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I see there are two soap conferences coming up, HSCG and SoapCon. HSCG is 4 days and quite the expense, while SoapCon will be a little cheaper. There's also the "you get what you pay for" saying, that is more often than not true. I would love to hear reviews on each of them.
 

MelissaG

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I think I'm envious that you can afford to go to such things.
 

TheGecko

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I think I'm envious that you can afford to go to such things.

Oh...I can't afford the $2300 Conference (which doesn't include airfare, ground transport or yarn money). And I wouldn't go even if I could because that's a stupid amount of money to spend for a knitting retreat.

I save all year for this trip. The money comes straight out of my paycheck into an account at a different bank...out of sight/out of mind.
 
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Woah, I didn't realize it was $2300 for the big one! I save for conferences each year, and being as I haven't gone to one in 3 years, I have a bit saved up. No way am I spending that much on one though.

I had to giggle a little when you said "yarn money". I've gone to both knitting and weaving conferences, and yarn money was always something that got factored in.
 

TheGecko

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Woah, I didn't realize it was $2300 for the big one! I save for conferences each year, and being as I haven't gone to one in 3 years, I have a bit saved up. No way am I spending that much on one though.

I had to giggle a little when you said "yarn money". I've gone to both knitting and weaving conferences, and yarn money was always something that got factored in.

It the Jimmy Beans Wool one taking place in Reno, 09/21-25 The Peppermill Resort is really nice...if you don't mind hanging out at the airport and don't want to go anywhere else. Hubby and I looked had look at and instead choose to go downtown where there was a bunch of stuff do, different restaurants and shops, all within walking distance.

The one I go to is in Ogden Utah...tons and tons of shops and places to eat and a couple of yarn shops within easy walking distance. The cost for the Retreat was $345...$50 down and then you have three months to pay the balance. I made two soaps for the Swag Bag last year and they were a big hit. We got yarn, stitch markers, yarn bowl in the shape of a sheep with an added spot to hold stitch markers, discount coupon for the yarn store and $20 cash towards our final meal together. The yarn store is closed for private shopping and they make sure to stock up just for us, plus we got wine, cheese, crackers and nuts. I got a killer deal on airfare...it was under $200. Hotel was $400 and I had a king room to myself; it includes a sit-down breakfast with menu.

So a grand for the Retreat...and then you need spending and yarn money. But still. From the other gals who have attended all sorts of different retreats, they have all said it's best they have gone to. They really like that it is a small group and fairly loose.
 

MelissaG

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Whew that's expensive. I've only spent that much on trips to Dragon Con in Georgia and that includes both my husband and I. It's been years though.
 

TheGecko

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Does the conference cost count as a business expense for those who sell?

Yes, a soap conference would be consider a business expense if you are a soap maker, but a knitting conference/retreat would not. Knitting for me is a hobby, it's my vacation away from work and home.
 

earlene

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I have been to SoapCon 3 or 4 times and thoroughly enjoyed myself every time. It is well worth the registration fee, and when there are workshops (there have not always been) they are also well worth the extra fee.

Carrie of Nurture Soap did a mica color mixing workshop at one of them, that both I and another member here attended & it was a fabulous workshop. She even gave each participant a set of micas & a little mixer thing for mixing the micas to create your own colors.

Vendors who attend are always very nice, and put something into the participant give-away bags, so there are freebies that are often pretty cool. Another perk is that some of the participating vendors will do a pre-workshop order where you put in your order & they deliver it to you at the workshop without having to pay a shipping fee. AND at a sale price as well. And they all seem to sell wares/supplies both days, but usually on the last day, prices actually go down so they don't have to take it all back with them. I've got some great bargains that way.

The speakers have all been pretty great, and I've had the opportunity to meet Dr. Kevin Dunn at least 3 times because he is a regular at SoapCon & a very down-to-earth and educational fun speaker, as you might expect. Clyde of the Clyde Slide was one of the speakers one year I attended, and he was also a very fun guy. There is usually a speaker from the Guild and a couple of times a speaker who addressed the legal side of things (US related, of course).

One year, even, I think there was an SMF member from out of country who attended. I wish I could remember who that was. It's really fun running into SMF members who just happen to be there. Sometimes I knew they were going to be, and sometimes it was a surprise.

Plus meeting Kathy McGinnis is fun, too. She's a very nice person and a lot of fun. And old friends from my first year of soapmaking. My soapmaking teacher is always there, as well. She lives in Ohio. I took two of her soapmaking workshops as they were the closest ones to Illinois (2 states over) and I really wanted to take a class of some sort. I liked her classes so much, I went back for an advanced class a year or so later.


And I can't emphasize enough how great the 'free raffle' is! You get a certain number of 'raffle' tickets with your price of admission (included in your packet when you arrive) and then at the very end of the workshop, there are drawings for multiple prizes. I won some fabulous soapmaking supplies at SoapCon almost every time I attended. In fact one year, I don't think there was a single person who did not go away without a prize.

I have never been to the Guild's conference, and I'd love to, but I can guarantee that the smaller conferences around the country are a lot of fun.
 

earlene

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Whew that's expensive. I've only spent that much on trips to Dragon Con in Georgia and that includes both my husband and I. It's been years though.
What's Dragon Con? I love Georgia. I wonder if I can qualify for Dragon Con? I used to handpaint dragon figurines back when my siblings & I played D&D.

Just looked it up. Oh, cool. I could go to DC in Atlanta & pop over to Senoia for what may or may not be left of TWD! Not sure my husband would care to join, but granddaughter might.
 

TheGecko

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I have been to SoapCon 3 or 4 times and thoroughly enjoyed myself every time. It is well worth the registration fee, and when there are workshops (there have not always been) they are also well worth the extra fee.

I would love to do a SoapCon, as the price is very reasonable, it's just that it's the week before my Knitting Retreat. Maybe some time in the future, my soap making will pay for it.

I know one of the Vendors for the HSCG Conference...Shay & Company. They are local to be and have become my go-to for all my base ingredients.
 

MelissaG

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What's Dragon Con? I love Georgia. I wonder if I can qualify for Dragon Con? I used to handpaint dragon figurines back when my siblings & I played D&D.

Just looked it up. Oh, cool. I could go to DC in Atlanta & pop over to Senoia for what may or may not be left of TWD! Not sure my husband would care to join, but granddaughter might.

Dragon Con takes place over labor day weekend every year in downtown Atlanta. It's soooo much fun. It's been about five years though due to money and covid. Think the east coasts comic con.
 

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