Last week was a busy one for sure, but lots of fun because I got to spend time with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren and help them move into their new home. After unpacking boxes for a few days, we took a break and us “girls” headed to Pinners Texas.
Never having attended before, we weren’t sure what to expect, and our first impression could be summed up in one word: overwhelming! The event was held at the Arlington Convention Center and doors opened at 10:00 am on Friday, with classes set to begin at 10:30 am. I don’t know how many of the 10,000-11,000 attendees were there when they opened, but it was several hundred (it seemed like a THOUSAND) or more – all crowded into the main area and ready to check in and head to class.
Fortunately, my daughter spotted one of the staff standing off to the side with iPad in hand, working furiously to process as many people as possible. Once we were able to check in and get our wristbands, it was pretty smooth sailing – crowded, but no longer overwhelming.
The Pinners website describes the conference as “two great events in one” and I would have to say that is an accurate description. Not only are there classes on a wide variety of topics (sewing, crafts, cooking, lifestyle, fashion, and photography just to name a few), but the exhibit halls are filled with vendors selling everything from tutus to Tupperware. Tandy Leather, major sponsor of the event, provided their own unique form of “eye candy”.
You can pre-register or buy your tickets at the door and the prices are quite reasonable, ranging from $8 for general admission to the exhibits and shopping, all the way up to $129 for a limited availability VIP pass featuring early admission, swag, and access to the VIP Room during the show. Children 12 and younger are admitted free to all events.
We chose to buy our tickets online and pre-register for classes. Certain classes fill up quickly, so if class selection is important to you, this is the way to go. Keep in mind that even if you pre-register, your seat is only guaranteed until 5 minutes before class begins.
In addition to many free demos presented throughout the conference, nine different classes were offered during each class period with six class periods on Friday and another six on Saturday. Some of the classes were offered more than once during the weekend, and topics/presenters vary among the host cities. We wanted our experience to be fun and relaxing, plus we had a baby in tow, so we chose to attend only a couple of classes – “Pie for the Masses” and “You CAN Bake French Macarons” – both of which were not only fun and entertaining, but educational as well. (For instance, I quickly learned that macaron baking is way too labor-intensive for me, but I’m looking forward to eating some when my daughter makes them 😉 . And the class samples were delicious!)
After class, there was plenty of time for some retail therapy. About 230 vendors filled two exhibit halls and I was pleasantly surprised to find such a wide variety of goods in one place.
In addition to wood signs and supplies for DIY wood projects (which seemed to be everywhere), there were mattresses, pillows, appliances, food items, toys, makeup, skin care products, clothing, jewelry, scrapbooking supplies, kitchen tools, and much more – even vinyl and Terial Magic!
All in all, it was a fun event and I hope we can go again next year. Who knows, we may even visit a conference in one of the other five host cities! In the meantime, I’ll be checking out the Live Stream and Library pass. While I still won’t be able to see each and every class that interests me, it seems like a bargain at only $29/year.
Have you ever attended a Pinners Conference? If so, which one? If you haven’t already attended one, are you considering going at some time in the future? I’d love to hear about your experience, so leave me a comment below or visit me over on Facebook.
Until next time,
I was not compensated in any way for this review. I purchased admission tickets at full price and paid 100% of all related expenses. This post does however contain affiliate advertising – which means that if you click on a link in the post, I may make a commission based on your purchase. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher, and the commissions I earn help keep Caught by Design online. Thanks for your support!