Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bloggy Boot Camp Philly - A Recap from A to Z (Part Two)

(Part One of my Bloggy Boot Camp Recap.)

New York/New Jersey.  Driving through either one of these states with bumper-to-bumper traffic just blows.  The end.
Heather was seemingly unaffected.

Options.  One of the things I love MOST about Bloggy Boot Camp is the giving, and the taking away (muwaah ha ha ha), of options.  The afternoon sessions were by choice.  Attendees could choose either the "Business of Blogging" or the "Writing Side of Blogging."  But the morning sessions were held in one big ballroom.  And what else wasn't optional?  The seating.  Yes, this is the biggest (and in my opinion, the best) component of Bloggy Boot Camp.  ASSIGNED TABLE SEATING.  After each speaker, you move on to the next table you were assigned, giving you a chance to mingle and meet new people all morning.  Genius.

Philly cheesesteak (or lack thereof).  Hi my name is Sarah and I went to Philly and didn't even eat a cheesesteak.  Blasphemy, I know!

Questions.  I really enjoyed how each session at the conference flowed naturally and how the questions being asked at the end of each session were organic and pertinent.  There's nothing more annoying than having one person dominate a Q&A session and not leave enough time for others to speak. I was happy that this didn't happen.

Red Bull.  Can you even believe that Heather had never tried (sugar free) Red Bull before this weekend?  I MADE her try it.  And now?  She's hooked. 

Swag.  There are pros (free stuff!) and cons (mine! mine! mine! more! more! more! sharp elbows!) to swag bags at conferences.  The SITS gals do it juuuuust right, like Goldilocks.  And yes, I was up helping until midnight the night before, stuffing swag bags with sponsoriffic goodness.
Tiffany.  Tiffany and I met many moons ago when we were both selected to be faculty members for a company's blogging campaign.  We instantly hit it off in the hotel bar and have been friends ever since.  She's one of those gals who I may not talk to every week, or every month, but when we do get to see each other (usually at Bloggy Boot Camp!) it's very comfortable and easy.  I love having that kind of friendship.

Understanding. It's hard to not get overwhelmed at a conference with all the things you SHOULD be doing...and yet you're not.  You need to take a step back.  Understand yourself.  Understand your blog. Understand your blogging goals and what you expect to accomplish.  It's definitely easy to get swept up in the mania of all the things you could possibly do, but you need to ultimately remember YOU.

Value.  Let's face it, conferences are expensive.  Conference ticket, transportation, hotel, meals, etc. etc.  Bloggy Boot Camp is one of the best deals going.  Traveling to a city near you, for one day, $99.  Ask any attendee and I bet you they tell you that it was WELL WORTH IT!

Waterpik.   Another sponsor, Waterpik gave each attendee a brand new shower head!  I'm so excited for the 5 minute installation that is on Hubby's to-do list this weekend.

eXcitement.  It's easy to hid behind the security of a computer and never come out.  Blog conferences challenge me in more ways than just helping me come up with ways to take my blog to the next level (which is good in theory, but something I have never actually done what with working full time, 3 kids, sports, running, blah blah blah).  There's just something so exciting about meeting someone you "know" on the computer in real life.  Getting to hug them.  Being pleasantly surprised when their computer persona matches their real-life persona.  (Sometimes this doesn't happen and it's very very sad to have your bubble burst.  I have stopped reading many a blog after meeting someone in real life who doesn't "match" their writing.)

Young bloggers.  And by young, I don't necessarily mean age-wise.  I just sometimes feel so OLD at blog conferences.  I mean, I've been around since blogging was the only thing.  No Facebook.  No Twitter.  No Pinterest.  No nothing!  You just wrote a blog and read other blogs and comment on each others' blogs.  Ahhh, the good old days.  So it's refreshing to be able to help all the youngsters who are just getting started. *pushing up my bifocals* *waving my cane in the air*

Zzzzz.  Conferences are tiring.  You have to be *on* most of the time.  Smiling, laughing, mingling, chatting.  This is faaaarrrrr from my general nature of snarkiness and sarcasm.  But I love Bloggy Boot Camp and Tiffany and Fran.  And I would attend, again and again, in a heartbeat!

2 comments:

Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista said...

Sarah-

Just found you through a random google search for bbcphilly info. I live on the west coast and we don't have one here this year, unless you count Vegas:)

Jessica
stayathomeista.com

Camping Tourist said...

I like your way of presentation Sarah, Is there any choice to take your Red Bull wine?

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