I just got home from the #TypeA blogging conference last night and I had an amazing time. It is hard to put into words all the feelings I have, but I will try to sum it up as best I can.
This was my view every morning, so peaceful. The Grand Hyatt Buckhead was such an awesome hotel. So many interesting people were staying there including Ice Cube and many other famous rap stars. I laugh to myself as I remember all the funny conversations we had in the elevators.
Maybe you are a new blogger or even a well seasoned one, sitting at home thinking to yourself, should I invest in a blogging conference?
I am here today to tell you the answer is:
There are three F-words that come to my mind and these might convince you to sign up for a blogging conference: FOOD, FUN and FAMILY.
The food and drink choices are abundant and delicious. Waiters are constantly giving you something yummy to eat or drink. This lifestyle is something I could really get used to! Here are a few pictures out of countless photos of the beautiful foods we were served. If you enjoy eating and drinking wonderful foods then a conference is for you.
The second F-word is Fun. I laughed so much. Every night there was a big party to join with beautiful decorations and amazing themes. Three days of fun is good for your soul. I shared a room with the hilarious Tabatha from A Half Dozen Life and we laughed so much. I am sure you need more laughter and fun in your life, right?
The third F-word is family. I met so many awesome people who are now part of my blogging family. These people are the ones who will help you write an awesome headline. These bloggers are the ones who will help you with the new plugin on WordPress that you just cannot figure out. The blogging community is one big awesome family. Each person I met has a story to tell and I loved hearing each one of them. I miss my blogging family and I cannot wait to see them again. But until then we will help each other online.
There are so many more reasons you need to take the leap and sign up for your first blogging conference. Trust me I came up with a million excuses why I could not attend. But in the end I am so glad I did. My life was enriched with each new person I met. Tabatha feels like a missing member of my family. I am sad it is over but looking forward to the next one.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Going to conferences is not a cheap proposition. You most likely will have to take a flight, stay in a hotel at least a few nights, and possibly have to pay for a few taxis and meals. But all of this will be totally worth it in the end. You will learn. You will gain wonderful friendships and opportunities and you will come home energized to take your blog to the next level.
- This past summer I attended my first blogging conference. I never realized how much there was to learn. I was happy posting once a month. Boy was I wrong. There is so much to learn at a blogging conference. There are plenty of people who are expert bloggers making 6 figures as well as new bloggers who have not even posted one page yet. The most incredible part is that you will learn different things from each person you meet.
- Do you stop and take photos of your food before you eat? Do you love social media? If so, you will be among friends. Do you like to use your smartphone 24/7? Well so do all the other bloggers. You will finally be with the people who get you! How many times have you attended a meeting and you pull out your phone and everyone gives you a dirty look. Not at a blogging conference. You are encouraged to be on your phone, sharing with your social media followers as much as possible.
- You know what else is awesome? Having a quiet hotel room with no children asking for something to eat, or needing some help with homework. You are just at the conference to concentrate on yourself and to learn how to make your blog the best it can be.
- How many friends do you have from all over the world? After attending the conference I DO have friends all over the world. I met people from Australia, England, Alaska, and most of the United States. Each person I met has a unique perspective and I love hearing the stories behind each blog.
- Follow the sponsors and show them that you appreciate their sponsorship of the conference. Interact with the sponsors on social media and you might create a long lasting relationship with them.
- Try to find a roommate. Even share a room with someone you do not know. Your room cost will be much less and you might end up with a life long friend. It is also so much fun to have someone to share information with. Tabatha and I always went to different sessions and then at the end of the day we exchanged notes and information. It was a great way to learn twice as much!
I hope you will consider signing up for a conference near or far from home. It has been an incredibly enriching experience for me and I look forward to my next one. If you attend a conference I have one very important tip for you. Bring business cards with you!! I found a great deal at Staples for $9.99 I was able to create 500 cards. You will need these cards so you can exchange them with other bloggers, brands, and other people you meet. I even exchanged cards with the person next to me on the plane! Business cards are an excellent investment and you want to gain fans and followers any way that you can. Conferences will allow you to network, learn from other bloggers, party like a rock star, and connect with brands. It is time for you to make an investment in yourself and your blog.
A few final tips:
- Bring lots of business cards to hand out. It is better to have more than less.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, you will be standing, walking and talking a lot. Do it as comfortably as possible.
- Pack a few of your favorite granola bars, you can snack on them during a session. You get very hungry at all day conferences.
- Drink water! You do not want to end up dehydrated at the end of the day.
- Practice your elevator pitch. You might have 1-2 minutes to explain what you blog about to a brand. Be prepared to sell yourself and your platform.
- Introduce yourself to strangers! Everyone at the conference is also a blogger, so you already have something in common. Make some new friends!
- Bring an empty bag. There are lots of takeaways and goodies that you will accumulate. Save some room in your bag for them.
- Bring along some type of portable charging system. Your phone & tablet will be used a lot and you will probably need some more juice!
- Have a good time! You are there to learn, relax and have fun. Remember to do that!
Have never been to a blogging conference and have always wondered whether it would be worth it to go. Sounds like I should give it a shot some time!
Yes, you should definitely go! I really recommend everyone try to get to a conference. You will be amazed at all you will learn.
I would love to attend a conference some day – and I definitely need to make business cards at some point 🙂
Yes, first step is to make some business cards! I hope you are able to attend a conference one day.
This is such a great post. I’ve been curious about blogging conferences lately and found myself wishing I could attend one. I had no idea there are confereneces in Atlanta, that’s not far from where I live! This is looking more like a possibility now!
I hope you consider attending a conference in the future. It really is such a rewarding experience!
