Every year I (Kat) start the recap blog post with the same thing…
How is it already over?!?!
Round 9 was a monumental conference for Creative at Heart. I’m humbly grateful to be the leader of such an amazing brand & vision! I look back at all Round 9 was & have a hard time finding the “right” words to describe it.
Some have said it was our best one yet and while I can’t pick a favorite conference, this one was pretty amazing! 😉
We took C@H back to WinMock in North Carolina (where we hosted Round 8!) and I am so glad we returned to our old stomping grounds! I walked inside on Sunday for set-up, took a deep breath & truly felt like I’d come back home. It’s such a special place & one I hope we come back to again & again & again… 😉
Matt, Emily and I arrived at WinMock on Sunday for swag prep; then the rest of our volunteer alumni team arrived on Monday for set-up & decor. Monday evening we kicked off the conference with a Welcome Party on the Terrace (complete with a fresh-squeezed lemonade stand!) and then had 3 full days of content, tears & newfound friendships.
It was magical.
… and very lemon-inspired! 😉
Unlike previous conferences, this year the team and I worked hard to create a dedicated theme for the experience. No detail was left un-themed – from the name-cards to the table-signs to the large-scale lemon installation… we took lemons to a whole new level!
I’m so thankful for our designer Laura of Paper & Honey and all of her hard work on the design elements! She’s also the pun queen! 😉
As a host, this conference was our smoothest conference to date. Our alumni volunteers gave willingly of their time & energy to make Round 9 logistics run like a well oiled machine. My own C@H team (my amazing husband Matt & trusted assistant Emily) worked by my side tirelessly to problem-solve on the go & pour into every aspect of Round 9. And our educators could not have dropped the mic any better. They cared deeply about the content they shared & worked hard to not only provide tangible light-bulb moments (& tears!) from the stage, but also intentionally spend time with attendees in between sessions!
I’m deeply grateful to every creative who poured into Round 9 and to every attendee who chose to make our conference their home.
Creative at Heart will never be about me … it’s about ALL of us. (That’s the secret to our success, y’all!) I’m teary-eyed writing this because I know the POWER we bring to the table when we sit together to laugh & love & learn as ONE! Big things happen inside our walls & I already can’t wait to be back at WinMock again in 2020!
There’s so much more I could share about Round 9, but I’m going to let Bethanne’s images speak for themselves. She came back to yet another round to serve as our official conference photographer and I am completely obsessed with how well she captured this bright, zesty experience! 😉 Enjoy a few of my faves:
I love that our team can personally greet educators + attendees as they arrive for the Welcome Party!
A few short words & then we rest up before a full day tomorrow!!
I love our “dream wall”!
The Paisley & Jade Market Cart makes our conference pop-up shop look so much better! 🙂
Karen of Aleen Floral Design did an incredible job with the conference florals and our stage design! I am in love with how sweet, southern & lemon-y everything turned out to be!!! (And that sign on the stage is my sweet friend + Round 9 attendee, Abby of Blair Made!! I love how “home-y” it makes the stage feel!)
Kicking off Day 1!!
This year my opening keynote was an ode back to what I did at Round 1. Laura was my Vanna White for this dramatic skit!
After a great day of Keynote sessions, we dove into smaller groups for Breakout sessions!
The alumni team & I took a few quick pics together at our photo-booth! So, so thankful for them and y’all – how cute is Micah with my mama & his Aunt Hannah?!?! #proudmama
Day Two started with a few announcements & then more Breakout and Keynote Sessions!! Such a full, fun day!!
The Late Night Treat (LNT) is a tradition at C@H and this year it turned into an impromptu dance party!! It was SO much fun & just might need to be a planned “thing” at R10! 😉 (Ps. Also how sweet is Em for putting this special lemon-y treat together for our alumni volunteer team?!)
Day Three – our final day – opened with a few more Breakout Sessions & then closing Keynotes (with LOTS of tears!)
This is what I do after Katelyn brings the house down! (ha!)
And then after watching the sweetest recap film (plus a surprise “thank you” film) – I cry on stage & call an end to an amazing Round 9. (Watch the film here!)
Next week, Emily will be sharing about all of our amazing Round 9 Sponsors!! So excited for you to see the amazing swag and additional conference sponsors who shared their talents & time with our attendees!