Wow time flies! Can you believe it was a month ago I was heading to SNAP conference? I totally intended to do a wrap up post of my trip, but my busy life got in the way and now we are a month out. I still wanted to share the value of attending a blog conference with you and the top 5 reasons why I think you should go to one too.
When I attended my first blog conference I had this vision in my head I would come home a super blogger, it was going to be my rise to blogging fame. I was going to meet all these brands that would be falling all over me, and couldn’t wait to throw their wads of cash at me.
Likely right? Ha, bubble burst.
Don’t get me wrong the things I’ve taken away are definitely worth their weight in gold, and although I’m not the super blogger (wearing a beautiful floral cape) I imagined, I’ve defiantly found the yellow brick road to getting there, read on…
I had no idea I was going to take in so much information. Blog conferences have a jam-packed schedule of classes to heighten your computer power. Of course each conference is different, but generally you’ll learn about social media (valuable tips how to rock certain platforms), creating valuable content, how to make money blogging, and probably most valued- personal experience. Keynotes and session speakers are the people, who have made it in the biz, and they’re there to share their stories and experiences, info you won’t find online. Depending on the type of conference you may get hands on learning new skills, techniques, and being the first to see new products that will hit the market.
Maybe this should have been the first on the list, because that’s what we’re all after, isn’t it? Save yourself the time and hassle of hunting down the perfect person to pitch. They will be there in the flesh, wanting to hand over their business card, wanting to work with YOU. They may not have brought the brief case crammed full of cash, but they want to hear your ideas, mingle, and maybe even treat you to a drink at the bar. Who would you be more likely to build a relationship with, someone you’ve had a chat with and can put a face to, or lady XYZ behind a computer somewhere? In addition to the sponsors, and PR people you’ll be face-to-face with the keynotes and session speakers are generally blog big wigs that you can get chummy with. Who knows it might lead to a guest-posting gig, or a social media shout out.
We’ve all heard it over and over again, that you need a support group to make the blogging train go. I have to be honest, I ignored this for a long time, WAY. TOO. LONG. I had no idea how valuable it was until I went to my first conference. The women I met at that conference I talk to everyday, sometimes 20 times a day. I consider them close friends, my blog wouldn’t be at the place it is right now without them, we scratch each other’s back, they are there when I need to vent, and they will go get a glass of wine when I want to celebrate. Not that you need a conference to build a tribe but it certainly helps when you get to meet them in person.
I can’t even begin to tell you how an event like this makes you put on your big girl panties. It makes you want to sell your business. It’s your chance to show everyone how professional you really are, that you’re not just sitting around in yoga pants trying to get freebies. Plus you’re going to meet hundreds of new friends, talk to countless people, and probably sit at a table where you are meeting people for the first time.
There is a slim chance I’m ever going to have a blog conference hosted in my backyard. For me it means flying somewhere, or driving 22 hours… likely by myself (or you have an awesome mother who likes to drive crazy distance too). A 5-15 hour flight, a public transit system, a walk for 8 blocks when you miss said transit system, a drive into the mountains, (thanks to the help of not one but two GPS systems). New friends, new restaurants, new surroundings, and attractions, make time to take it in. I learned from my friend Donna from Funky Junk Interiors is to tack a day or two onto your trip for site seeing. If I wouldn’t have had an extra day I would have never seen the outside of the conference hotel. Donna and I had a wonderful site-seeing day around Salt Lake and Park City. I was going to share some photos, but hers are phenomenal check out this post and this post.
That sums up my top 5 things you’ll gain from a blog conference. Of course there is definitely more reasons you’ll benefit, my list could go on and on. A conference is what you make of it, be sure to put yourself out there and participate, it will be so valuable… even if it means wearing your sisters prom dress from 1986!
Where is my next stop on the blog conference trail? Toronto! I’ll be attending Blog Podium on September 13, 2014 and I’d love for you to join me. Blog Podium is the only conference in Canada specifically focused on lifestyle and design bloggers. Whether you are new at blogging, a seasoned blogger, or just curious about starting a blog, this event is for you.
So what do you think, join me would you? Learn more about this event and get your Early Bird ticket to Blog Podium right here. Even if you don’t have the confidence yet, I’ll be there, I’ll hold your hand, and save you a seat. I promise this blog conference will be SO MUCH fun!