The Relevant Conference: A Photo Recap

I had all these plans of blogging a short recap everyday while we were at the Relevant Conference last week. But, ahem, that plan went completely by the wayside. I got so involved in just enjoying the wonderful people who were at Relevant that it was hard to break away to even check my email or post.

However, since I had promised some recaps to many of you, here’s a one-post recap of some of the events (it would take at least 10 posts to even try and scratch the surface of all that went on and all I learned and gleaned!).

Since we were one of the Relevant sponsors, we were generously given three display tables. The problem? We don’t really have any products to sell.

However, I hated for the table space to go to waste, so I asked if we could give stuff away from some companies we love and have worked with in the past. The Relevant coordinators kindly gave us permission to do that, so we contacted a few companies and asked if they’d be willing to send free items for us to give away.

Well, let me tell you, we were blown away by the generosity of these companies. In fact, we were a little overwhelmed to arrive at the hotel and have 30 boxes of free stuff waiting for us to go through and organize. Gratefully, I’d brought my assistant, Erika, along and she transformed the 30 boxes into a beautiful display.

I was worried about what we were going to do with all the freebies and whether or not we’d really be able to get rid of everything. Well, I should have known better. As soon as the 250 bloggers attending the conference showed up for dinner, our table was pretty well mobbed. It was so much fun to get to be the bearer of freebies. It felt a little like blogging about freebies, only I got to hand-deliver them this time.

People kept asking, “Is all of this really free?” And then they’d go pass the word that we had free stuff and it was going fast!

The planners from Home Educating Family were especially big hits. Erika and I could hardly keep the stack stocked. And long after we were completely out, people kept coming back asking if we had anymore left.

My publisher also offered to give away a free pre-release copy of my upcoming book, The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget, to every blogger who was willing to sign up and do a review on their blog. I was so humbled and blessed at how excited everyone was about the release of my book. Dozens upon dozens of bloggers signed up and we ended up running out of sign-up sheets!

(You can get a little sneak peek of my book’s cover here. It’s now available for pre-order on Amazon.com, too, for those who have been asking to see what it’s going to look like! I can hardly wait for the release date in January!)

One of the best parts of the whole event was getting to introduce bloggers to some of my favorite products and companies — like The Imagination Station books, All You magazines, Tropical Traditions coconut oil, and Marie-Madeline Studios products. My sister even made a bunch of bars of homemade soap that I gave out–which people loved!

Friday afternoon, I hosted the first official Money Saving Mom® Reader Meet-Up. While there were some hiccups and some last-minute scrambling (thanks to those of you who came early and patiently endured me running around like a chicken with my head cut off!), it turned out incredibly well.

I was so blessed in meeting all of the amazing women who came. I laughed until I cried at how hilariously funny you all were during the games. I was touched deeply with your stories that you came up and shared with me individually at the end. And I was so humbled that many of you drove 30 to 100+ miles to attend this event.

(A group picture of the reader meet-up. Such beautiful ladies!)

Meeting these precious readers in person solidified something I’ve long believed: I have the best readers on the planet. It’s hard to describe in words just how much of a blessing my readers are to me on a daily basis. And I can’t wait to do more get-togethers in 2012 in other parts of the country so I can meet more of you face-to-face!

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Comments

    • says

      I agree! :) I live in northern L.A. County and have been following you since your Biblical Womanhood days… I’m one of those readers who feel like I know you in real life(“Oh, you like my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? They’re Crystal’s recipe…”)
      Thanks for the inspiration and advice over the years, and I can’t wait to read your book. And, meet you if you’re ever within an hour or two’s drive!
      Oh, and the conference looks like it was a blast! Well done!

      • says

        Just looked closer at the Amazon pre-order – OH MY GOSH – Dave Ramsey’s given you a gold star! You must have been over the moon! Very very cool. :)

        • says

          Yes, that would probably serve as one of my biggest highlights of the whole book-writing process. :) I was humbled, honored, thrilled, and through-the-roof excited that he agreed to endorse it!

  1. JW says

    Crystal, I think it would be a great opportunity if your readers could create our own meet ups somehow. I know we would all love the opportunity to meet you, but I think it would still be a great experience to meet other MSM fans in my home town (and find out who is clearing the shelves! :) )

    Is there a way that we could connect through your blog to find others in our area?

    • says

      It’s something I’d love to do, but I’ve not yet found any way to do so without it being too huge of an undertaking to spearhead while at the same time protecting people’s privacy and safety.

