This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending Build Your Blog Conference for the third year in a row, right here in Salt Lake City. Presented by The Blogger Network and Six Sisters Stuff, this conference is jam packed with classes to help build your blog to new heights and it just keeps getting better. Two years ago I attended the first BYBC. It was my first blog conference EVER and I had no clue what to expect, what to do or what to wear. Heavens, I was at a loss. But now two years later, a lot of those worries have dissipated and I went charging into the conference eager to absorb as much as I could and meet other bloggers with in the food niche. I was NOT let down!
I wrote about my experiences the first and second year I attended. I took a moment and went back to those old posts and re-read them before I started writing this. I read my first post and saw just how nervous I was initially and how I found my place when I got there. I also saw a photo of my old business cards and it made me smile.. my first cards. Boy have things changed. I re-read my second post on Build Your Blog 2014. That year, I booked a hotel downtown so I could be right there in the thick of the action. It was a one day event with activities the the Friday prior to the conference. I told myself then I would take time off in 2015 so I could attend everything. That was a very smart move.
This year, BYBC was a two day event with other activities on Thursday night. I took Thursday and Friday off work because this year I did not want to miss a thing. There was a jeans fitting event Thursday night and I got in on that. The lovely Alicia from Chic on a Shoestring showed me how I can celebrate my shape and found me a pair of jeans that I think were made for me!!!
Speaking of Celebrate Your Shape, Alicia has started this movement and it’s gaining momentum. Check out her site for more information. Anyway, this was held at Macy’s in downtown Salt Lake and it wasn’t far from the hotel so I walked. I took Trax (light rail) back since I decided to save my energy. The scenery in downtown Salt Lake City is beautiful.
When the conference started Friday morning, it was full steam ahead. The energy level when I walked into the lobby was exhilarating. In fact, the whole weekend was full of positive energy and learning. As I moved from class to class, I picked up more knowledge from the best in the blog world and made more friends. These friendships will last a lifetime as we all work together helping each other realize our goals. I am so blessed to have met these fellow bloggers! My classes included those on photography, affiliate marketing, quality content and more.
For those of you non bloggers trying to figure out what I’m talking about, I’ll summarize it this way; I learned how to share my recipes with you in a better way, making your experience on my site truly one you will benefit from.
The conference ended with an awards gala dinner where we all got dressed up and celebrated the weekend. There was also a band, The Str!ke a local band out of Provo, who entertained us with their energetic songs and we were on our feet dancing! What a way to end the weekend!
OK, I’m rambling.
On my 2014 post, I gave a list of things to bring and suggestions for making any conference YOUR conference. As I reviewed that list, I realized I followed all my own suggestions and I was so relaxed the entire time. In case you missed it last time, here it is:
Bring a bag big enough for your gadgets – This was a two day conference so this time I brought my laptop, but not for taking notes, for blogging during the break times. You still want to make sure you have a bag big enough to carry what you need.
Dress comfortably, but be “you” – I stressed so much at my first conference on this subject. This time, I found leggings and a tunic top worked best for me. Just be “you” and wear what makes you comfortable, but think “business casual.”
Wear comfortable shoes – You will be standing a lot and walking around so make sure your feet don’t hate you in the end. But if you’re perfectly comfortable in 5” stilettos, wear ‘em! I wore flats or boots and my feet were fine.
Bring a water bottle and snacks – Usually, they have water pitchers and glasses everywhere, however I kept my own water bottle in my bag so I didn’t have to get up and down a lot. Plus, two or three granola/energy bars really helped me stay focused.
Bring more then one pen – Trust me on this one. I have one of those 4-way color pens so one pen, four inks. I usually bring extras for other bloggers who need one.
Bring lots of business cards – I brought 500 again 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 – This is my third year creating a media kit and this one is my favorite so far. I listed my social media stats, an “about me” paragraph, demographics and all my contact information. I think it’s also good to add some of the brands you’ve worked with.
Take care of yourself – Get some sleep the night before and eat well. You need to be refreshed and energized. Yes, there will be late night gabbing sessions or you may want a night on the town, but sleep is good for you! Yes, I stayed up late one night. It happens.
Put yourself out there – Get out of your comfort zone. Walk up to people, introduce yourself. Chances are they are as nervous as you. Since this was my 3rd conference, it was so easy to walk up to a total stranger and say hello.
Breathe, relax and enjoy – Conferences are a BLAST!! All the knowledge, the networking and laughter will make a conference a weekend to remember.
This was one amazing 2.5 day event! BYBC 2016 is already scheduled and guess what? I already have my ticket. If you’re a blogger, you do not want to miss this. And if you’re in Utah, even better. Go to the Build Your Blog Conference website for more information.
What I got out of this conference is incredible. After my first conference, I found out I was doing so many things oh so wrong and made immediate changes which were beneficial to me and you. After conference #2, it got even better. I refined many of my practices and realized a good photography is key to a good quality post. After this one, there is even more. The blogging world has changed so much and is constantly evolving. What worked 2 years ago does not necessarily work now. Social media is moving at the speed of light as well and I need to move with it. What does all this mean for you? New recipes, better content and more interaction. I will soon be implementing video so you can see how recipes are created rather then reading text. This is a new area for me, but I think it’s the way to go. Be patient with me though… I’m no Steven Spielberg so my initial video’s may be a bit rocky.
I have also added a counter to all recipes so I can see what YOU want to see so I can give you more of it. I’m so open to all your suggestions too. Just tell me what you’re looking for with food, recipes, gadgets and more. Just drop me an email or leave me a comment. After all, this blog is all about what can benefit YOU.