Monday, March 13, 2017

The Difference Between Planner Meet Ups, Planner Cons and other planner events.

Planner and Travelers Notebook Stack
A few of my readers have emailed me and ask what the difference is between Planner Meetups, Planner Retreats (like the Marion Smith Planner Retreat), and Planner Con type of events are.
Planner Sticker Supplies

Planner Meetups, Planner Retreats, Planner Socials, and Planner Con are similar
Elite Planners Club

in nature since they usually have pop up vendors, games,
Example of a pop up vendor

An Example of a prize I won at a Planner Event

product demonstrations
click chick creates stickers
and other related planner activities. Additionally, some of the planner events have themes.  The Marion Smith Retreat had a circus theme.  I have been to events that have a "Hello Kitty" theme, a holiday theme, a color theme, and more.  There are also manufacturer sponsored events like the Prima Marketing Launch Party where the theme was based on their new planner line. The presentation of their new planners was so well thought out.  This is a picture of one of the place settings

which included a new planner,
Juli Nutting Planner by Prima Marketing
a swag box full of Prima Marketing products, and other fun items.

The prima event was held at their new event house in Temecula which is stunning.  One of the mini projects was to make an insert page like the one below.

I love Prima Marketing Papers and accessories so making this page was so much fun.  Plus I got to meet Frank Garcia who is so talented.  He taught a planner charm class at the event.

Planner Cons, Planner Retreats (like the Marion Smith Planner Retreat), the Prima Launch Party and other large venue planner related events usually have large crowds that exceed 50 people.  The Prima Marketing event was large but so well organized that we all had an opportunity to do a class (depending on which planner you wanted), do some "Make and Take" mini workshops, shop, plan, eat, and make new friends.

  I also did a watercolor "Make and Take" where I learned some helpful techniques

and got to try out the new Prima Marketing Watercolors.  The Prima Marketing event was worth every penny I paid for my ticket.

Another large scale planner event that I also attended had around 150 people.  That turned out to be  too large a group to work within the schedule the hosts had posted.  There were too many people there to have time to visit each vendor, participate in the "Make and Takes", gift exchange and other activities.  The wait to check in was around 20 minutes (there was only one person checking all those people in).  That particular event had about 16 vendors, and two "Make & Take" workshops. One of the workshops involved working with polymer clay which can be tricky.  They only had one toaster oven and one table that seated eight people (which included the teacher).  Needless to say, not everyone who attended got to do that particular activity.  Another issue that was a problem was the gift exchange.  If you consider the amount of time it takes to process two hundred people participating in the gift exchange which is approximately 2-4 minutes per person to walk up to the stage and choose their gift (4 minutes multiplied by 200 is 800 minutes), it will take all day for the process to be completed.  And yes I this happened.  It took over two hours for them to finish the gift exchange (possibly more since I did not participate I took advantage of the opportunity to shop at the various vendors).  Needless to say, some of the other planned activities were ditched due to time constraints that day.  One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to check out the sponsors of each event. Go on YouTube, Facebook, and even google to see what other people who have attended their past events are saying.  It is a good way to measure whether or not this is the right event for you.

The Swap process went far faster at that large event, than the gift exchange, because everyone just walked around and swapped with whomever they choose too.  That was really fun because I got to see a wide variety of swap items and enjoy the creativity of so many individuals.

I did not make 200 swaps, that would have been really expensive to do. I made about 70 and traded with the same amount of people.  Due to time constraints, I swapped rolls of washi (I had a large collection and this was the opportunity to give them to folks who would appreciate them), instead of making anything.

The shopping at the larger events are usually crowded but fun.  I have been able to see some unique products that I had not been able to find at my local stationery supply stores.  So I really enjoyed that part.  Also since the larger events are held at venues that can accommodate 100 or more people, the ticket prices will usually be far more expensive than some of the smaller events.  One event I attend was well over $125.  Comparing that to the fee for one my local planner meet ups which is $15.  That is a significant amount of money.  However, the bigger venues are great way to meet a lot of new people.  I meet so many lovely ladies who shared my enthusiasm in using planners and travelers notebooks.

