Sunday, April 13, 2014

My First Time. . . . . #bconnectedconf


My first time attending a blogging conference

This past weekend was filled with firsts for me.  My first blogging conference, first time meeting a lot of the bloggers in person that I chat with online, and the first time being away from Mr. K overnight.


I was lucky enough to win a pass to the B Connected Conference; the pass included both days of the conference as well as the evening B Social party.  Hubby and I talked and decided that it would be the perfect time to have an evening away.  He would drop me at the conference in the morning, spend the day with our boys and then drop them at his parents house in the late afternoon for a sleepover.  We rented a hotel room at the beautiful, historic Lord Elgin hotel.  The Lord Elgin is practically across the street from the NAC which is where the conference was being held making it a very convenient location.

I will admit that I was VERY nervous/anxious on Saturday morning as we made our way downtown. I had absolutely no idea what to expect and was worried that I would be alone all day.  Thankfully, the worry was all for nothing and the very first person I saw when I arrived was Canadian Dad (whom I have known IRL for quite a few years) I registered and headed inside, found a place to sit and then was surrounded by a GREAT group of ladies.  I really enjoyed their company yesterday and they made me feel quite at home and we shared quite a few laughs throughout the day.

dino dogan, triberr, turnip seed travel, tales of mommyhood, b connected conference
With @dinodogan and @turnipseeds
The conference had many speakers, all of whom I really enjoyed listening to.  While they all had their own topics and ideas, 2 common themes I found thread through all of their presentations:

1) Engagement - you need to have readers that are engaged and connecting with you via comments, tweets and facebook pages. You also need to make sure that you are replying as soon as possible to ensure that they KEEP engaging. Brands look at the connections you have with your readers when they are looking for ambassadors. In addition to that, you need to make sure that YOU are engaging with BRANDS as well.

2) Putting yourself out there - introduce yourself to a brand, other bloggers and make yourself known. If you love a product, send a tweet to the brand letting them know.  If you write a blog post about something, tag the brand so they can see it.  If you are at a conference, walk over and introduce yourself.

Listening to Dino Dogan (founder of Triberr) was really great. He had a few presentations on different topics, and I also had the chance to speak with him one on one.  Something he said during an SEO presentation really made a lot of sense to me.

As bloggers, we often stress about SEO so that our posts will get ranked high and picked up on search engines.  As he pointed out though, the most important thing is HEO (Human Engine Optimization) Focus on building relationships with other bloggers (especially in your niche) and support each other by sharing content.  Start off by sharing the content of a blogger you know/like and they are likely to take notice and start returning the favour.

Saturday also saw CaptiVision Photography offering head shots to all the attendee's.  I took them up on the offer and went to see Dylan Johnson where he was set up for all the shots

Tales of Mommyhood, CaptiVision Photography, head shots, b connected conference, @tlsofmommyhood

When the conference ended on Saturday I made my way to the Lord Elgin to meet up with hubby. We chatted about our day for a little while and then we left and walked down Elgin street to Al's Steakhouse.  We had a delicious dinner and then headed back to the NAC for the B Social party.


Ottawa, tourism, lord elgin hotel, downtown ottawa


Sunday morning I woke up and headed back to the conference.  It was quite serene being downtown on a Sunday morning at 745am.  There was no traffic, no hustle and bustle like it is during the day or evening.  I was able to snap a picture of the Parliament Buildings and took a selfie with the piano man outside of the NAC.

Ottawa, tourism, downtown Ottawa, parliament buildings



NAC, piano man, selfie, downtown Ottawa

Sunday morning had another great line up of speakers, I did have to sneak out early so we could head home and pick up the kids (I had a great time, but definitely missed my boys), so I missed most of them.

I have left out so much of the weekend, there is just no way to capture all that the conference was in a blog post.  Attending a conference was completely out of my comfort zone, and I am SO SO glad that I did it.  If you are a blogger, then I would definitely recommend you attend a blogging conference in the near future. You can learn so much, and make so many great connections.


34 comments:

  1. Was nice to read about your time there, thank you so much for sharing your experience as I hope to do the same some year.

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    1. Thanks so much Matthew. It was an amazing experience, I hope you do have the chance to attend soon!

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  2. It was so nice to meet you Ashley! You picked a perfect conference for your first one! The small intimate feel was perfect and stress free! I often get overwhelmed at conferences and this is the first one that I felt relaxed and tuned in! It was a lot of fun!

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    1. It was great to meet you too. I am so glad I was able to attend, and yes, it was nice that it was the size it was...still working up to a larger one...I may hit one up this fall (hubby wants me to go)

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  3. Im glad to see that you had a great time! I couldn't make it this yer and so I am living vicariously through everyone who did :).

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    1. That was me in previous years...I always wanted to go, but just wouldnt. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  4. What a fantastic weekend it was! It was a pleasure to get to meet you and everyone else face to face. This conf was intimate enough to get to know people on a "real" level and jammed with tangible information.

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    1. exactly! I wanted to write about all the speakers and all the lovely people I met, but there was just no way to get it all in the post. I loved meeting you!

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  5. It was so great to spend some time with you at the conference this weekend, Ashley! Loved your recap. I felt the same was as you at my first conference, but you soon find out you don't have to be :)

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  6. I love the pictures of your trip. The pictures of the architecture are fantastic. I'm glad you had a good trip.

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    1. Ottawa is a beautiful city@! Lots of great photo opps to be found

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  7. So glad you enjoyed your 1st blogger conference! It was a pleasure to meet you and thanks for writing a blog post:)

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    1. It was great to meet you also Lyne! Thanks so much for organizing - can't wait till next year.

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  8. It was great to meet you Ashley! I had an absolute great time at BConnected as well and totally agree with the other ladies that it was a great first conference for those who have never been or for those who were looking for something without as much hustle and bustle but just as much fun. Great recap post, I love that you took a selfie with the piano man! :)

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    1. You too Alyssa! I noticed the piano man on the way home saturday night, but it was dark and someone was sitting on the bench....sunday morning was the perfect time!

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  9. Whooo! Thanks for the shoutout! It was great to meet both you and Dino - he was such an inspiring speaker!

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    1. :) you are welcome. He really was a terrific speaker...

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  10. Glad to hear that you had a great experience at the conference! (Judy Cowan)

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  11. Wow, what a great experience! I'd love to attend a blog conference some day, but they never seem to have any out here in Hawaii. One of the few down sides of living in the middle of the ocean. Thanks for sharing such great information!

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    1. I hope you get the chance. I am already looking forward to next year

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  12. I love conferences... so fun :) Glad you enjoyed!

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  13. Loved reading this post! As a new member of the blogging world, I hope to go to one some time soon. This post puts my worried at ease! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope you do get to go soon! So much fun and lots to learn

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  14. love the photos of the hotel and is awesome that you got to meet Vanessa she was my roomie at the womens travel summit this year.

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    1. what a small world - she is awesome!

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  15. Thanks for sharing the things you learned. I'd love to attend a blogging conference sometime so this was helpful!

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  16. loved reading this - thanks for sharing! attending a conference is on my list as is visiting canada -- one of my best girlfriends is from alberta and i've heard so many wonderful stories. visiting from #sitsgirls page :)

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    1. There are many beautiful places to visit in Canada - I hope that you are able to do both a conference and a trip!

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  17. That's awesome! I'm hoping to go to my first conference in September. I'm a little less hesitant after reading your post. Thanks! :)

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    1. Good luck - I am sure you will take a lot away from it!

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