As my sweet, darling, and amazingly loyal readers will know, I just attended the RVE Summit in Fredricksburg, Texas over the weekend, and I am so excited to update you all on the fun experience I had!
(If you had no clue I was there, check out this post for all the pre-conference excitement and details.)
Why I attended the RVE Summit
When I first heard about this conference of RV entrepreneurs, it was like Mecca. I knew I had to make the pilgrimage. For me, going to this and meeting like-minded people as well as people who have made the transition to full-time travel while still working was going to be a game changer. I needed to hear other people’s stories and connect with other people with the same strong desires as my own.
Going was also going to give me a chance to network with other RV bloggers and people who knew what they were talking about when it comes to website design. My blog is only a few months old and I work SO HARD at getting my name out there in a sea of other RV blogs. So many thoughts go through my head as I work to create new blog posts, keep up with social media, and send out newsletters.
How can I keep my readers engaged in an RV blog where the RV doesn’t move? How can I compete with hundreds of other sites out there for the attention of readers? What in the heck am I even doing? Will anyone remember Liz Wilcox after they get done reading/skimming a post? What can I offer that is unique?
I thought if I could just meet some of the leading people in the RV blogosphere, then I knew, just knew they would help me better answer and understand these answers for myself. You see, I believe in myself wholeheartedly but I know I lack knowledge in a lot of areas when it comes to promotion, marketing, etc. I need people on my side to help me out with a tidbit here and a fill-in there to get my blog to the next level of success.
How I pushed my comfort zone in the 1st hour of attendance
So I got there an hour before registration. Here’s a play-by-play of what was going on inside my head:
Wow, Liz! You made it. You’re here. Play it cool. You’ve got lots to learn so talk less, listen more. Let’s do this.
Crap, I know zero souls. What am I doing here? This was ridiculous. I spent so much money and now I’m sitting alone in my car. Ugh. I wish Ed was here. Should I even be here?
Knock it off, Liz. You’re here and you’re here to learn, to get exposure, and find ‘your people.’ Get out of the damn car and find them. There’s lots of people walking around. It’s an RV park, for Pete’s sake. You are Liz Wilcox and Liz Wilcox laughs at comfort zones.
Alright, there’s some people at the jumping pillow. Walk over there. It’s not weird. It’s not weird. Okay, who cares if it’s weird. You’re Liz Wilcox, wannabe entreprenur, at an RV park ready to meet a ton of strangers that live or want to live in an RV. This whole thing is weird. Go for it.
Woah, it’s CrazyFamilyAdventure! I love them. Be cool, Liz. Be cool!!!
Here’s a little video I made of me being super awkward and nervous before I decided to wander around and mingle.
Alright, so you get the picture.
I was (more than) mildly nervous at first, but by the end of the night I was ABSOLUTELY STOKED to be an attendee at the first ever RVE Summit! I met the hosts, Heath and Alyssa Padgett and they were incredibly kind. In fact, I didn’t even have to introduce myself. Wow! I felt like a megastar when Alyssa said “It’s so nice to be meeting everyone I feel like I already know, like you Liz. I feel like we’re already friends.” And don’t even get me started on how Heath knew who I was with my back turned to him.
Lame? Maybe, but to me these two have created an incredible life for themselves and have helped so many people on their journeys to do the same. It’s very inspirational and the fact that they knew who I was means that I’m doing something right.
What Went Down at the Summit
On Friday I attended:
- RV Tours
- Wine Tasting and Opening Party
The RV Tours were amazing! I saw 6 different set-ups and I mean different. I saw a 5th wheel like mine, a brand new Winnebago travel trailer, an old school Dodge named Olive, and a super awesome bunkhouse Airstream.
The opening party was a blast. I met some amazing people that travel globally and sell on Amazon. Throughout the night I (inner happy dance) got to greet a few fans of mine and spoke with the president of the Escapees RV Club on what it’s like to be a military family and live stationary in an RV park. I talked until my throat started to close up and I had to go to bed.
