Earlier this month I took a little trip to Phoenix. This was a huge deal for me for two reasons. One is the obvious, I was alone! I did not have three kids, 50 suitcases, carseats, and bags and bags of snacks with me, I was ALL Alone! The second reason is, I was attending my very first Blog Conference. I have been blogging for a couple of years but recently have been ‘serious’ about building my site and my brand to hopefully grow and improve. When building your brand, a blog conference is a great place to start…especially Bloggy Bootcamp Business Edition.
Bloggy Bootcamp Phoenix put on by the fabulous SITS girls was the perfect fit for me. The Phoenix conference was their “business” edition which means it was all about building your brand and taking your blog to that next level. Being that the SITS community is Women Powered I felt comfortable there. Everyone attending was very inviting and who doesn’t love a girls weekend?! And the education, oh the education…I learned SO much!
Since this was my first conference I had no idea what to expect, who would be there, or what to bring with me. I’m sharing a few things with you that I learned or wish I had thought of.
- Bring an IRL Friend: I attended the conference with my friend Heather of Baby Bump & Beyond. There are a few benefits to going with an IRL bloggy friend; sharing a hotel room will cut down on costs, traveling with a buddy is always more fun, and if you already know one person in the room it will be much easier to talk to and meet new people.
- Don’t be afraid to meet new people: you are at a conference to learn, yes, but you are also there to network. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “find you tribe”? A blog conference is a great place to meet other bloggers within your niche. The SITS girls do a wonderful job of creating an environment for this by assigning table #’s and encouraging you to move around. We all changed tables several times throughout the conference and each time we were able to meet a new group of friendly faces and learn all about them.
- Bring Business Cards: Like I said, you will be networking. And you will be meeting so many great new people who unless you’re exchanging business cards you will never remember all of their information. My personal advice; put a picture of yourself on your card. When you meet people face to face they will immediately be able to connect “you” to your “brand”.
- Take Notes: You will get so much information over the course of the weekend your head might explode! I did not even think of bringing a notebook (laptops are great too but there aren’t always outlets available for charging) until last-minute when Heather mentioned hers. Boy am I glad I did! It’s almost two weeks later and I’m still going back and reviewing.
- Dress for Success: Official attire for this conference was ‘casual’. Even so, you still want to remember that you are branding yourself so make sure to put the best of you out there. Jeans are totally acceptable but I would recommend dressing them up with a cute top or accessories.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes: of course, no one is going to take my advise on this one. Heck, I didn’t even take my own advice. Just know that if you are wearing a super cute pair of pumps that by the end of the day your feet are going to hurt. You may want to throw a pair of flip-flops in your bag to wear while you’re sitting at the table and swap out for the heels when you are enjoying the cocktail party. Oh, did I just say cocktail party? Yes, we enjoyed an amazing wine tasting by Mirassou Wines!
- Take Pictures: You would think this would be a no brainer given that we are bloggers and all but sadly I did not. I was too busy taking notes! I really wish I taken more pictures while at the event. It really would’ve been great to look back on what fun we had and it would’ve been nice if I had some great photos to go along with this post!
If you are looking to take your blogging up a notch or maybe just want a fun informational weekend away, I highly suggest Bloggy Bootcamp! I can’t wait for the next one! A HUGE thank you to Tiffany and Fran of the SITS Girls for putting together such an amazing conference, and to the sponsors of BBC Phoenix; Mirassou Wines, Collective Bias, and Invisalign.