Teachers Pay Teachers Conference 2015!
I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep after an exciting weekend at the 2nd annual TpT
conference in Las Vegas! The weekend was jam-packed full of networking opportunities and learning from some of the most successful TpT sellers.
My husband accompanied me to the conference (what a good sport!). During our 3 hour layover in Chicago, I noticed the girl sitting next to me had a tote bag and when I saw it also had a logo on it I asked if she was going to the TpT conference. Sure enough! It was Ginger from The Teaching Treehouse.
She was very sweet and even offered us a ride to the Venetian once we arrived in Vegas.
We were able to check into our room immediately upon arrival (even though check in time wasn't until 3pm and we arrived at noon). Once we settled in a bit we headed
downstairs where the networking began!
There were lots of opportunities to network throughout the weekend the first of which was dinner with a group of special education sellers. After dinner the whole group headed downstairs to register for the conference. Next it was off to the blogger meet-up (6:30 Wednesday evening). I must say I was blown away at the turned out for this event. Several of the top sellers were there including Deanna Jump, Annie Moffatt, Deedee Wills, Krista Wallden (from Creative Clips) and Hope King to name a few.
I got the feeling that most people in the room (including myself) were a bit star struck. I got to meet several of the top sellers and they were all very nice and personable. There were lots of prizes given out. I won an Erin Condren planner and everyone went
home with a bag of goodies from GoNoodle.
Thursday morning my husband and I went to breakfast with two fellow TpT sellers (Brittany Washburn and Jennifer from Cupcakes and Curriculum who are in my Mastermind group) and their husbands. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at the Grand Lux.
The conference began with a time of networking from 9-11am. You could choose which group you wanted to network with according to grade level or specialty. We spent some time at the 1st-2nd grade room where I met Hilary Lewis whose blog I write for (Who's Who and Who's Knew). We also spent some time at the homeschool, special education and clipart room. There I got to meet some more sellers like Jenny from Art with Jenny K (she has some amazing resources you must check out!) as well as some members of team TpT. After the networking we headed over to the welcome where Amy and Adam welcomed us and we voted to have Amy’s new title (she was promoted) be “Director of Seller Happiness”.
The first session I attended on Thursday was Erin Cobb’s (I’m Lovin Lit) session, “From Teacher to Teacherprenuer”. This was by far my favorite session of the entire weekend. All I have to say is that lady is some kind of workaholic! She had so many great tips and was a huge inspiration to me. She started as a seller the month before I did and has risen to the top (currently #4) in that time. I’m think I’m seller #1,315 or something like that but who’s comparing. :) She definitely deserves the success she has had for all the hard work
she has put into her store!
Next was the marketing panel with Rachel Lynette, Chris Kesler, and a few others. The panel had gathered questions from us in advance to answer during the session. I was happy to see a few of my questions chosen to be answered during the session.
I had a few great take aways from this session. The last session was on to the blogging panel with Miss Kindergarten, Maria from Kinder Craze, A Teeny Tiny Teacher and a few others. They shared the things that have worked for them and some of the mistakes they’ve learned from along the way. They talked about some of the technical aspects of Blogger and Wordpress. Since I use a different platform these were not applicable to me however I was still able to glean from the majority of their session.
Friday morning kicked off with the keynote presented by Rachel Lynette. You could tell she was no stranger to presenting! She had us all laughing and inspired us to work together to grow our stores. I thought it was very sweet how she recognized other sellers (like Deanna Jump and Laura Candler) and the help they have offered her along the way. The first session I attended on Friday was called, "Fix your Brand and Take Your Store to the Next Level" with Ariane from the Science Penguin, Blair Turner and Mary Montero from Teaching with a Mountain View. They emphasized quality over quantity, finding your niche and how to stand out from the crowd. They also left us with a TpT seller checklist.
Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills session, “Improving our Products with a Critical Eye” was next. Both Deanna and Deedeewere also great presenters. They shared lots of tips for improving our products using their own products as examples. They also shared many PPT tips/tricks. I felt like I already knew a lot of the information they presented (since I’ve been a seller for a few years now I had to figure those things out on my own). This session would have been extremely helpful for a new seller! I did however come away with
a few nuggets that I am eager to try out. The next session was TpT Marketing: Do This Not That by Rachel Lynette. Her session was jam-packed with information. I also had some great take-aways from her session not to mention she was fun to listen to (and very blunt which I loved).
The final session of the day was Chris Kesler's, "Unlock the Code: Secrets of Seller Success". This was another awesome session! This guy has a lot of wisdom from his experiences with other on-line businesses. I did an interview with him a while back
(which you can read here) so it was fun to finally get to meet him in person.
Friday night was another networking opportunity at the Kick Back with the Primary Pack's party. They gave away lots of prizes (and some adorable cookies!) but it was so loud in the Bourbon Room and we were so tuckered out from the weekend that we didn't stay long.
Overall it was a great experience! I learned so much which I am already beginning to implement. My only suggestion for next year is to change the location! I would love to see the TpT conference held in a more family-friendly and affordable location (possibly on the East coast)! If you are a TpT seller and have the opportunity to attend a conference
I highly recommend it!