So I'm back! Blissdom'13
, my first ever blog conference, was at The Gaylord Texan here in the Dallas area last week.
I decided to go to Blissdom back in the fall when it was first announced that it was moving from Nashville to Dallas. I had thought about attending even when it was in Tennessee, but when they moved it here I certainly couldn't pass it up.
My overall experience was very positive. I loved getting to meet so many of my favorite blogging friends and lots of new friends too.
The people, the community, were the highlight for me.
I started the conference with a photo walk around the Gaylord Thursday afternoon. I'm so happy I did this because I think it set a great tone for the weekend. It was fun and relaxed and friendly.
I didn't take many photos though because I was too busy talking - ha!
Things officially kicked off that evening with a newcomers meetup. Again, I met tons of friendly and talkative women and felt very welcomed by everyone.
We had time to walk around and meet the great Blissdom sponsors later that night before they brought in the entertainment - soap stars! All My Children will be back later this summer on Hulu.com and they were there to promote their comeback. I haven't watched AMC since college, but they were still fun to see.
Friday's opening keynote was given by Scott Stratten of Unmarketing
fame. He was hilarious, and I loved everything he had to say about the business of being social
on social media.
Friday was devoted to breakout sessions. I chose one writing, one photography and one life workshop - clearly I wanted to spread out my inspiration!
My favorite of all my sessions was the writing session with Shelly Kramer
on writing for the web. She talked a lot about SEO and the best way to share content. Her tips were very constructive and actionable,
which I thought were missing from the other sessions.
Friday night we headed to the Glass Cactus for Girls Night Out with Chris Mann and Amber Riley from Glee. While they were both great, The Spazmatics
, a new-wave 80's cover band, who came on after the Bliss folks were done were AMAZING!
Pretty sure Blissdom should book them next year. :)
We slept in and ordered room service Saturday morning so we missed the talk with Susan Cain
. I was pretty bummed when I realized she was the author of the book Quiet
about introverts. I should have paid more attention, but the sleep was fabulous and I may buy her book anyway.
Somehow I didn't get much out of the day Saturday. I only made it to one breakout session because we were on our own for lunch and the hotel was packed. A few girls jumped in my friend Arena's
car and we had a great off-site lunch. Seriously - it was so fun getting to know these girls a little better.
By the time we got back it was almost time for the closing keynote by Jon Acuff, author of the new book Start
. Loved him! I don't even know what to say accept that I wanted to be his friend. And read his book. And have him teach me all his witty and inspiring ways.
And that was it for us. My friend Sarah and I headed home early so I could get her to the close-to-my-house airport first thing Sunday. Also? We were kind of happy to have our own beds. :)
A few thoughts to wrap up this insanely long post:
- The Blissdom people were friendly and fun. I felt welcome and included in the community and was perfectly happy to sit down at a table with strangers and say hello. But I'm kind of like that anywhere so I'm sure that helped my experience.
-The sessions were just meh.
I'm so glad I took Shelly Kramer's workshop, but other than that I didn't take home much actionable info, and I was disappointed
in that. But I do have three books to read.
-My roommates, Sarah
were awesome! They made the weekend so much fun.
-The local Dallas bloggers that I've gotten to know are a great group of hard working, smart ladies. I think we're pretty lucky to have such a dynamic local support team.
-I really like bloggers. They're just cool. I know we talk about ourselves a lot and you'd think maybe we'd all be really into me, me, me,
and while I'm sure there's a lot of that out there, I didn't run in to it one bit. Just a good supportive group of ladies. And for that I'm very thankful.
Labels: Blissdom, Blogging