2017 Conference/Retreat Review + Recommendations

Let's be real...between 2016 and 2017, I've attended a LOT of conferences. 14 to be exact. With that comes a lot of conference experience, a lot of learning what makes conferences amazing, and a lot of major takeaways. Follow along as I walk you through some 2017 conferences and my thoughts on each one.

Below are conferences I recommend for 2017. 

  • An italicized title means I'm speaking at it in 2017. 
  • An asterisk (*) after the name means I attended previously and recommend it for 2017.
  • If neither of the above apply, that means that I've met the conference organizer and think that the content she delivers is so world-class it needed to be on this list! 

IDCO Branding Workshop - January 14-15 2017

From the Conference: Thinking of rebranding, building a more distinctive social media presence or having a logo redesigned? Do you wonder how influencers have gained their six-digit following and how to do the same? With one-on-one guidance from a designer and marketing expert paired with a collaborative environment, we will whip your brand into shape over the course of a single weekend. Special guests include Tyler J. McCall of Persona Creative, Dannie Lynn Fountain, and Jana Bishop of TwigyPosts. Mini-workshops will break into small groups covering social media strategy, stock photo styling, and editorial planning. Save on hiring a graphic designer, while learning to be an active participant in designing your brand. Understand what makes your brand unique and how to reach your target market. Learn the tools necessary to build the brand of your dreams organically.

From Me: I am SO EXCITED to be speaking at this conference next year. Anastasia (the mastermind behind it all) is an incredibly talented woman and I know she's going to kill it. 

This conference is perfect for you if your brand and business need an overhaul and you want a dedicated space with talented mentors to make it happen. 

Cost: $685 | Registration Link

Together Experience - February 22-24 2017

From the Conference: Together is an experience like no other in the Pacific Northwest. It’s about the connection and collaboration of female entrepreneurs getting together to create a community of like minded women who want to grow, learn, teach and find their tribe. Our goal is to share stories and information to help you. No matter what stage you are in with your business. Whether you are just starting out needing practical advice, looking to finally working on your business full-time, or even if you have been in business for several years needing some inspiration, advice, and encouragement, this event is made for you.

From Me: Devan has 10+ years of experience in the corporate world and she's finally bringing that skillset to entrepreneurs. I am so excited to be speaking at this conference in 2017 and can't wait to see how Devan brings it all together! 

This conference is perfect for you if you're ready to throw out the traditional conference schedule and experience a unique environment in which you never have to decide between inspiring speaker sessions or results-driven workshops. 

Cost: $1,200 | Registration Link | Use code Dannie100 to save $100

Paper Camp - February 24-25 2017

From the Conference: We’ll teach you how to create a stationery + gift line, launch to the wholesale market and exhibit at trade shows, so you can build a sustainable, profitable business. Learn from industry pros who openly share their successes and struggles to help you make better decisions in your business.  Join us for an action-inducing 2-day business camp.

From Me: If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Katie Hunt, you should 100% get right on that. Katie is a powerhouse in the paper industry and her conferences are always wildly successful. I had the pleasure of hearing Katie speak at The Savvy Experience and chatting with her after - she has a unique skillset and knowledge base that I think even non-paper industry folks could learn from. 

This conference is perfect for you if you're ready to get a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed in the paper industry.

Cost: $1,750 (early bird ends Jan 6th) | Registration Link

Babetown Collective Retreat - February 27-March 10 2017

From the Conference: We are so excited to introduce you to some of our fantastic, bad-ass babes that will be providing you lots of tips & tricks, advice, and education during our retreat! They’ve all been hand-selected by The Babetown Collective team and we can guarantee these girls know what they are talking about! And they are ready to share their knowledge with you. We’re focused on a community feel for this retreat. That’s why 90% of our content will be live. You’ll have a chance to talk and discuss with other retreat attendees in a live environment. You’ll be invited to our private Facebook group to connect with other inspiring, real, and authentic women, and we’ll be available every step of the way to answer your questions and encourage your babeness. We can’t wait for this! Join these bad-ass, inspiring, real, authentic babes. You won’t regret it!

From Me: Lola (the retreat founder) is a Side Hustle Gal in the truest sense and getting to know her has been an absolute joy. This retreat is online and accessible to anyone, I'm so excited to deliver content to attendees! 

This conference is perfect for you if you want to attend a conference without leaving your home.

Cost: $600 | Registration Link

Reset Conference - March 4-5 2017

From the Conference: The focus of the Reset Conference is to help the professional photographer/videographer find balance in life while still pursuing a career in the professional visual community. The Reset Conference is structured each year to help give visual creatives the tools they need that will enable them to enjoy their personal lives, use their talents for good, as well as thrive financially within their businesses. Reset always hosts a wide variety of speakers and guests that thrive in multiple genres of photography and videography.

From Me: Reset has a special place in my heart. As the child of a wedding and portrait photographer, I love the photography community but I do not have the artistic talent to pursue it as a career. I'm excited to give back to these amazing professionals and help them achieve their goals! 

This conference is perfect for you if you're a photographer/videographer ready to KILL IT next year! 

Cost: $375 | Registration Link

Society for Creative Founders Conference - March 5-8 2017

From the Conference: As stationers, illustrators, Etsy shop owners, and designers, you’re a creative business owners - you're creative founders. And it’s hard to strike a balance between the creative side of our brain and the logical business side. Being and doing "all of the things" for your business and still finding time and inspiration to create new designs and come up with new ideas is the world we live in.  How would you feel if you knew you had a plan and a community of true business friendships to back you up long after you left a conference?

