Pinners Conference 2017 is upon us and I’m getting pumped for this event being brought back to Arizona! Last year I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but we survived this 2 day conference. If you are planning on attending this year let me share how to get the most out of the weekend!
So what is Pinners Conference? Pinners a 2 day event where you can explore the latest trends from Pinterest. You can try everything from hand lettering, sewing, sign making, try out the latest beauty trends, and of course PLANNERS! We are graced with Pinners here in Arizona on October 6th and 7th, 2017.
2016 was the first year that the conference came to Arizona. I attended last year with 30 or so AZPG members. I attended both days, and attended all but one of the class slots my VIP ticket allowed me to. I that had a blast, but as with any event there were lots of little gotchas that I thought I’d share so that you can have a blast at Pinners while you are there.
I hope these tips will help you navigate Pinners conference and make the most out of the 2 day event.
Register For Your Classes NOW
If you pre-register you are in. Classes don’t sell out, but when a class get’s marked “Stand By Only” that means you may not be able to get in. So if the class is popular for people buying tickets at the door, you will have to wait standby and the class may end up full before you get in. If your heart is set on attending a specific class , just get registered.
VIP TIP: If you were lucky enough to get a VIP Ticket before they sold out, you get into each class first. WHOOP! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the VIP lines. This is great for the full classes too because you can pick your spot!
Put Your Schedule In Your Planner!
Or print it out and bring a copy. The cell phone reception is ok, but not great. Plus there are only 30 minutes between classes so it can be a bit hectic to figure out what class is next, find the classroom, and get there in time. Just think 1st day of middle school, ha!
If you are an Arizona Planner Girl member we’ve got a fun spreadsheet going if you want to see who else is taking the classes you are.
Pack Light & Bring An Empty Bag.
If you know me, you know at each planner meetup I bring WAY too much stuff. Every time. Day 1 for pinners I brought a big bag that I thought I would need…this was a mistake. At lunch I took it out to the car and left it there.
I thought that since we’d be doing projects that I’d be in need of this or that. I didn’t’ need this or that, I just ended up carrying it around. PLUS I shopped, so I had all of that too.
Bring an empty bag to hold things in. Everything else, just leave it home. Trust me. Some classes provide a kit that you can purchase so if you don’t shop, you’ll at least need a place to put that.
Wear Comfy Shoes
If you haven’t ever been to this venue, just know you’ll be walking a lot. I wore cute flip flops on day one, but by the end of the day I wish I would have worn walking shoes. You’ll be walking around in between classes, or even while shopping, the floor is concrete, so a good pair of shoes is in order!
Expect To Pay For Parking
Last year parking was $10 per car. If you left for lunch then came back you had to pay again. That’s not a Pinner’s thing that’s a Westworld thing, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. If possible find someone to carpool with. I know it’s just $10 but man, it starts off the day like ugh when you don’t see that coming.
P.S. There is food there, but it’s food trucks.
Buy The Kits
When you register for your classes you’ll see some of them have a kit. The kit corresponds with the activity planned. The kit is optional, but you will just be sitting there in classes without a kit watching so I’d recommend buying a kit. Last year I bought all of them, frankly there was only 1 class that the kit wasn’t worth it, and I just didn’t buy it.
Also some of the classes you can pay for in advance with a link, or they will email you before the event some time with instructions on how to buy. I wish all the vendors would do this, frankly paying for them before I got there would be ideal, but not all of them offered it.
Last year I only brought about $20…I spent it the second class for the kit then had to go grab more… wait no, I bought coffee, then the kit, and I was out of cash.
In addition to cash for your kit, you will want to shop. This event is impluse city. Everything your heart desires will be there for purchase. Set a budget, bring the cash, then buy slowly. I literally blew $200 in the first half of the first day. I’m still in love with everything I bought. The 4 Goosebumps blankets, the 8 Copper & Clover candles, the LLR Halloween gear, Xyron galore, and we don’t’ even talk about the Happy Planner & Tombow booths!
There are deals to be had, find a friend, be accountable, go in ½ on the deals that you can, but expect to have a hard time saying no to all the goodies we love.
Get There Early
I figured heck it’s a Friday morning and there won’t be a line. At the urging of my carpool friends we left early “just in case”. They are way smarter than me and I was WAY WRONG! Last year we got there as VIP’s and there was a line.
Get to the venue a bit early between parking the car, heading in, and getting through the initial line there is a bit of a wait. Give yourself the time to check out the vendor area, acquaint yourself with where the classrooms are, and get there in time.
PRO TIP: Figure out what classroom you need to be at on your pre-written schedule, so you have more time to explore the booths around your class slowly. 😉
VIP’s TIP: You can enter at 9:30 Friday or 8:30 Saturday. That gives you 30 minutes to wander around before everyone else. YESSSS.
Plan To Be There All Day
There is so much going on you won’t want to miss a thing. I promise. The weekend is packed. Get a sitter, tell your family you are away away, and treat this like a girl’s weekend. If you haven’t already, take Friday off. There is so many make and takes, classes, and time with girlfriends you won’t regret it.
If that’s not possible and you are planning on just spending part of the day or 1 of the day’s up there I’d recommend setting aside 4 – 6 hours to spend up at Westworld at a minimum. It takes time to park, get through the line, find your class, and then getting distracted and wanting to check out everything happening.
This planner girl wouldn’t miss classes related to my planner and I’d recommend you DEFINITELY plan to attend both Happy Planner classes being put on by Stephanie Flemming. The first one is Friday at 3 and the second is Saturday at 5. Also there is a Menu Planner Board class being held by Katy Krupnik at The Tidy Cottage Saturday at 11. A favorite of mine last year was everything the amazing Lisa Funk with Hand Lettered design does. Catch her teaching Friday at 1:30, Saturday at 12:30 & 3:30.
By the end of pinners last year, my body was achy, my pockets were empty, but my heart was full. I took every hand lettering class, I shopped at every booth I wanted, to, and I laughed with all my friends. Plus we held the Pinners After Party with Happy Planner, which 67 ladies attended you can read about it here.
My classes are all registered, I have my sneakers by the door already, and I’m saving up my money to be ready for this event. I learned so much, and enjoyed just having the day to be nothing but crafty. I hope I’ll see you there!
Contributed by Jamie Marquez-Bratcher lives in Gilbert Arizona with her life partner and husband. She has been in the Arizona Planner Girls community since the start.