On Saturday morning, I heard from these speakers:
- Joe Hendricks on “remembering your why”
- Bryanna Royal on how to make full-time travel work for a family and grow your own business
- Travis and Melanie Carr on joining RV clubs
On Saturday night, I heard from these speakers:
- David Blackmon on how to create and enhance your website
- Eric and Brittany Highland
Look at all the experience and inspiration all in a row!
Speaker highlights of the RV Entrepreneur Summit
Joe made me cry with his beautiful talk and gorgeous photos. I listened as he told his RV story. He spoke about a trip he took with his wife to Utah and how he had never seen her look so happy and beautiful, how he wanted that all the time for her and was determined to make it happen for his family.
Bryanna made me laugh when she exclaimed “Yes, it’s weird! Just go for it.” She talked about their recent downsizing from a 40′ motorhome into a 23′ Class C Winnebago. How big is her family? 2 adults,4 kids and 2 not-so-small dogs. Wow! Why in the heck would they do that? In her mind, she said they were getting too complacent in their “giant” motorhome and wanted to (again) push their comfort zone. I found it very inspirational to see a family so closely bonded and willing to grow together like that.
Personal highs of the event
David, the WordPress guru from the website workshop is just simply amazing. Not only did I scribble just about every word I could catch of his down on my notepad, he personally encouraged me to “keep at it.” I met him a few hours into the conference and he knew exactly who I was. Wow! How awesome is that? I will NEVER forget him as the guy who encouraged me more than anyone else at the conference. He said big things would come my way if I kept working hard and when saying our goodbyes, he said I was a breath of fresh air. I am beyond blessed to have met this man.
Eric and Brittany Highland of RV Wanderlust gave a very in-depth talk on the power of social media. It really got me fired up to try some new strategies. Aside from that, they were wonderful to meet and must have thought the same about me because they featured my last blog post on their Facebook page, resulting in HUGE traffic numbers for my humble little site as well as new subscribers.
I got to talk to Eric one-on-one at the campfire Saturday night and he gave me some great advice and encouragement as well.
The coolest thing blog-wise for me was that many people knew who I was. I had people coming up to me for 48 hours straight saying, “Hey, you’re Liz Wilcox.” Wow! It was such a huge affirmation. Seriously, I have been struggling a ton with this website and trying to get it off the ground. It was just the boost I needed to keep going.
Meeting new friends
The absolute best thing about the RVE Summit was meeeting so many like-minded people and making a whole ton of new friends.
I roomed with a couple that are still in planning stages of the RV life and I just know we will keep in touch and I cannot wait to hear what RV they finally decide on.
I met a girl who will be a solo traveler and is currently doing an extreme overhaul on an Airstream Argosy. Turns out she lives in Alabama like me so I’m hoping we can meet up soon and I can help her with some of the renovation!
Honestly, I cannot list everyone that I met and I plan to keep in touch with. There is one woman on the RVE Summit Facebook page right now already saying she misses everyone. I feel ya, sista! I had to leave a day early and I was seriously so sad! Like, still am.
What I missed at the Summit
So I had to leave a day early. Boo!!! I was so incredibly sad but so happy that the whole conference was live streamed on Facebook.
Anyway, I missed stories from Jill Sessa and Kyle Kesterson, both solo travelers. Also, Ditching Suburbia gave an amazing presentation that I had to catch up on the livestream and there was even a chat with a rep of Winnebago.
Oh, and I also missed the amazing group photo and the group hike. Again, boooooo!
If you’re interested, click here to link to all the videos.
RVE Summit 2018
Oh, you know I’ll be there! They just announced they’ll do it again and I could not be more excited (still on a high here, people.)
But you know what?
Next year, I plan on being the speaker of “One Year Ago I was a New Entrepreneur…” and teaching a workshop on how to find the right career to get you working towards your full-time travel dreams.
After all, that’s the only thing I thought the RVE Summit was missing and in a year that’s exactly what I’ll be an expert in.
Have you ever attended a summit or conference that got you fired up? Tell me about it!