Haven Conference 2014: Part 1

It really is hard to believe that this Haven Conference that we started talking about over 3 years ago is now in it’s 3rd year here in Atlanta.  It’s been an amazing journey, creating a blog conference for attendees and sponsors to come together, meet and collaborate, and a place to learn more about blogging topics too.  The home/DIY blogging niche has literally exploded in the last couple of years and just keeps growing, so to have Haven as major resource for this niche group is truly wonderful.  The Haven team is 6 of us now and we really strive to make it such a great experience, a place to gather and get to know other bloggers, as well as a place to learn more about the craft of blogging and to meet and collaborate with sponsors.  It’s a win-win for everyone!  We are so very proud of what Haven has evolved into.

Haven team

Our wonderful Haven team:  left to right:  Beth, Chris, Kristin, our fabulous events planner, Traci, Sarah, and me.  We all work together to make it all happen.

team haven

This year, we sported some cute Team Haven shirts the first day and had fun wearing those.

sponsor reception

Kristin set up an amazing spread to host our sponsors coming in to pick up their badges and did such a wonderful job with the table.


Haven begins on a Thursday night with a cocktail party hosted by Ballard Designs this year.  That first day is a blur of activity, from setting up the registration table, to stuffing swag bags, which is always a big job.

swag bags

Swag bags were provided again by Ballard Designs this year and we love how pretty they are.  The swag bags are a huge hit, as you can imagine.  All sponsors add goodies to be stocked in the bags, so it’s always a surprise on what’s in there.

photo wall

This year, Kristin also did a photo wall which turned out really cute.  This is the Skylar’s Lace stencil from Royal Design Studio, one of our Haven sponsors who has been with us since the beginning.

crowne plaza hotel 1

This year, Haven was held at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Ravinia hotel, across from Perimeter Mall.  It’s a great location for our attendees and it just so happens to be beautiful inside, with this soaring atrium and plants galore.

crowne plaza2

That’s one of the things we love about the hotel, such a natural feel with vegetation everywhere. These stairs lead from the lobby down to the restaurant and outside terrace with paths and walkways.

crowne plaza3

It’s a gorgeous place to host a party too, which was where our opening cocktail party was held.

crowne plaza 4

Beautiful outdoor fountain and walkways.

crowne plaza

My pics do not do it justice, but it’s truly a park outside.

ballard furniture

Ballard Designs brought in extra furniture for the lobby, which was a nice bonus.

ballard reception

And they hosted our opening party, which was a treat too.

ballard party

Nice spread of appetizers were served.

haven party

Everyone came in that afternoon and headed to the party, with folks inside and outside.

haven party 2

There were plenty of tables for talking and catching up, which is always a highlight.

haven party 3

Appetizers and drinks were served.

haven party4

Lots of great spaces to hang out and visit.

douglas cameron singing

We brought in a great local singer, Douglas Cameron, who I’ve been listening to around town for the last year. He’s a cross between Harry Connick, Jr. and Frank Sinatra.  Great singer and he was wonderful entertainment for the evening.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more from the conference, including the sponsor booths and all the other fun stuff we did at the conference.  It’s a fast paced 2 and 1/2 days and this year was no exception. I think everyone had a wonderful time and took home lots of information from the classes they took.

- Rhoda


  1. Can any blogger come to Haven, or do you have to be invited? Just thinking about next year.

    • HI, Cindy, any blogger can come. Ticket sales open around March 1st and then we sell out. 350 tickets.

  2. I had so much fun! It was amazing Rhoda and so nice to meet you in person finally!

  3. Always a lovely event! So sorry we didn’t get a chance to visit, Rhoda — I know your company was in demand! Plus I missed Day 2 after falling down my porch steps that morning; that will teach me to not stay in the hotel!!
    Hope we can catch up soon — xo Heidi

  4. It was a great conference as always!…You and your team did an incredible job!!!…Looking forward to next year!!!

  5. It looked like a truly fabulous time! I will make it some year. Thank you for sharing the delightful goodness.

  6. It was a great conference packed with info! Thanks for all of the hard work and effort put forth by the Haven team!!

  7. Rhoda, I would love to attend next year. Better yet, I would love to volunteer and become part of the Haven team. Please keep me posted if you need volunteers. Thanks!

  8. Looks fantastic. I hope to attend one day.

  9. This was my second year attending Haven and I enjoyed every single minute of it both this year and last. I learned so much from each of the sessions (wish I could attend them all) and loved meeting and speaking with all of the wonderful sponsors. Thank you so much to you and your awesome team for all of your hard work in making Haven such an amazing conference, I wish it lasted a week!

  10. I’m marking my calendar for March 1st right now. I’ll be buying tickets to attend! It will be my first year and I’m already excited.

  11. Wow what a beautiful hotel and the surrounding gardens are Gor-geous!!! I really hope to attend next year! Are there many husbands that go? Just wondering! Those swag bags look very interesting, I would love to tear into one of those! Lol thanks for sharing Rhoda! Hugs~Kathy

    • Kathy, there are more and more husband and wife teams at Haven as the years have gone by, so yes, husbands do come too. They are just in the minority.

  12. Thank you, Rhoda, for planning an amazing conference! You and the rest of the Haven team executed your vision beautifully. I’m so thankful to you for doing this. It was my first year at Haven and I learned so much. I will see you again next year. It was a pleasure to meet you!

  13. I am in awe of all the planning and hospitality. Now that I’m living in the south, I need tips on how to be more hospitable! Do you know of any blogs that can help me?

    We will be moving into our newly built house in mid-August and I want to build relationships with neighbors.

    • Kristi, I think there are probably plenty of blogs about that subject, but Sandy with Reluctant Entertainer comes to mind. SHe is a wonderful hostess with lots of great tips on connecting with people. Check out her blog:


  14. This was my first Haven conference and I was in awe of all that the “Haven Maven team” accomplished. The amount of work, thought and care that went into the planning was obvious. The blogging classes that I chose to attend were eye opening, and a gift. I think that I now know the right steps to take to become a success in this new adventure of blogging that I am about to take. I also want to thank the Haven team for providing a place for me to meet other women (and men) who love and get as excited as I do over a piece of roadside discarded furniture, the perfect wall color, or bargain at the local thrift store. Now I just need to hit that publish button and get this blogging started!

  15. I wanted to personally thank you for the amazing job you and the Haven Team did to create such an awesome event! This was my first year and I was a bit overwhelmed the first day! As the days passed I thoroughly enjoyed the classes and get-togethers. The vendors and sponsors were awesome. Every Blogger present was especially nice and a delight to meet. I can’t wait until next year! Other ‘newbie’ bloggers and I noted that you were everywhere! We greatly appreciated it!

  16. I had such an amazing time at Haven this year! You and your team did a fantastic job with everything and I can’t wait until next year! 🙂

  17. Your pictures are always so great! Love it. Can’t wait to see the rest!!!

  18. What an awesome event!

  19. Hi Rhoda! I’m fairly new to the blogging world and am so excited to learn that any blogger can attend the Haven conference. I plan to do everything in my power to be there next year, including stalking the website until the tickets go on sale 🙂 I can’t wait to meet other bloggers and make some awesome new friends, and hopefully get to meet you too of course!

  20. Haven was awesome! I went with a year old blog, yellowhammervintage.com and left with a vision of an expanded brand that is hopefully much more appealing! I am trying hard to heed the advice of not comparing my beginning to someone elses’s middle. So next year at Haven ourhomemadefamily.com will be there. I’m bringing my husband too so we can divide and conquer to get to all the sessions. The hardest part was deciding which ones to go to……thank you for all your planning and hard work. Can’t wait til next year!

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