What was Create & Cultivate LA like? Was it really worth the price? Did Kim Kardashian have anything insightful to say? Since returning from the LA conference, I’ve been asked these questions and then some. Well, I’m here to break down Create & Cultivate LA and tell you everything – what it is, who it’s for, how it’s set up, what it excels at, and what it lacks. That way you can decide whether you’d like to attend a Create & Cultivate event in the future.
The Create & Cultivate conference series is essentially one giant Instagram party where influencers, established bloggers and brands, and the ultra fashionable can get together for a full day of big-name celebrity panels.
Create & Cultivate LA was no different; the team of women packed the event space with interactive booths from top brands and an impressive list of speakers. Among them were Busy Philipps, Jen Gotch, Tia Mowry, Justina Blakeney, Nina Dobrev, Julia Engel, Aimee Song, Lauren Conrad, Chrissy Teigen, and Kim Kardashian.
General Admission vs. VIP Tickets
Now, the tickets for Create & Cultivate LA were a little pricey, especially for it being a one-day event, but the price is worth it for the lineup and overall experience. General Admission tickets were $300, while VIP tickets were $500. For a $200 difference, what did the VIP group get? They were provided a special VIP lounge, able to select their own track and mentors, given a little extra swag in their goodie bags, and access to alcohol all day.
As a General Admission ticket holder, I felt special without the fancier title. The organizers never checked my badge, so I was able to dip into both Track 1 and Track 2 at my leisure. The VIP lounge was open for you to walk in and it looked no different from the pop-up market. The amount of full-sized products in my swag bag was more than enough for the price, and I was fine with waiting for drinks until happy hour.
Track 1 and Track 2
There are two separate tracks to Create & Cultivate LA, Track 1 and Track 2. Track 1 is geared towards entrepreneurs with talks like “Pitch Perfect” and “DTF: Down to Finance” while Track 2 is all about social media with talks like “Podcast 101” and “Never Not Posting.” I was placed in Track 2, which worked just fine for me since I’m a content creator and that track had all the speakers I was looking for.
When I attend conferences for entrepreneurs, I want to learn something that I can use in my business. However, I gained limited new information from the sessions at Create & Cultivate LA. The discussions lacked real depth and hovered around surface level advice to “be authentic” in our brands. Honestly, can we all please stop using the word “authentic” in our messaging? Also, I don’t enjoy panels. I prefer when speakers address the audience directly with a lesson or story from their life.
But, there were a few gems from the panels that are worth sharing.
You don’t own Instagram. You can’t control what they do. All social channels can be taken away from us at any point. Remember all those Vine stars? Yeah. Always have something behind your Instagram like a blog or an email list. If you don’t have those already, start them now.
Also, entertainment isn’t free so why do we expect Instagram to be? If you want to keep up with the algorithm, put money into Instagram ads to boost your reach.
“Build a voice. Stand behind it. It is your brand.” – Chrissy Teigen
“Understand your brand so it’s effortless. For me, that’s color, pattern, and plants. I always check that I have these three things in my images to be on brand.” – Justina Blakeney
“Be fucking nice.” – Molly Sims
“Show up. Do the work. Don’t be lazy. There’s no shortcut.” – Kim Kardashian
One thing that both Molly Sims and Kim Kardashian agreed on is that if you are nice (read: not a diva) to everyone at every single job you show up to, people will remember that and hopefully contact you for future projects.
What Create & Cultivate Did Right
Yes, the panels (the point of the conference) were lacking, but Create & Cultivate did put on a grand show in Los Angeles. Though the pages of my notebook were sparse, I was smiling the entire time.
Create & Cultivate LA is seriously fun. There were elaborate backdrops for creating plenty of #content and the booths in the pop-up market kept me entertained between talks. Some of my favorites included:
- La Croix – There was an illustrator who drew my likeness with a can of La Croix in my hand, a cute photo booth, cans of every kind of La Croix flavor to sip on, silly straws, hats, stickers, pins, and pencils that I stocked up on for my pure love of sparkling water.
- Richer Poorer – They were customizing Richer Poorer products with any 10 characters you wanted. I chose “Le Mot Juste”, meaning “the right word” in French because I’m a writer and Francophile. The shirt is also super soft and now all I want to do is stock up on more of their shirts.
- Nordstrom – Nordstrom set up a beauty bar where makeup artists literally did up your entire face and hair, then sent you off with sample products. I felt super pampered and even added a few makeup tips to my arsenal.
I appreciated that they fed us lunch and from Flower Child no less. The lunch was delicious and included a little flower crown which was a fun little touch. Postmates also had a booth set up where they were serving Salt & Straw ice cream, Ladurée macarons, and matcha tea with oat milk from Alfred Coffee.
The General Admission bags were packed with over $200 dollars worth of products and gift cards from some amazing brands. My favorites included:
- Full sized products from Living Proof (I’m loving their dry shampoo!)
- A yoga mat from Livestrong.com
- RxBars galore
- Feminine products from Lola in a personalized bag
- A full-size bottle of shampoo from Marajo
- Gummy beauty vitamins from Olly
- A full set of face products from Dermalogica
- An Erin Condren notebook
Do I recommend attending this conference? Not unless you are a well-established influencer or brand looking to collaborate or someone who really just wants to see your favorite celebrity on stage. Really it all depends on what you’re looking for in a conference. For me, a good conference boils down to 1) learning something new 2) meeting new people and Create & Cultivate did not truly do that for me. I much preferred the Yellow Conference to Create & Cultivate LA. If you know of any conferences out there that are a favorite of yours, share them in the comments below.