Monday, July 14, 2014

What Happens in Vegas, Isn't Gonna Stay in Vegas!

What Happens in Vegas...

All I can say is, WOW! I just arrived home from Las Vegas!

What happens when you get over 600 teachers in one room together? One word can describe it for me: MAGIC!

I attended the 2014 TPT (teacherspayteachers) Conference and I have to say it was the best educational conference I ever attended by far! So many amazing people really showed me what has been missing in our Wise Guys marketing plan for the past four years.

When Eric and I started our Wise Guys store back in November of 2009 we were looking for a way to earn a little extra money for golf, during the summer. As months passed, and earnings increased, we realized that this was more than just a part-time job to earn money for our favorite hobby. We knew that TPT was something special. It was allowing us to become more creative in our teaching and to be able to share that with educators across the nation and the world! We were becoming Super Sellers! (I love that Team TPT included some males in the image below, courtesy of the TPT Keynote Address).
As Eric and I continued to create resources, we were finding that our passion for teaching was exploding as well. We sought out new and innovative ways to reach ALL of our students regardless of ability. We were having fun thinking of new teaching methods and activities that would spark a love of learning in our students.

So for the past five years we have been doing just that. But there was something missing from us. Yes, we have dabbled in blogging, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. But in reality, we had no clue how to use these amazing marketing tools to help grow our business even more. I am the first to admit it, we were terrible at this!

As we got leapfrogged in the top 10 list, we realized it was time to think about how to network and connect with other sellers and our customers. After all, we believed that we have some amazing resources that could benefit so many more students if we just knew the right way to do it.

Facebook has been a great place to connect with other sellers. Back in 2010 I created a facebook group titled "How to Increase Sales in TPT." Many of today's top sellers were (and maybe still are) members of this group. The problem was, I did not have the skills or knowledge of how to do it myself so I sought out other sellers. But, I did not learn from them like I should. Instead this group kind of split and fractured off into other groups and many became Super Sellers.  :-) 

The picture below shows a few of those members as I was able to connect with them in Vegas. Amy from Science Stuff, myself, Rachelle Smith, Deanna Jump, Kristen from Secondary Solutions, and Tracey from Smart Chick. We, unfortunately greatly missed Margaret Whisnant, Jason of PowerPoint Maniac, and Tracee Orman too for this meet up. This group has been like a second family to me over the past several years.

The number one takeaway from the TPT Conference was collaboration and networking. I learned so much in each session I went to. I wish the conference would've been at least two days.
So as another school year approaches, our #1 goal is to network with other sellers, and to work even harder at creating meaningful and relevant resources for teachers to use across the United States and world.

Next year, both of the Wise Guys plan on attending Las Vegas. I only got to meet a small handful of people this year, and that is my biggest regret. Both Eric and I want to connect with more of you!

We are both continually amazed at the tenacity, energy, and drive that the sellers of the TPT community has. It is that determination and spirit that will help us reach new levels this year.

I want to personally thank Paul, the founder of TPT. Without his vision and his passion, this unbelievable site never would have been created, and the thousands of teacherprenuers never would have surfaced. It has changed our lives forever!

I also want to thank all of the TPT sellers that I met at the conference who made me feel welcome and part of something special! There are too many to list, but you know who you are!

The countdown is on for next year! I am already super excited to attend!


  1. SO sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you in person! NEXT YEAR!!! I enjoyed your blog post...It truly was an amazing experience! :-) Michelle Harper @ No Monkey Business Michelle

  2. Michelle, I wish we would've connected too! But, you are right, there is always next year!

  3. Loved this post so much! Brian it was so good to meet you. Your wife was amazing, too! Let's get together again BEFORE Vegas!

  4. Rachelle, it was so nice to finally meet you in person. You are so genuine, and fun to be around. I wish we had more time to chat as well. I would LOVE to get together again with everyone!!

  5. Vegas was a BLAST! I learned SO much, too!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  6. Jennifer, wish we could've connected! It was such a great conference!

  7. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you, but I saw you when Paul singled you out during the Keynote! (How cool!) Maybe next year I'll meet the Wise Guys team!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  8. Sally, we will definitely have to meet next year! It was surreal being mentioned in the keynote. Totally didn't expect that!

  9. So great to meet you, Brian! Can't wait to meet your other "other half"! So renewed and reinvigorated from the conference, I can't wait to get to work! Thanks for the shout out for Secondary Solutions!

  10. Kristen, it was so great to finally meet you in person! I just wish we had more time together. You are a marketing genius and have such a great thing going with both Elementary and Secondary Solutions. Can't wait for next year already!

  11. I really wish I could have been there! I agree--TpT IS amazing and so are all the teachers/sellers who use the site. I am so thankful for you all! Thanks for sharing with us, Brian. Can't wait to go next year!

  12. Tracee, we missed you there. Can't wait to meet you in person!