From Me: Jennifer Faught (conference founder) never fails to kill it when it comes to core business advice. She started her career in marketing (like me) and founded the business that is the Conference today in 2013. I've had the pleasure of hearing her speak a few times in 2016 and I can say without a doubt that I've taken away actionable and business-changing advice every. single. time.

This conference is perfect for you if you are a designer or maker ready to balance left and right brain.

Cost: $2,499 | Registration Link

Women's Business Workshop Lakeside Conference - March 10-11 2017

From the Conference: Do you ever wish you had a group of women business owners that you could bounce ideas off of? Do you need help growing your business, but you aren’t sure who to turn to? At the Lakeside Conference, women business owners will come together to talk business, share ideas, learn from experts, and complete action plans to move their businesses forward. There will be expert speakers and presenters, training women on all aspects of running your own business.

From Me: This conference is going to be extra special for me because I'll be hosting a Bucketlist Babe book signing here and officially launching the paperback version of the book at the conference. 

This conference is perfect for you if you want to brainstorm your booty off and walk away with clear action items to drive your business towards increased success.

Cost: $259 (through 1/16, then price goes up) | Registration Link

Inspired Retreat - April 9-12 2017*

From the Conference: We are Inspired Retreat and we create experiences for creative women who are growing their business while loving their families. In our four day experiences, we use actionable education, inspiring content, and intimate community to refresh your heart, spark momentum, and surround you with people who totally get you. 

From Me: Who hasn't heard of Inspired Retreat? For me, this retreat was on my top-two list (alongside Illume) from day one. I attended in September of 2016 and Inspired toppled every one of my expectations. I experienced a shift that completely rocked my business to it's core, prompting the rebrand that you now see executed throughout this site, and carving out the space for my third book, One Honest Woman. I recommend Inspired Retreat to anyone looking to attend a conference - it. will. change. you. Period.

This conference is perfect for you if you are ready to be challenged, pushed, and rocked to your core in all the best ways.

Cost: $2,750 (registration opens this winter) | Registration Link

Illume Retreat - April 24-27 2017*

From the Conference: The illume retreat is an intimately restful three-day retreat born out of the desire to give creative business owners the tools they need to feel educated, empowered, and to walk away feeling confident in their ability to life, love and do business well. This retreat is designed to help you dig deep into what it means to build an authentic business that is filled with purpose, and enables you to bring heartfelt value to not only those you serve, but those you love. Surrounded by a team of industry leaders and a small number of likeminded creatives, our attendees will walk away with a renewed sense of purpose for their businesses, genuine community, and fresh insight into what matters most.

From Me: I am SO FREAKING EXCITED to be going to Illume this coming April. It's been on my conference bucketlist for quite some time and the speakers this year are going to kill it. Come with me! 

This conference is perfect for you if you want a space to rest, recharge, and walk away ready to follow your true purpose.

Cost: $2,350 | Registration Link

SHOWIT UNITED - Nov 5-8, 2017*

From the Conference: The premier conference for professional photographers. Learn from trusted experts how to build a thriving creative business. 

From Me: I wasn't sure what to expect from ShowIt United, but I watched all the online/live speaker presentations for the 2016 iteration and it was BOMB. ShowIt has pulled together world class talent and I can't wait to see what 2017 holds. 

This conference is perfect for you if you're a photographer ready to hone your craft.

Cost: $699 | Registration Link

Creative at Heart Conference - 2017 dates TBA*

From the Conference: Our goal is simple: we want to inspire the hearts of like-minded creatives. We want you to know that you're not alone. Our motto of 'Here's to the Creatives' reminds us to stand proud under a banner of community; to hold out a hand to your neighbor, to share & give & help & love. You see, it's always better when we're together. 

From Me: I wasn't sure what to expect when attending C@H because I'm not in the wedding industry, but I can say without a doubt that I loved my time at the Conference and highly recommend it once dates are announced in 2017. 

This conference is perfect for you if you want an inviting atmosphere to learn about things specific to your craft.

Cost: TBA | Registration Link

The Savvy Experience - 2017 dates TBA*

From the Conference: The Savvy Experience is a conference for female business owners who have been in business for at least one year and are ready to meet like-minded gals who want to uplevel, shift, find clarity, grow, focus, and take action.

From Me: I absolutely loved every single second of The Savvy Experience. I'm not sure if there will be a 2017 one, but I know that if there is, Heather will kill it! 

This conference is perfect for you if you want a community of like minded folks all working towards a similar goal! 

Cost: TBA | Registration Link

Create & Cultivate - 2017 dates TBA*

From the Conference: Create & Cultivate is headed to New York City Spring 2017.  C&C is a one-day conference filled with panels, workshops, mentor power hours, break out sessions, delicious food, cocktails and much more. The core focus of all of our conferences is to entertain, enlighten and inform creative women around key topics surrounding the digital space, entrepreneurship & life as a modern woman.

From Me: I've been to C&C twice - August 2015 in Chicago and May 2016 in LA. It's an incredible experience and a conference unlike anything else in our industry. The Spring 2017 conference is focusing specifically on female entrepreneurship so you're not going to want to miss it.

This conference is perfect for everyone. Seriously, just register.

Cost: TBA | Registration Link

Featured Photo Credit: Bethanne Arthur Photography