Planner meet ups tend to be smaller. I have attended some in West Covina, CA that had a limit of 30 people.  This event had a disney type theme which I loved.  Below is a picture of the adorable swag bag that the sponsors of the event made for us.

It was held in a scrapbooking store which had a great sticker selection.  Plus the owner of the store designs her own planner stickers.

The smaller meet ups like this one are great.  I have found that groups of 30 and less tend to be the perfect size for my personal preference. It gives everyone a chance to do the "Make & Take Projects".
This event had two projects which were so much fun to do. One was to make a micro travelers notebook.

The other project was this adorable Disney themed jar to hold washi tape or candy.

Additionally, they also had someone from Sizzix demonstrating dies like the pineapple planner clip die from their newplanner collection.
These planner page has some of their other dies on it.

The event also provided actual time for planning. It was a lot of fun to see how other people set up their planners and travelers notebooks. Each person has their own style and it is always great to learn new tips from others on how to stay on schedule.

Additionally, since there were only 30 people, it was a lot easier for me to actually make something for the swap items.  Below are just a sampling of some of the swap items that I traded for.

This is one of the fun things about themed events.  Many of the swaps will reflect the theme and are so creative.

I also participated in the gift exchange where I gift some "Hello Kitty" dies and stickers.  I picked a package from Connie who fed my washi addiction by giving me a huge box of washi tape that I did not own.  Luckily for me, she picked my package and I was able to feed her "Hello Kitty" addiction in exchange.  They also fed us a really nice lunch at that event and provided beverages throughout the day.  This event was around $30 which included supplies, a swag bag, lunch and activities.

I also attend a Planner Social event that was smaller and located in Buena Park, CA. It was a fun event that featured some fun pop up vendors and a great set of sponsors.  Here is a peak at what was in that swag bag.  I think this one was around $25 to attend.

Another fun way to meet fellow planners is to attend Planner Meet Ups, where you meet up with fellow planner enthusiasts to work on your planners and do actual planning.  The Orange County Planner Meet Ups in Southern California usually include some type of tutorial and a lot of sharing between members on planner layouts, stickers and more.  I attend one that meets at the Rancho Santa Margerita Michaels store and at the local JoAnns store.  The last one I attended at the Michaels store, we made planner charms for our various planners.

There are usually 12 -20 ladies present at these events.  They are free to attend and a great way to put aside some actual planning time.

Planner events like Planner Con, and other Manufacturer Sponsored Planner Events, are usually fee based to cover the cost of the venue, snacks and the swag bag.  Each one will vary in cost and in accordance to what company is sponsoring the event.  Additionally, most of the bigger events will post information on their websites that tells you what activities they have planned and any rules for swaps and gift exchanges.

Spending time decorating my planner and getting to see how other folks set up their planners and travelers notebooks in one of the reason I like to attend these types of events.  Plus, I have made some new friends who share my love of planning.  It is can be so fun to meet other people who share your enthusiasm for planning, and journaling.  Some of the meet up groups have changed their meet ups to accommodate those interests.  Each meet up has a different focus (like journaling, scrapbooking, planning and more).  Below is a sample of one of the pages that I decorated in my travelers notebook at one of the events (this stickers and wood bits are from @mydecoratedpage)I attended.  The washi tape used on this page was from the Hobonichi website.  They are still carrying that pattern.  I like it because it is die cut and a bit different from what I normally use.

Once again, these types of events do vary in costs, while I paid around $125 for the Marion Smith Planner Retreat, there are many other events that are priced to suit various budgets.  I recently attended a really fun planner event that was around $15, which I will post about later.  That event had some really fun tutorials, we got to do some planning, we had snacks provided, and a cute swag bag.  I recommend joining planner Facebook groups in your area to get the inside information on the various planner events being offered in your area.

Note: This is not a sponsored post, I paid for my tickets to these events just like everyone else did.  Also this is just my opinion of the events I attended.  Others may have a completely different take on the same events.  The best way to figure what is best for you is to just check out a few and see which kind of events you enjoy the most.

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