    • Beth L. says

      JW, have you thought about creating a FB group for for MSM readers in your area? You could invite people you know who read MSM and perhaps organize meet ups that way. It might take some creativity to spread the word about the group, but maybe before too long you’ll have enough members to have a meet up!

  2. says

    Is that a real live copy of the book you had on display? Or is it not printed yet?
    Sounds like a lot of fun. I love that you gave away your sister’s soap — what a personal touch! My daughter and I are going to try making soap for her school’s “Kindness Market.”

    • says

      That’s the pre-release, bound copy that’s being sent to bloggers and media, etc. It’s not the finished product, but it’s still pretty close and so cool to actually have in hand now!

  3. says

    Oh what fun to be a blessing like that! I, too, remember well your Biblical Womanhood days. Has it been about six years now since I found you and you were pregnant with your second blessing?

    It was also a blessing to take part in that class you gave years ago through that Yahoo group and wonder how they are doing.

    For God’s glory,
    Franicia

  4. Wendy says

    Thank you so much for hosting the reader meet-up. It was so fun to meet you and to meet other fellow moneysavingmom”ers”. Crystal, you’re as sweet and genuine in person as I thought you would be and your assistant is very nice too. Can’t wait to read your new book and find out about the contents of your 2nd book too!

  5. Aimee says

    What a lovely table display and how exciting about your book!!! I have to say that I’ve never seen a side shot of you and you are T-I-N-Y! I knew you were slim but had no idea you were so petite.

  6. says

    It was so neat to finally meet you in person, Crystal! Thanks for holding my little guy once in a while for me. ;)

    (And yes, everyone was telling me about all the great freebies at your table!)

  7. Hannah says

    Wow! What an amazing bunch of freebies. I would have LOVED to have been there to snag a few. I LOVE freebies. :)

  8. Karen@MSEnthusiast says

    How exciting! I so wish I could have gone to that. How wonderful. Who doesn’t love freebies?

  9. says

    Wow, what a blessing for all those Relevant gals! I remember from last year all the great freebies, and they weren’t anything compared to what you were offering. What a gift for those ladies! :) So neat to see your heart for others, Crystal!

  10. says

    Oh, I can’t believe I missed the reader meet-up! I do hope to meet you one of these days, Crystal.

    I was in two of your sessions and enjoyed listening to you. Thanks for all the hard work you put into getting everything ready.

  11. says

    Crystal, you ROCK!!

    God is using you in amazing ways to bless and encourage people. I know He has used you in my life time and time again.

    Thank you.

  12. Wendy says

    This is the first time I’ve seen a full body shot—–you’re so tiny. Sorry I could not meet you but I live in a different part of the country.

    • says

      People are often surprised when they meet me in real-life as to how short I am. It’s always interesting how people picture someone based upon some photos online!

  13. Jamie says

    Crystal,
    I just pre-ordered your book as well. It is funny, I feel so proud of you! I am so happy that this has come to fruition for you and can’t believe that you are donating all the proceeds from your book to Compassion. I can’t tell you how awesome I think that is! May God bless you for your generosity!
    Jamie

    • says

      Thank you so much. It’s incredibly exciting and humbling all at the time same time.

      Your support and encouragement means the world to me!

  14. Melanie says

    I’m so glad I could be there to meet you! Thanks for a great afternoon and the wonderful freebies. You have been a wonderful inspiration to me Crystal. God bless!

  15. Sarah T. says

    Thank you so much for hosting the Meet-Up. We had a blast at our table. And Erika is AMAZING! You definitely need to keep her forever! So, Erika, thanks for holding my baby during the first game, and everything else, too! Hope y’all enjoyed our COLD weekend in October!! Blessings.

  16. says

    How exciting!!!! Im hosting my first ever coupon class at our church this weekend. I have been following you for a long time now and are my first go to site. You have done an amazing job and deserve all of this recognizition! I cannot wait to get you to Pennsylvania! :)

  17. says

    Relevant sounds like such an amazing time! Some year I will have to try and go. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have met you in 2011 though! And I was soooo excited to see Dave Ramsey’s quote on your book cover! Wow-wee! I knew you must have been through-the-roof excited over that!

    I continue to enjoy your blog and be thankful for your willingness to be real here to encourage many, many women!

  18. says

    Wow, what great pictures! Looks like everyone had a great time!! Thanks so much for sharing :) My sis-in-law introduced me to this site and I am so glad she did. Can’t wait to get your new book when it’s released. keep up the great work!!

  19. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says

    What an awesome thing to have Dave Ramsey’s endorsement on the cover of your book!!! I checked and the nookbook is available for pre-order!! Can’t wait!