Hi Creative family!! Kat, here! I know I start every conference wrap up post with a similar line … I can’t believe it’s already over!! But, truthfully, it does feel so strange to sit here one month after Round 8 and think back on ALL that happened!!! Part of me feels like it ended weeks ago; the other part feels like it ended just yesterday!
We had 15 month between Round 7 and Round 8 – the longest gap ever between conferences. (The reason for the gap? Baby Micah’s birth and my maternity leave!) While the gap was necessary for our family, it felt so, so good to be back at the conference with old & new friends!
Round 8 was held at the WinMock in Bermuda Run, North Carolina (just outside of Winston-Salem). The venue was absolutely perfect for our group!! Not only did it have the physical space we needed to host all of the breakout, panel & keynote sessions, but their staff is by far the most hospitable venue staff I have ever worked with (and that’s saying a lot from this wedding planner!)! Their team went above & beyond to ensure our crew had everything we needed, and constantly offered to extending a helping hand. (They even spent 30 minutes walking attendees out to their cars with umbrellas after sessions ended one day!)
We welcomed 160 creatives at the conference – 109 attendees, 40 educators and an amazing group of alumni volunteers helping make Round 8 happen. We listened to 9 Keynote presentations by educators like Katelyn James, Shay Cochrane, Graham Cochrane, Davey Jones and Lauren Carnes. And our attendees were able to select 6 breakout sessions out of a total of 18 options!! Breakout sessions educators including amazing educators like With Grace & Gold, Megan Martin, Terri Baskins, Abby Grace and Hope Taylor. Along with hearing keynote and breakout sessions, attendees also enjoyed lunches with their panel group! Panel group is industry specific and much more intimate; attendees are able to ask questions to a group of industry leaders, share struggles together and all in all get to know one another deeper!
We kicked things off Sunday afternoon with an Educator mingling event, followed by the Welcome Party for all attendees. Then Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday we had 3 full days of content – a mixture of keynote, breakout & panel sessions! We ended the day with bittersweet feelings Wednesday afternoon.
Our days at the conference were very full – and truthfully I think I took 3 iPhone pics (all of which included Micah in them!). Thankfully capturing our experience wasn’t something I had to worry about. Bethanne of Bethanne Arthur Photography captured all 3 days beautifully. She’s a several time alum to the conference and her love for our mission, her desire to serve our group and her incredible talent behind the lens are such a blessing!! I have SO many favorites to share with you!:) (Next week Emily is going to share a look at ALL of our amazing Round 8 sponsors! We were SO blessed this year!!! I can’t wait for you to see them all!!)
Before I share my overwhelming lineup of favorite photos, Tyler & Ashley of The Herrintons put together film of Round 8! Yay!
Now, beginning with some behind the scenes set-up shots on Sunday and ending with Katelyn’s incredible Keynote on Wednesday… here’s a look back at Round 8 photographed by Bethanne Arthur Photography –
So many little ones popped in & out throughout Round 8!!
I always love getting some time with our Educators before Attendees arrive. They pour so much of their time & talent into our group; it means a lot to say a public thank you!
The morning of our first full day! Could the WinMock be any prettier?!
Quiet moments before it all begins mean so much to me.
This illustration was custom created by Simply Jessica Marie. It represents our mission wholeheartedly and embodied Round 8’s theme of Welcome Home.
These guestbook has been to every single conference. It’s filled with notes & encouragement … it’s one of my most prized possessions.
This!!! I was so, so in love with this design!!!
Already crying…. HA!
Emily had the amazing idea to go around & hand delivery cookies to each panel group!!
No idea what Matt’s doing peeking out from behind the stage, ha!
Receiving the sweetest gift and note!!!!
Day two was rainy & dreary outside but we had a FULL day of keynote & breakout sessions!!
Alex’s session is always SO much fun!!!
Lucretia is so animated!!!
Lunch time after a morning filled with educators!!
Thankfully the skies cleared on Day Three in time for headshots, plus even more breakout sessions & keynote sessions!
Final 2 keynotes of the conference!!
Our Round 8 Family!!!
Lastly, I have to say a huge thank you to this group right here: our amazing team of alumni volunteers + Bethanne!! They did SO MUCH for Matt, Emily and I and we can’t thank them enough!!!
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