I had never heard of the Type A blogging conference until before your post. That’s awesome that you were able to make so many great connections and network like you did. I went to a blogging conference this summer, but felt it was overpriced and that there wasn’t that much focus on building a blog. It’s important to find the right fit for yourself!
Yes, finding the right conference is very important. I am curious which conference you went to that was not as helpful!
Sounds so awesome! I can just picture everyone taking photos of their food!
It is so much fun! Everyone understands exactly where you are coming from and food photography is quite common.
I haven’t attended a blogging conference yet but I would really love to! Thanks for this good read.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you can attend a blogging conference one day.
Awesome! I’m attending my first one at the end of this month in Chicago! Hope it’s as fun as yours was!
That is awesome! I have heard that Chicago has many awesome conferences. You will have a great time!
This is so interesting, Sara. I never considered going to a blogging conference before, but now I think I should look up some up around my home town. Are there big blogging conferences that you would recommend in or near Texas? As a side note, I once sat by Ice Cube on a plane, it’s such a small world. 😉
That is so funny! Ice Cube really gets around. We saw him many times in the hotel bar and elevators during our three days in Atlanta. I do not live near Texas so I am not sure what conferences are close to you. I have flown or taken the train to two conferences and it has really been more than worth the travel expenses for me. I hope you can find a conference to attend. If you do, you will be hooked! Thanks for stopping by.
I attended my first blog conference a few weeks ago. I agree with everything in your post. I highly recommend all bloggers attend a conference. I had so much fun and learned so much.
I am so glad you enjoyed your first blog conference! I never even knew that a blog conference even exited until a few months ago. Now I want to go to all of them!! Thanks for stopping by.
I have never been to a blogger conference…but it looks like you had an amazing time! Maybe once I am out of student loan debt 😛
If you see any conferences near you, keep your eye out. Many conferences give away free tickets to attend. I actually won free admission to two different blogging conferences, so you could too! Just watch the hashtags on Twitter. Good luck!
Thank you for writing this post! As a new blogger, I have wondered about blog conferences and whether or not I should attend. I am happy to know that not only are conferences a great learning tool, but you can make new friends within the blogging community. I cannot wait to have an opportunity to attend one. 🙂
I am so glad that I inspired you to attend a blog conference. It is an amazing experience if you are new to blogging, there is just so much to learn!
I agree with you. I really enjoy a good conference. Personally, I try and get to at least 3 a year.
I think 3 a year sounds like a very good number! I will also do 3 this year, and maybe more next year.
That is on my to do list, attend a conference. I have to figure out how to move it up on my list and find that will be beneficial to me. Thanks.
Yes, move it to the top of your list. It is so worth it!
Great advice! I’ve been pondering going to one and now I’m totally sold! Thanks for sharing your experience!
Yay! I hope to see you at a conference soon.
I have been curious about a Blog Conference… What could I learn that I can’t learn online? Is it worth the time and expense?… I am glad you wrote about this. I might just have to go to one. In the workforce, your connections of who you know are just as important as your experience…. So it makes sense to connect with fellow bloggers for the blogging world also. Half the fun of my journey in blogging has been meeting other bloggers on the internet. How much more fun would it be to meet them in person!
This is so true. Meeting other bloggers in person is just so much more rewarding than chatting with them only online. I hope you get to attend a conference one day, it will be worth your time!
Really informative read! I’ve been thinking about a conference for a while now and have been wondering if it’s worth the investment. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for visiting, and I hope you can attend a blog conference soon.
Sounds like you had an awesome time! I want to do a conference within the next few months but how do you find them? I live in Atlanta so I figure there should be several throughout the year.
The conference I went to in Atlanta will be in disneyworld next year. I know there are other conferences in Atlanta! Honestly the way I hear about them is through other bloggers. You should definitely try to go to one!
I’m planning on attending my first blogging conference next year. These were some really helpful tips and makes me even more excited to go!
I am so glad that you learned something from my post. Thanks for visiting!
Do you know what/when your next conference will be?
Ahhh! I want to go to a blogging conference so badly but they’re so pricey. Do you have any tips on getting sponsors?
Yes, I have a few tips Colleen. First, when you find a conference you want to go to, watch the hashtag on Twitter. Many conferences will give away tickets if they are not sold out. I have actually won tickets to two conferences this year. If you have established relationships with some brands, it is perfectly fine to ask them if they would like to sponsor your attendance at a conference. I hope that helps!
I have been curious, but I always wonder if the investment will pay off. How did you choose which one to go to? It seems like there are so many of them so often.
I usually choose a conference to attend when many of my friends who are bloggers are going. I also like to try to choose one that is on the East Coast so it is easier for me to get to. I hope you can attend one soon!
Do you think it is better from a networking perspective to attend one in your niche i.e. food bloggers or a general blogging conference
That is a great question! I think that you should try to go to either kind of conference. If you only post recipes you will probably learn the most at a food blogging conference, but if you attend a general conference you will learn more overall blogging tips. I think there are beneficial sides to both kinds of conferences.
I have wanted to go a conference for so long but worried about not knowing anyone yet it seems like everyone wants to meet each other. I very much hope to make it to a conference before the end of the year!
A lot of people at the conference felt the same way you did. Usually there are Facebook groups for an upcoming conference and there you can “meet” many of the attendees before you even get to the conference. I hope you can attend a conference soon!
I would love to hear other comments and thoughts about this. I never been to any blogging conference because i dont have time and sponsor
I will be making time for more conferences this year. I not only networked and learned from other bloggers, but I gained exposure with many brands. I really think it is worth your time!