trials. Many of our attendees are coming because they want to transform their businesses, but also, because they haven’t yet experienced what a close knit community can do for their lives. Many of them come to united feeling dry, tired, exhausted, and thirsting for fuel and help in their businesses that will continue to sustain them once they get home. We at United can be that oasis for them in the midst of the desert. And where do the 80’s come in, you say? Well, we’re a bunch of nerds around here that love the 80’s so we threw in some bright pink, some neon, and we might just throw in a cover band.
2. Can other creatives attend United? What content can they expect to hear?
Yes! Other creatives can attend United! We personally think “BRAVO!” when other creatives attend United from other industries. It’s really important to get out of your comfort zone as a creative to really get inspired. There’s something to be said for those who are brave enough to step into a conference full of photographers for a unique perspective on business. Though the education at United is focused on businesses in the photography industry, these business and life principles can be applied to ANY business. A lot of what is learned is applicable to everyday life beyond business and practical ways in which you can make your business work the way you want it to. Branding, content creation, workflow, balance – all of those subjects are applicable to any walk in the creative industry and so much more.
3. What is your favorite thing about planning & hosting United?
Planning and hosting United is hard work throughout the year but it’s a very life-giving service that brings us so much joy as a team. We love taking care of people, helping them grow, and watching others leave United on fire for their business and ready to make changes that truly change their lives for the better. We love watching life-long friends be made and we love pouring into this community of creatives. United truly is an incredibly special place and it’s not because of all the hard work we put into it; it’s because 400 people from all over the world come and pour into one another and we are incredibly honored to be a small part of making that happen.
4. In a sea of education for small business owners, what makes United unique?
We’ve had the honor to visit so many wonderful conferences lately as we love to support other conferences that we consider friends or sisters in conference-hood, and we still have so many that we’d like to attend in the coming years. Each conference is so unique and there are SO MANY wonderful opportunities for creatives to surround themselves with a community to grow and support one another through connection and relationships. We can’t express how important it is to not only grow in the classroom but to surround yourself as a creative with a tribe of people who will support you, grow you, encourage you, and believe in you and what you’re doing, whether that’s at United or another similar conference. Honestly, it’s nothing we do that makes United unique – it truly is the community that gives United its own heart, its own personality, and its own unique-ness. We are a conference that loves to talk about the tough stuff – not about how to make more money but about how to manage the money you do make and make tough choices. About outsourcing so that you can be at your kids’ ball games and about how to show up on social media in a way that isn’t sucking the life out of you. We talk about how to run your business when your personal life is falling apart and how to turn bad client experiences around. What makes United special is all the vulnerability shown from our educators, the openness from our attendees and the initiative taken from every person that shows up to pour into others while there, whether from the stage or from the seat next to you at lunch.
5. What is a favorite memory you have from United?
One of my personal favorite memories is last year, Todd got up on stage and handed out Spark Books like Oprah. Everyone got a Spark Book in the audience and it was such a fun experience for all of us and the attendees!
United is currently sold out for their November 2019 experience, but you can join the waitlist here! If you’re attending, I’d love to say “hey” in November! 🙂
All photos taken by Cassia Karin Photography
Connect with United: