I love conferences. I love the energy of the people at conferences and the new knowledge you gain from the creative learning sessions. When I found out that there were blogging conferences, I got very excited and started looking into them. It took me a year to find one that was within budget (since blogging is still somewhat a hobby) and close enough to justify the travel. The one I found was Bloggy Boot Camp, which was being hosted in Southern California, about 6 hours from me. To justify the trip even more, I turned it into a mini-vacation for my husband and me. We never had a honeymoon so I'm including the trip to Temecula, CA among our mini-honeymoons (more on that in another post though - this one is all about the conference).
The sessions at the conference were full of so much good information. I'm not going to disclose any of the information out of respect for The SITS Girls who put together the conference, but I will say that I learned A LOT! I took page after page of notes. I even color-coordinated my notes. I brought my multi-colored pens with me and took notes for each session in a different color. This makes it so much easier when I go back to look at my notes. I wish I had brought post-it notes to make my note taking even more organized. I guess I'll have to remember those for next time!
I love free stuff, so imagine my excitement when I learned that we were getting stuff to keep at this conference. One of those items was this lovely book from one of the presenters. I was even more excited to learn that it addresses one of my current interests - health and fitness. I haven't read it yet (I'm busy reading Blog Inc.) but I'm looking forward to it! You can find your own copy of the book here. There were other free goodies throughout the day but this was the most exciting for me.
I wish I had put more effort into my business cards. They were thrown together last minute when I realized my nice cards were outdated and no longer contained current information. I was really impressed with some of the creative cards I received at the conference. This one with the sprinkles and confetti from a la Mo was probably my favorite card! The conference definitely made me want to revamp my business cards in major ways. It's on the to do list.
Lunch was fantastic. They also provided snacks throughout the conference, which was very helpful because halfway through the morning I started wishing I had packed a snack. About that time, they gave us a break and rice krispie treats. I will definitely remember to pack snacks for the next blog conference I go to though. I also recommend checking to see if lunch is provided before you go to an event. In my opinion, you don't learn as much when your stomach is rumbling!
I was so glad that I now have a smartphone. I put it to use during the conference. I used it to tweet, post, and share about the conference throughout the day. (Of course I wanted to share my enthusiasm with my followers - I love you guys.) I also used it to take a picture of EVERY slide that was displayed. This was very helpful to fill in the gaps in my notes. I won't share all of the pictures here (again out of respect), but I highly recommend putting your smartphone, camera, or tablet to use during a conference. Sidenote - are you on snapchat? I'd love to connect! I'm now on there after attending the conference. I'm hodgepodgepam.
I learned so much at this conference. I'll probably be reviewing my notes from time to time because there was that much information shared. I also learned a few valuable lessons of what to do for the next conference I attend. (And I will be attending more!) I'll post more about how to prepare for a conference in the future, but for now, I'll give you my essential packing list!
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