As I sit on the plane on the way back from my second United, I can’t help but reflect back on this experience – and how different this past year has looked!
Ellie is sleeping (thank the Lord!) in her carseat on the plane next to me (thank the Lord times a million for the nicest airplane crew ever), and I’m equal parts exhausted and fired up.
I feel like I have a million ideas in my head ready to burst into action – and probably just as many new friends 🙂
Showit United is a unicorn of conferences. Is there great education? Yes. Will it motivate the heck out of you? Yes. But more importantly – it’s really about the community.
If I could put it simply, the Showit family – everyone from attendees to speakers to leaders and volunteers – really just make you feel at home. They make you feel like you belong, that you’re welcome and that you’re not alone.
This year especially I felt this ring true, as speaker after speaker talked about purpose, value, and community.
So to say it’s one of my favorite events of the year is an understatement. And I may or may not have already snagged my ticket for next year 😉
Speaking at Showit United
Last year was my first year at United, and I loved it so much I knew I wanted to be as involved as possible in helping foster the community (and hugs) for 2019’s conference.
I was so thrilled, honored, and excited to be able to pour a little back into this amazing community as a speaker this year!
It’s no secret that I geek out over marketing strategies + funnels. So, getting to lead a breakout all about how to build a high-converting landing page was SO fun.
I actually wound up deleting like 15 slides before we started. I really wanted to create a space where we could have a really great discussion, rather than me just speaking the whole time. And let me just say, the folks who attended my breakout had THE BEST questions and ideas!
One of my favorite examples of this was to turn your “Thank You” Page into a landing page.
Without going into too much detail, we talked about how you can redirect your contact form upon submission. This way, instead of just showing a “success” message, you’ll send them to a new, thank you page. There are a few reasons this is super helpful:
- It allows you to track conversions/leads/inquiries (if you’re running Facebook ads, this is SUPER important!)
- You can elevate your experience and stand out from the very beginning
Essentially, by turning your thank you page into a landing page, you can help the person know what to do next, set expectations, and deliver even more value. That could look like anything from adding a video to your page, sharing relevant blog posts or your portfolio, or encouraging them to take another action like connecting with you on Instagram!
This was just one of the many conversations that broke out from the session. I’m so thankful for everyone to showed up and really made it such an engaging conversation!
Also, shout out to my mom and Ellie for coming to support me (for all of the 5 minutes before she got too fussy).
How this United Experience was Different
When I attended last year for the first time, I really didn’t know what to expect.
Todd, the CEO of Showit, had spoken at our virtual marketing summit earlier in the year. I just loved his heart for building community. I also started having a lot of conversations with friends like Laura and Abbey who told me I pretty much HAD to go to United.
Once I realized just how many of our students and clients would be attending, it made the decision that much easier. I was in!
And boy was I happy with that decision. United truly is like nothing else, and I was just in awe at how friendly and welcoming everyone was.
Little did I know that I’d be 14 weeks pregnant by the time it came around! I actually remember sitting in the audience last year watching everyone and their babies and thinking how stinking COOL is THIS?!
I loved watching other creative entrepreneurs investing in themselves and their businesses by showing up to United while also being able to bring their babies along. Just knowing it was such a baby-friendly event made it so encouraging to want to bring Ellie with me this year!
My first year, I was assigned to share a room with a (and SUPER awesome) random roommate. It was like having a built-in friend from the beginning, and we got along so so well! (Shoutout to YOU Ariel!)
This year, I brought my mom along with me to help take care of Ellie while I was attending events and speaking. It was so so special to have them both here with me and to get to meet so many of my friends – new and old.
Setting an Intention
I think one of the biggest differences though coming into this year was my confidence and intention.
I’m not going to lie… I was a little nervous to attend alone last year. Yes, I had friends attending. and yes I had a really awesome roommate, but it was still something new to me! This year, I already KNEW how amazing this community and conference was – and I just couldn’t wait to attend again!
If you’re reading this and considering going to Showit but you’re nervous that you don’t know anyone – PLEASE go! I promise, it’s not scary. I’d even argue it’s one of the best conferences you can attend totally alone and feel welcomed into one big family!
Intention wise, I decided ahead of time I was there for the community and connections. I wasn’t going to stress about going to every breakout session. Especially during a big launch – more on that in a minute!. Instead, I wanted to be present at the sessions I attended and focus on meeting new people and making friends. I actually stole this idea from my girl and seasoned Showit attendee, Laura.
I knew I’d be able to watch any of the sessions I missed afterwards, so I didn’t stress about packing my schedule, especially with the baby and the launch!
Some of the highlights were:
- Seeing my old roomie (and now a student of ours!), Ariel
- Reconnecting with friends like Abbey Kyhl (always love our heart-to-hearts)
- Meeting Iggy and Jamie in person (they’re hosting the Evolve Workshop I’m speaking at in Feb, and they totally rock)
- Hanging out with my girl Laura (who became my personal hype girl and kept updating me on how funded the Kairos Kickstarter was! THE BEST)
- Spending time with friends like Rosemary, Tori, and Jen!
- And of course, meeting SO MANY new folks turned new friends 🙂
Seriously, United is like a catalyst for making a billion new creative entrepreneur friends.
2019 was 80’s themed!
Launching the Kairos Journal
Although I intended to not fill my schedule too much at United, we found ourselves launching an enormous project at the SAME time as the conference. Pete stayed home to hold down the fort while I spoke at Showit, but this made things just a teeny bit (read: a looooot) more busy for me.
As much as we prepared ahead of time, there were a few last minute things that kept me fairly busy. Like our website crashing ONE HOUR before launch! While it, unfortunately, took me a little away from being able to be super present at EVERY event, it also provided such a fun and unique opportunity to share the Kairos Journal with so many other believers at the conference!
That being said, I probably wouldn’t recommend launching a giant project AND attending a conference at the same time. It makes for quite a packed schedule!
Next year, I’m looking forward to a little more margin! 🙂
Should You Attend United?
While this post was more of a personal reflection of United 2019, I wanted to take a minute and encourage you to attend next year (and the year after, and the year after).
Even if you’re not a photographer (like me), I can’t say enough great things about this community and event!
Todd and Elisa really lead from the top down. You can tell every person there follows their same vision for community, impact, and purpose.
The speakers are always top-notch. Let’s be honest, you’ll probably cry at least once during Katelyn James’ keynotes. There are breakout sessions galore to choose from and the best of all the friendships you make will be priceless.
Are you tired of attending conferences that you just feel like another number? Are you ready to find somewhere that feels more like home? Then, United is for you.