Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What It's Really Like to Attend a Blogger Conference

As you might have seen on Instagram (ahem, sorry for the photo/video/boomerang overload), I went to The Blog Societies annual conference last week! I've been to lots of blog events, but this was my first full-blown conference and I wasn't really sure what to expect. The itinerary told me there would be a cocktail party, a couple of sponsored meals, some workshops, networking, and keynote sessions. But what does that really mean? Would it be worth my time? (Hint: it's a yes ;) Here's the scoop on what it's really like to go to a conference for bloggers:

You get crazy inspired
Between speakers who were incredibly successful bloggers, to the attendees who ranged from smaller hobby bloggers like myself to full-time bloggers, I left the weekend feeling so inspired to go out there and shower girl power all over the place. And, you know, treat my blog like the business it really is and work hard to produce great content. It was a little intimidating meeting some of the really successful bloggers as well as some women I've followed for years (had to hold myself back from sharing all of the intimate knowledge I know about their lives #creepster #fangirl) but really so cool!!

Everyone shares everything
I mean, I know I share a good deal of my life on the internet, but it was so funny seeing people pull out their phones and cameras to capture every single thing. We walked into lunch and everyone started taking photo after photo before they ever sat down, and moving around centerpieces and menus and drinks to make sure they got the perfect shot. I was so amused, you may have seen I kept sharing videos of everyone else taking photos haha ;) Of course, now I look back at the pictures I did take and wish I had gotten a few more! 

Dupe Tee / Jeans / Mules / Earrings / Similar Bag

There are photo ops everywhere
And a bunch of girls who are happy to take your photo in front of one! Above was actually something the hotel had set up for Lollapalooza, but really, photos galore. And then, once you take a photo for someone else, you have to politely ask if they'd like a boomerang too. Hint: they would. 

On a sidebar, while some girls were dressed to the nines, a lot of people went a little more casual like me, and some were beauty or travel bloggers who dressed like, you know, normal people. So don't get freaked out if you go to a conference about what you're going to wear! This casual outfit above is actually what got me the most compliments - everyone wanted my mules

The swag is unreal
I had heard whisperings that the "networking" involved a lot of sponsor gifts, but I had no idea. I mean, I heard several people call the networking room, "the gifting suite." The stuff we got was well worth the price of admission - a lot of makeup and beauty products, clothes and accessories (including the cutest scarf and slides they had a calligrapher monogram for us), a couple of planners that are so cute I maybe want to start using a paper planner, and this giant duffel that I assume a lot of people used as an extra bag to bring everything home in - mine was full to the brim and took a trip home on the train with me! 

You get to meet with a lot of brands
Really, the point of the networking/swag is to meet with brands, and now I have a bunch of business cards and got a chance to talk with a bunch of new brands about partnerships! Plus, thanks to the swag, I'll know ahead of time for some of the new-to-me brands whether I love them or not before sharing the products with you, like Lauren James, who had the cutest southern girly dresses and this amazing donut wall. 

You get to see what's coming next
Thanks to fall previews for a couple of brands (like the shoes from Marc Fisher above - how cute are those mules?!), I got to see what's coming down the line. And let me tell you, we are going to be looking good this fall ;) 

You're going to do a lot of champagne toasts
I mean, I'm definitely not complaining. If I had to sing about my favorite things a la Julie Andrews, champagne would definitely be one of them. We had passed champagne, we had a champagne/mimosa bar, and we did a champagne toast one morning. And then the girl next to me didn't want her glass so I maybe had hers too ;) 

You walk away with a giant to-do list
I now have a huge list of things to get my blog up to speed as far as taxes and SEO go, as well as a giant list of ideas for how I can improve - stay tuned!! 

Oh, and you have an amazing time!!
Anything else you want to know? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. This post isn't sponsored, but all of the brands mentioned did gift us some pretty sweet swag!

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