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December 2013

There's a Meeting for That? Pinners Conference & Expo

By Katie Kervin, Assistant Editor

Pinners Conference & Expo

Oct. 25-26, 2013
South Towne Expo Center
Sandy, Utah 

ATTENDEES Approximately 4,000
EXHIBITORS 150

A COURSE SAMPLING

  • “Customizing Ikea Frames”
  • “The Best-Kept Secret in Makeup”
  • “Freezer Meals”
  • “Never Buy Cleaning Supplies Again”


Roxanne Bennett, founder of Utah-based Bennett Events, noticed two things: First, many of the most popular bloggers, who write about topics from beauty to crafts to home décor, also have big followings on Pinterest, the hugely popular pinboard-style photo website. Second, while “there are tons of bloggers conferences out there,” Bennett said, there wasn't a forum for “the blogger to connect with their real audience, which is their reader.” Enter the Pinners Conference & Expo which Bennett Events produces.

“Utah is a big DIY, pinning audience,” Bennett said. “They love all those cool things you find on Pinterest, but had no way to actually meet all those people who pin.” While Bennett and her team first envisioned an intimate conference, they realized how valuable a trade-show component would be — providing attendees with a single place to both shop for goods and learn.

PICKING PRESENTERS “We were looking for those big names who had a huge following” on Pinterest, Bennett said. Classes fell into nine categories: beauty and fashion; DIY and crafts; cooking and food fun; wood crafts; health and fitness; home and home décor; lifestyle and learning; photography; and wedding.

GOOD DEAL Any attendee who purchased a $20 ticket for the expo could also attend any of the sessions offered, for which pre-registration was available. Popular classes like “Creating With iPhoneography,” “Freezer Meals,” and “Making Pinterest Fashion Work in Your Closet” were repeated more than once over the weekend.

ON THE ROAD Bennett plans to repeat the Pinners Conference again next year in Salt Lake City, but won't be stopping there. “We're looking into other locations,” she said, “whether we do smaller versions or bigger versions.”

OPEN FLOOR Ninety classes took place directly on the show floor, with seven distinct “rooms” featuring simultaneous hour-long courses. While health and fitness are popular topics for people to pin about, beauty stole the show — those classes were packed.

 

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