My Biggest Takeaway from PlannerCon 2019

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This past March, I had the opportunity of attending PlannerCon, in San Francisco, for the very first time.  I didn’t quite know what to expect, other than that I’d heard there would be 1,200 attendees - a daunting thought to someone as introverted as I am!

Because I’m a planner lover AND have a business in the planner world, I was excited to see what the fuss was all about.  Who knew so many other people loved planners enough to attend a conference about them?

I arrived early for check-in Saturday morning and then headed into the main hall.  Vendors were set up all along the exterior walls. Some I was familiar with, others were new to me, but what really jumped out was the vast array of planner designs!  I saw everything from the popular A5 size ring-bound planners to flip books to traveler’s notebooks. The options, colors, and choices for planners were incredible.

Additionally, there were multiple sticker creators (including Pipsticks!), amazing pen options (PenGems, anyone?), and specialty covers from several different designers.  If you had a planner need of any sort, there were numerous ways to fill it!

Because of my planner flip through business (Example shown above. We create interactive virtual planners so that planner sellers can better market their products), I had to step pretty far out of my comfort zone and introduce myself to the various planner vendors who were at PlannerCon.  But as I reached out to the different representatives at their booths, I found that not only were they really sweet and interested in learning more, but they also had an amazing camaraderie with one another!

In many industries, there is an underlying cut-throat mentality toward competitors.  But when it comes to planner designers, they all come together and support each other in an amazing way.  Layle from Carpe Diem gave me suggestions as to which other planner creators would be most interested in my company.  Others were super encouraging of me and my efforts. They all cheered for my success!

When I attended a breakout session by Oh, Hello! Co. founders Alex and Kayla Benda, I found even more encouragement, ideas, and tips.  The session, titled “Having A Business In the Planner World,” was extremely beneficial. They spent lots of time with the attendees, answering questions, offering advice, and making suggestions that benefitted the entire group.  Once again, I was inspired by the generosity of the information they shared.

Overall, despite being overwhelmed by the vast array of planner designs, the sheer number of attendees, and the information presented, I thoroughly enjoyed my first PlannerCon.  My biggest takeaway was realizing the huge benefits of collaboration and support versus always trying to outdo or undermine your competitors. I learned a ton at PlannerCon and look forward to returning in 2020!