To prep for the conference, I created some stuff to use and give out at the conference including business cards and a personalized notebook filled with all of my session note templates! I got my business cards printed at Vistaprint (with a 50% off code!) and got my notes bound at OfficeMax for only a little over $4! Not too bad at all! I highly recommend using these places if you plan on attending next year. There were also various nametags to personalize for all the blogger meetups I was attending, so I got those typed in and printed out on cardstock.
I drove myself and two of my roomies up from Phoenix and it was so fun spending the week with them! Love these girls!
Our trip wasn't without its mishaps and whirlwind moments... we checked in early at the Venetian only to discover that they had moved our room over to the Palazzo... so we had to lug all of our luggage, embarrassingly, THROUGH THE POOL AREA and across all of tarnation to get to the other side. (Sounds like the punchline to a joke). And of course I had brought a million tote bags filled with various items, so needless to say I was sweating to death and my arms almost fell off. But we made it! And then hightailed it over to our first blogger meetup of the day... the Make a Splash Teacher Bash! It was so fun to immediately meet tons of new bloggers and my pals Ashlyn and Lindsay did a great job of hosting. They had awesome prizes and I won a TPT gift card! Hooray!
Thanks to Lindsey Petlak for the photo!
That night was the TPT Blogger Meetup and I can't even tell you how fun and crazy it was! Over 1,000 people filled the room and I was lucky enough to travel around the huge room meeting tons of great teacher bloggers. Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants hosted the giveaway portion and she was a total hoot! She kept the fun going and insisted that everyone who one act as if they had just won a prize on the Price is Right. I was so blessed to hang out with some of my Arizona blogger friends and meet tons of new ones from all around the country!
Most people that were there last year told me that this year's meetup was double the size of last year's... we may just have to shut down the entire hotel for the meetup in 2016!
Thursday morning kicked off with grade level networking sessions, which I absolutely loved. It was such a great thing to meet other kindergarten bloggers and connect with them. Maria from Kinder Craze and Hadar from Miss Kindergarten led the session and came up with a super cute "Find Someone Who..." game (as if Kindergarten teachers wouldn't make it into something fun) that helped break the ice and get teachers mingling all over the room. I loved meeting these fabulous ladies!
Hadar (Miss Kindergarten), Elyse from A is for Apples,
Finally, it was time for the first sessions! I went to Erin Cobb (Lovin' Lit)'s From Teacher to Teacherpreneur session and IT. WAS. AMAZING. She was hilarious and definitely told it like it was. I learned so many great tips from her and she was so generous to give us a Teacher Planner to use for the year... I can't wait to use it!
The next day was the full TPT Session day and Team TPT kicked it off with an inspiring and wonderful Keynote. It was incredible to hear from Paul, Amy, and Adam... their speeches were so heartfelt and inspiring and I could not be more thrilled to have leaders such as these at TPT. Hearing them say how much they value sellers, buyers, teachers, and students just made my heart so full. I love how much they involve everyone in important decisions and changes to the site. They asked our input on what was possibly the most important decision of the weekend: Amy's job title, which is now officially the "Director of Seller Happiness." She is so positive and energetic that it fits her to a tee! Rachel Lynette was the keynote speaker and it was great to hear her TPT story... she has really been there since the beginning!
They went through a slideshow during their speeches and a picture from our Arizona blogger meetup last month appeared! We were so excited!
After the lovely keynote, we spent the day attending four more sessions... I wish I could have attended them all, but the ones I did get to go to were great! I went to Deanna Jump & Deedee Wills' session and they were so funny! They definitely gave some great tips and resources, including the website PicMonkey, which I used to make the first collage at the beginning of this post! So easy! I also was lucky enough to attend sessions led by Rachel Lynette, the TPT data team, and Laura Candler. Every presentation was so different, yet SO helpful and eye opening. They all gave great information and advice that I am really going to dive into and use immediately.
To cap off the conference, TPT sponsored happy hour where we were all able to come back together and hang out for one last hurrah. There were suggestion walls, a photo booth, picture slideshow, food, and lots of great people! I felt so blessed to be able to hang out, meet, and chat with some of my favorites! I was so humbled to get to meet and thank Paul Edelman, who is the man responsible for creating TPT and changing all of our teaching lives forever. Without him, this opportunity wouldn't have even happened!
Here's some more photo fun with some of my best bloggy buddies, the GoNoodle Cabana Party (seriously, how well do they treat teachers? They are SO generous!), and The Primary Pack meetup (so fun, girls!):
My photo booth souvenir from the TPT happy hour is now proudly displayed on my refrigerator, automatically making it the most amazingly decorated fridge of all times (complete with The Office magnetic poetry, of course.)
Love these girls!!!
My biggest takeaway from the TPT Conference is how amazing the TPT community is. Every last person I met this weekend was so nice and kind and the connections we all made were invaluable. Rachel Lynette said this quote in her keynote speech: "A rising tide lifts all boats". And it's true. We came together to make each other better and encourage one another. This weekend was so inspiring and fun and I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of it. Until next year, I leave you with my favorite quote from Team TPT that sums us up perfectly:
Did you go to TPT Vegas 2015? Share your fun memories and link up your blog posts by clicking on the button below! It is going to be so fun to see everyone's pictures and hear about everyone's experiences!