If you haven’t heard of GO WILD – it’s an annual conference held by Wild for Planners where you can connect with and meet your planner besties from all over the world. It’s over the course of 3 or 4 days (depending on whether you go to the Shop Summit) that you nerd out over stationery from brands like KrissyAnne Designs or MakseLife – and hear from speakers of the same companies, plus a notable keynote speaker, and many more planner loving empowering individuals.

Hey I heard you were a wild one

Go Wild in WASHIngton DC for 2023 is the East Coast Go Wild I’ve been waiting for to be able to afford! This will be my second Go Wild – I went to Las Vegas in 2019. I can tell you all about it, but four years later I’m not sure I’d remember enough to give you a great testimony. I can remember that I was 7 months pregnant, a swag sponsor, a table sponsor, and relatively new to the planner community. It may have not been the most beneficial of early business decisions I had made, especially being so small and new at the time, but it was an experience that was intensely integral to my business and the timeline I’ve had with it since 2018. It will always have been worth it!

This is not a normal budgeting scenario.

I’d like to make it clear: I am in an extremely rare and lucky situation for Go Wild 2023. I have family close by and I can stay there for the week, I was chosen from hundreds of applications to be a volunteer, and I live within a distance that allows me to drive myself to the location in one day. Those three things make this an exponentially easier trip to budget.

In 2023, it wasn’t in my best interest to make a personal trip to Go Wild at the price of a ticket so I had decided early on that even if I had been waiting for a drivable Go Wild for years, I couldn’t swing the expense for this time in my life. However, when applications opened to become a volunteer, I considered the thought that I may not have another opportunity to drive to a GW AND have an affordable place to stay. I applied and I was accepted.

I’d like to track the amount I spend on this trip publicly for a few reasons:

  • I see a lot of people ask about the cost and while I understand my situation is unique, I want to have something out there for those who are considering this option in the future.
  • I want to hold myself accountable. I had originally decided not to Go Wild because of my need to be more frugal with my spending. If I have to tell you everything I buy and explain it, I’ll be more intentional with what I buy.
  • While I fully think you should support all of the small businesses, especially minority owned businesses like women, Black, or LGBTQIA+ businesses, it can be hard to fight that swag FOMO. There are a large collection of small businesses that sell Go Wild Merchandise to get hyped for the event – and happy mail is HAPPY. But I also know that right now there are a lot of us that still want to be able to enjoy this type of extra hobby spending without going broke in some of our other more needed areas of life. I’m here to tell you it is okay not to buy all the things.

You can budget for a Go Wild event – it IS possible!

It is a pricey investment for a weekend trip for something a lot of us would consider a luxury type of interest. If you have a business, it’s also a pretty big business expense to cover if you are small or just starting out. The real truth of it is that it is not cheap to take any business trip, let alone a weekend in a location that’s usually unknown until half a year or so before the event. Even if you need to put some extra thought into your budget for the coming months or if you need to have an extra sale in your shop – it IS possible for you to save money in advance of travel and be able to use cash for most of it. (Well, that is not what I recommend, but we can save that for closer to the trip)

If you want to join me on my GO WILD journey from Ohio to Washington, D.C. in March of 2023, be sure to sign up for my email list, follow me on Instagram, and check back often for updates on anything I may buy in prep for the trip. I’ll be documenting it ALL.