There are so many conferences out there for bloggers, and you may be asking yourself – are blogging conferences like Blissdom worth the money? Is it worth it to leave my family for several days to attend a writing or social media conference? These conferences range from under a hundred bucks to over $300, so it’s important to get a good value out of it, right?
|Me and Rachel, my carpooling buddy, as we were finding our way to registration on the first day!
Photo courtesy of Sprittibee.
If you have been following along, you have seen that I went to Blissdom, a large-scale blogging conference that was put on in Grapevine (Near Dallas and Fort Worth), Texas in March 2013. I even vlogged about it before I went to share some of my thoughts and the agenda and all of that fun stuff. You may have seen my Wordless Wednesday post, where I showcased my lovely pictures where, among other things, I got to meet Jeremy Sisto and Ana Gasteyer. AHHH!! (Can I just say – I have loved them both for over a decade, so this was a total dream come true?? Yes, I’m that star-struck idiot. I will admit it! HA!)
Obviously, I had a ton of fun. The activities and events were plentiful, it was star-studded, with amazing celebrities and entertainment, excellent keynote speakers, and fabulous brands sponsoring activities and meals and social events. Really, though, let’s cut to the chase. Is Blissdom worth the cash? Well, judge for yourself based on my take-aways…
Watch out, it’s a SOCIAL EVENT, folks!
If you are expecting a classroom-like setting with a bunch of people with their noses stuck to a screen or pens on paper, you’re only half right. Sure, you’ll see everyone geeking out with their technology during most of the events, but that is only half of the story!!
The conference agenda has time for socialization, sessions, parties, time to get around to connect with all of the sponsors, and so much more. You can really manage your time as you see fit during the entire conference, but there are many different things each day.
Regardless of whether you’re in a session, listening to a keynote, or out at an after-party, please keep in mind that about 95% of those attending are CHATTY WOMEN that will want to make some connections. It sort of reminded me of high school a little. Take that how you want. 😛
It’s a KICK-START, not a HOW-TO!
I got so inspired by the speakers. There was so much practical advice being shared, as well as a few life-changing quips from the keynote speakers Jon Acuff and Scott Stratten. Seriously, the theme of the weekend seemed to be HOW TO BE AWESOME. I truly felt inspired to be awesome. Awesome. (Should I say it a few more times for good measure? AWESOME!) Each of them provided us with a book as part of our Blissdom swag, and I am really enjoying reading through those. These two truly made the conference for me, as their advice and information is what has stuck with me more than anything else.
HOWEVER, I want to say that the information given at this conference was more of a kick-start. There was no how-to, at least not at any of the sessions I attended. I would have loved to have attended a step-by-step “How to maximize SEO on your website and attract 500,000 new web visitors a month” class, but nothing like that existed. Instead, I felt as though the sessions got me fired up to change and do something exciting, but the burden on how to execute that has been left completely on my own shoulders. A little guidance would have been nice, but I’m so grateful to just have a fire under my butt for now! I will have to seek advice on some of the new projects I’m working on elsewhere.
Bring friends, or get brave!
Like I said, it’s a social event. If you are going solo, GET BRAVE. There have been several folks mention how clique-y the whole event felt. I think we naturally want to cling to people we know or that we are comfortable with, so of course cliques will form.
If you decide to go to one of these, either go with a group of friends, or be prepared to make the first move and meet people! Bring business cards, mingle with people you don’t know, and have fun. There’s no room for loners here, in my opinion. Get down witcha social self! 😉
Know what you are looking for in a conference – and GO AFTER IT!!
Even the seasoned conference pros will have to think about what they’re trying to get out of this conference. Why did you decide this was worth the cash to go? Write it down. Think about it. Set goals. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
If your purpose in going is to make money, put yourself out there and make the right connections. If you want to network with others in your area, do it! If you’re trying to find out more of the technical aspects of something, find folks that you can team up with.
Go in with an Open Mind!
Some folks planned this thing out so much that they got totally stressed and frazzled once they got there. If you are going to this conference, try and ditch the micromanagement attitude. Go with the flow a little bit! Have fun, mingle, keep an open mind, be prepared to be surprised, learn from others, and network your butt off. This is supposed to be FUN. 🙂
Have you ever been to a blogging conference? Do you want to? What are your thoughts on the value versus the cost?