This was a weekend of firsts for me! I was able to go to my very first conference ever. I honestly had no idea what to expect. I mostly went to go hang out with Lolli and to see what the fuss was about. It's not every day that you get to go to a conference so close to your home! I got wait listed but ended up getting a ticket very soon after. Lucky me!
After we got our name tags, we found out that we were sitting no where near each other. Drat! I ambled my way over to table 9 and did the small talk thing with Evolving Mommy and Sarah. And I took notes! In my brand new personalized notebook for blogging conferences. (Because I'm already signed up for 2 more!) Our first session was run by Scary Mommy, MamaKat from Mama’s Losin’ It! and our organizer, SITSgirl. They were so much fun to listen too! They talked a lot about building your blog and building your brand. This was the first thing to get my mind turning at the conference.
Sadly, I missed some of the talk because of a call from Juice. He took all 3 kids to the hardware store that morning to build rain gauges. They all helped hammer, got aprons, the whole bit. When he got back to the car, he realized that he had locked the keys in the car! Ack! A visit from a locksmith and much money dropped for 10 minutes of work, he was able to drive home. Poor guy. I felt really bad and wished I could go home to him and the kids.
A break for lunch in a beautiful room overlooking the harbor was just what I needed. I had a great time talking to all of my table mates and having some delicious cake.
Our next session involved a table change. Instead of being in the nose bleed section, I got to be front and center at table 4. I was soon joined by another Maryland Mom Blogger, Parenting By Dummies, and Diane from In My Own Style. I learned some things about the PR road map and realized a few more things about my blog. This is where I started jotting notes down in my handy dandy note book about my own blog and things I want to do.
And then, Tara talked about SEO and I decided. Things are going to change with the blog. I think I took the most notes here and got really excited about the change!
After a lovely Jello break and meeting Holly, we got to go back downstairs. This time we picked our own table because there were no more numbers on them. That was fun! I got to sit next to Stimey (who I actually read online) and Michelle who is a nanny to twins! She and I didn't get to talk long enough and I've enjoyed reading her blog. We have a lot in common!
We were given some guide lines from attorney Stacey Ferguson, found @justicefergie, on how to be responsible with product reviews and give aways. And then my brain filled up and exploded.
Seriously, what an amazing conference. I met so many other new friends and have some amazing things to read.
We were able to go out with everyone after. We went to a dueling piano bar (a first for me...never been in a bar before!) but we didn't stay more than 10 minutes or so. It was just too loud. We ended back up at the hotel restaurant for some good pizza and good talking.
The party didn't just stop there. We were able to use the hotel conference room and just sit around talking. So much fun. This was my favorite part of the whole conference. It was like a big old sleep over. But instead of talking about boys we thought were cute, we talked about husbands and kids who are cute.
The hotel kicked us out of the room at around 12 am though. Lolli and I walked back to my car (just a few blocks away) and marveled at how many people were out that late. We got home at 1am and I crashed in my bed.
So. An amazing conference. I totally would do it again and now I'm excited for the other 2 I'm signed up for!
But what does this mean for my blog? Honestly, a whole heap. This blog was only ever supposed to be temporary. Like the move to Maryland was supposed to be temporary. 6 years later, we and this blog are still here. Even though we are no where near being in a permanent home, I feel like the time is right for my blog to move to one. So in the next few months, there will be a big change. I will be moving to a different blog hosting site, a different url, and a whole new look. Wish me luck and I hope you'll follow me over there when I go!
“Tell them to Have Faith in Me”
2 years ago