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.
|With @dinodogan and @turnipseeds|
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
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.
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.
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.