Imagine in this world full of tech this and on line that that there is still a group of people that are all about the paper. That will spend loads of money and schedule their vacation, that will travel to what has to be the hottest place in the summer to attend one conference for one thing and one thing only – the paper planner. You know the sanity keeper, the appointment book, the paper calendar. But it isn’t your momma’s planner, oh no; there are stickers and washi and pens and accessories galore to make it as gorgeous and personalized as you want it. Planning and coordinating this multi day event was the highlight of last summer!
Plancation is a yearly event put on by The Arizona Planner Girls, a group of women that love all things related to paper planners. It is a combination of conference & trade show with a good dose of staycation shenanigans thrown in for good measure!
Leading up to the event were a number of “group” activities for the attendees. Because this year’s event was summer camp themed, we placed the attendees into random teams when they purchased their tickets. Each group of “campers” were given the task of coming up with a name, hashtag, chant, colors & mascot that they would use throughout Camp Plancation. There were 10 teams total, plus “Team Lurkers” - the admins & myself. Points were awarded on the timely completion of the tasks. As the countdown to Camp Plancation continued there were flash competitions varying from finding Easter eggs hidden on participating vendors Etsy sites, to listening to the Spotify song list created by the Games Master, to being the first to post a picture of themselves with their planner on IG with the correct hashtags. Competition was fierce & it was neck and neck between a couple of the teams heading into the Friday reception.
At check-in attendees were given their camp ID, their team sash (think Girl Scouts sash), camp shirt & a few other goodies. Final points would be determined by a group scavenger hunt. The goal – take group selfies with various shop vendors & post FB and IG with the correct hashtags. The more people that participated the more points the team received. At the end, the teams needed to take a selfie with Team Lurkers & they received their first camp patch – a cute badge with the logo of the event.
Camp - Day 1 - Morning Session
Saturday morning began with an amazing breakfast & shopping. The winning team got to enter the session hall 15 minutes prior to the remaining teams. Doors opened & the ladies were welcomed into the room & given the first of many swag items.
We opened up the Make & Take tables (the teams taught attendees how to make planner specific items that they could then take with them). Following breakfast, we started the conference with a Camp Welcome, a hula hoop competition between the teams & then we jumped in with our keynote speakers – two of the three founders of KitLife (www.kitlife.net), a paper planner company that believes life should be more than a to do list. They presented on how we seem to get stuck with harmful habits (without realizing that we are stuck and just how harmful they may be) and that there are ways to change them. They provided items to assist with this process in the Saturday morning swag drop. After the session, attendees were given their second badge - a yellow light bulb patch.
Following the KitLife team was an amazing speaker that taught us how to take our boring handwriting & make it fun & whimsical (attendees got an amazing lettering pen & pencil in their swag drop).
Right before we broke for lunch the teams from the hula hoop competition got to select a mystery envelope – a song that the team had to perform for Team Lurkers at the end of the sessions. Songs ranged from Backstreet Boys to Shania Twain and everything in between.
Camp - Day 1 - Afternoon Session
After lunch and shopping, the sessions continued with a fun coloring lesson using Copics. Next up was memory keeping in a TN (traveler’s notebook) & using traditional planner items in unconventional ways. Attendees received their third badge– a pink planner.
Following this presentation we had an afternoon break of pretzels with cheese, popcorn, Cracker Jacks & of course S’MORES! Our final presentation of the day was how set up your own simple, but super effective photo corner to take all those amazing IG pictures. The final badge of the night was handed out – a green camera.
Before we finished the formal session, the teams were called up to perform their songs from the morning session. These were absolutely the most hilarious moments of the conference. Team Lurkers were serenaded, danced with & chased around the room. In the end we had to have a dance off & still couldn’t determine a winner. Both of the first place teams won $5.00 gift cards to Starbucks.
We opened up the final set of Make & Takes & did one last round of shopping to end the day. Attendees were on their own for dinner which would then be followed by the annual pool party with the largest floating unicorn ever!
Camp - Day 2 - Morning Session
Sunday began with a continental breakfast & shopping as well as the option to finish any of the Makes & Takes from the previous day. The sessions for Sunday were much more laid back & casual & included open planning, planner show off and we ended the day with an episode of Planner Girl Chatter, Arizona Planner Girls podcast (NSFW). The final badge of the conference was handed out to those that made it through the whole conference – white headphones. We said farewell to our campers & concluded the conference. It was an amazing event that brought loads of laughter, tons of community and friendships galore.