This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Build Your Blog Conference 2014 right here in good ole Salt Lake City. This is the 2nd annual conference organized and hosted by the wonderful ladies of Six Sisters Stuff. The conference is not targeted to one type of blogger, it’s for everyone and it gives you the tools to take your blog to new heights.
This year Build Your Blog was a two-day even jam packed with everything a blogger would want. On Friday, there was a shopping excursion to City Creek Shopping center, a chance to attend a jeans fitting event at Macy’s with the lovely Alicia from Chic on a Shoestring and a presentation by Deseret Book. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend those events since I had to work. But next year will be different!!
Friday night there were several blogger dinners being held around downtown Salt Lake City. I found myself with 30 or so other bloggers at this awesome pizza place called Settebello. Their food is amazing! Appetizers, pizza and good conversation. And the majority of the attendees were people I did not know. So now I can say I have 30 or so new friends.
The Build Your Blog Conference held a brand “Speed dating” event Friday night. What is that? Well, they lined up about 30-40 sponsors/brands who set up tables at the Radisson with product information and some cute little take aways. The tables were numbered so we pick numbers out of a pile and started with that table. After 5 minutes the bell rung and we were to move on. That event was high energy, loud and at sometimes a bit chaotic, but the energy in that room was amazing!
Even though I am local, I booked a room downtown to be in the middle of all the action. I’m glad I did because after all the events Friday night, I was beat and really wanted some quiet time. That quiet time included taking this nice shot of the Utah capitol building which I looked out on outside my window.
Our keynote speaker was Meg Johnson and she is so inspiring!! If you have never heard of her, head over to her website and get to know her better. Here is a quote I pulled from her website:
“You don’t have to be in a wheelchair to know what it feels like for life to get too hard to stand. Everyone has their own challenges and hardships and ‘disabilities,’ and knowing that my hard times help others to overcome their hard times makes every one of my hard times worth it. And in spite of – and maybe because of – our individual trials, we can all just keep on rollin’!”
That just sums her up! I felt honored to hear her speak and I even won one of her books at the conference. Happy dance!! The rest of the conference contained breakout sessions on topics from beginning blogging to “world domination, one tweet at a time.” I kid you not, that was the title of one of the breakout sessions. With so much to offer, there is a topic for everyone. And let’s not forget networking.
This isn’t just for the ladies. There were several guys in attendance and from what I saw, they were having a blast. This was my 2nd blogger conference, so I didn’t feel nearly as anxious as last year when I jumped in head-first into it. This time I was a bit more prepared and didn’t feel lost. If you’re a blogger, there will be a time that you will attend a conference, whether big or small. They can be a bit overwhelming and it was for me my first time out. Here are my tips for attending a blog conference:
- Bring a bag big enough for your gadgets – This was a one day conference so I didn’t bring my laptop, but you want a big bag with pockets to hold and organize everything. I have a cute little pink bag I use just for occasions like this.
- Dress comfortably, but be “you” – I stressed so much at my first conference. I wanted to look cute, but in the end I stuck with clothes that made me feel good. But I did wind up looking cute. YAY.
- Wear comfortable shoes – You will be standing a lot and walking around so make sure your feet don’t hate you in the end.
- Bring a water bottle and snacks – I found I got hungry in the mid afternoon and was getting tired. A good snack will help your energy level. And it’s good to stay hydrated
- Bring more then one pen – Trust me on this one. Nothing worse then running out of ink while furiously taking notes. Better yet, bring a dozen so you can help a blogger in need of one. Great way to make a new friend.
- Bring lots of business cards – I brought 500 this time. I didn’t use them all, but it’s better to have too many then not enough.
- Bring a 1 page media kit – Many conferences have sponsors and brands attending so you’re bound to meet some you want to work with. For more on media kits, go here to The Blog Maven’s Media Kit post. She gives the step by step on creating your own.
- Take care of yourself – Get some sleep the night before and eat well. You need to be refreshed and energized.
- Put yourself out there – Get out of your comfort zone. Walk up to people, introduce yourself. Chances are they are as nervous as you.
- Breathe, relax and enjoy – Conferences are a BLAST!! You’ll learn so much and make lots of friends.