A little over a month ago, we hosted the inaugural Creative Educator Conference! In today’s episode, my podcast producer, Haylee Gaffin, joins us to interview me about The Creative Educator Conference! Listen in as we discuss the inspiration behind the conference, how hosts choose speakers for conferences, and conference sponsorships!
The Inspiration Behind The Creative Educator Conference
For years and years, I’ve been dreaming of an in-person component to The Creative Educator Academy, which was the plan for 2020, but when we couldn’t meet in-person, it pivoted into a virtual conference. Through that virtual experience, I learned a lot about the education, offerings, and desires of the attendees.
For me, nothing gives me as much motivation, joy, and return as an in-person experience! This ultimately led to what The Creative Educator Conference would become.
Choosing Speakers for The Creative Educator Conference
Choosing speakers for a conference built for educators came with a lot of pressure—as the speakers would also be ideal attendees. Not only that, but so many of the applications were amazing!
Put a lot of thought into your application and tailor your topic for educators.
Remember, there are only a small number of speakers who get selected; it’s truly a numbers game. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not selected, it could be for a number of reasons.
How Sponsors Can Support Conferences
When it comes to sponsorship, it’s important that there is an existing relationship with a trusted brand that aligns with my own values. Every single sponsor was vetted in that way, as I wanted to share ethical brands with my attendees. Overall, I’m looking for sponsors, who can actually serve my attendees and who the audience sees as a good fit to become customers of the sponsors—that should be mutually beneficial.
Not only did we have wonderful sponsors, but we also had an amazing team of volunteers, vendors, and speakers who truly made the conference as successful as it could have been. This was reflecting in what the attendees had to say during the conference as well.
“Laylee has set the standard of what a conference should be. The amazing diversity in the speakers, in our audience—and for me, as a woman of color, it has just been so amazing to see how she has been super intentional in making sure that every single person is seen and included, that barriers are removed to make sure that people are able to get the education that they need to be able to further their business.” – Akua Konadu
“It has been really just truly amazing to be in a room of people who are passionate about educating others. It’s an amazing thing to be in a room of people who want to serve others and help others.” – Victoria Rayburn
“I think the biggest takeaway that I got was coming in thinking that I didn’t necessarily belong in this room. and then after the first 10 minutes I was like, ‘Nope, this is my place. I’m with my people.'” – Tori Kelner
As a conference host, something that can help your experience go above and beyond for your attendees is being present and available during everything. Fight the exhaustion, make the effort during those few days to talk to the person who is alone, connect with attendees who’ve invested in you, and make everyone feel seen.