I’m so glad you want to know more about the history of the 2:1 Conference! We’ve had an amazing journey in which God has shown Himself faithful, and we’re not finished yet! But, let’s take a look back at how it all began.
Way back in 2010 I had been blogging for just over a year. My site was a journal blog where I chronicled our homeschool days, and climbed up on my soapbox to share random thoughts. However, as I looked around me, other I saw bloggers to “mega-blogger” status. They were garnering huge followings, and making money (say what?!) from their blogs.
Through these bigger bloggers, I heard about something called a blogger conference. And I was intrigued. I thought I wanted to become a mega blogger. So, I packed up my family and headed to Nashville for my very first blogging conference, Blissdom, which was led by the uber-talented Alli Worthington.
It was an amazing, and somewhat overwhelming, experience. I turned blogging friends into IRL friends; I made connections that are still flourishing! But…I was a bit derailed. Rather than coming home ready to take over the world with my blog, a new dream had taken root. It excited and scared me all at once.
I wanted to create a conference home for “my people.” For the very niche-specific group of Christian bloggers who homeschool.
I told my husband and two close friends about this dream. They were overwhelmingly supportive. So I started to make mental plans. I put a survey on my blog asking if others would be interested (they were!).
And then, I sat on the dream.
So, I waited.
Several months later I attended my second blog conference, Relevant (now Allume). Again, the dream of 2:1 stirred in my heart. I prayed that if 2:1 was something I was meant to do, and not something rooted in pride, He would make a way.
And He did.
With the support of my husband and encouragement from two friends, I got to work. I planned, and prayed, sought sponsors and prayed some more. I was thrilled when our very first sponsor, Apologia, understood the vision of 2:1 and signed on to support us. It was such a blessing.
Even so, not all brands understood the value of the homeschool, blogging, mom community. They weren’t sure what to do with us. Sponsorships stalled, ticket sales lagged, my budget had ballooned, and I was forced to delay the inaugural 2:1 for a year.
It was a time of personal growth for me. I learned humility, the meaning of trust, and some nifty business skills, too.
So, I kept trusting (and working!) and on April 27-29, 2012 the first 2:1 Conference was held! We gathered at the Holiday Inn Washington Dulles in Sterling, Virginia. Just under 100 attendees, speakers and sponsors came together for what proved to be a life changing event.
Spurred on by the success of the inaugural 2:1, and many ideas for improvement, a second year was planned. Again, 100 amazing attendees came together for a weekend of faith, networking, and community. This time, 2:1 was held at the Hilton Washington Dulles in Herndon, VA on April 12-14, 2013.
2014 brought lots of changes for 2:1. For one, I decided to take the show on the road! We headed to Bloomingdale, IL, just outside Chicago. So, on May 2-4, 2014 we found ourselves kicking off the 3rd annual 2:1 at the Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort. Another wonderful development of this year was the creation of the 2:1 team. These amazing women officially came alongside me to form an uber-supportive backbone for the conference.
2015 brought even more changes for 2:1, some were good changes, some not so good. We shortened the schedule from 3 days to 2. We also decided to head to the beach and move 2:1 from spring to fall. On October 9&10, 2015, at the Ramada Inn in Kitty Hawk, NC, we were gazing at the magnificence of God’s ocean while acknowledging His goodness in our personal lives and businesses. Even so, we decided 2 days was just too short.
So, in 2016 we brought back the three day schedule as we traversed the country once again, this time to the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky Ohio on October 14-16. What a fantastic we had at this beautiful resort. Ask anyone who’s attended and they’ll say 2:1 is like a big, happy family reunion.