I Survived!!! (Kind of)…
Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the Minnesota Blogger Conference 2012 (aka #mnblogcon) I have never tweeted so much in my life! I finally had my ipad running and was constantly toggling between taking notes and following the feed on twitter. My thoughts have been fairly jumbled, but I’m hoping to straighten them all out here.
When I first heard about the conference I could only find information about the 2011 conference and not about the dates for 2012. I inconsistently would look at the website and finally realized a conference for 2012 was happening and I had already missed the first two waves of tickets! I promptly set a phone alarm to remind me 15 minutes prior to the third and final wave being released (on second thought…maybe I shouldn’t share my secret on how I finally got a ticket) anyways the phone alarm saved the day and I was in!
Prior to the conference: I was lucky enough to have a blog I follow (My Fascinating Life) attend a conference in Central Florida right before I was about to attend my Minnesota conference. I made sure to ask her for advice and it was great to have an idea of what I was getting myself into. Also, while this may sound silly to some, I was glad that the conference website had a tip on what to wear. I personally chose to wear a new dress (that I technically bought for a wedding I’m attending next month) but was glad to feel not only comfortable but confident.
Day of the conference: I was staying at a friends house and had strategically timed it so I couldn’t hit the snooze and be overly annoying (not everyone wants to wake up at 7 on a Saturday). I had no troubles getting ready and got the location on time….Parking was a challenge. I made sure to print out mapquest directions, and I had my phone, but could not figure out the parking situation!! After driving around for 15 mintues and getting very worked up, I finally saw a small sign that mentioned a parking ramp on 10th avenue. I got lucky and realized it was one block farther down….That is the one complaint I have about using gps…it might get you to the location, but not to the parking lot!
Right around the time I took this picture I realized I would need to talk to strangers….sometimes I’m good at it, sometimes I’m not so good. Today I got fairly lucky. I started with coffee and one table of ladies. After introducing myself and learning about them I decided to get some breakfast and mingle a bit more before the introduction started.
During the introduction Arik mentioned something that really resonated with me “there will be no sideways glances today” meaning, sometimes the people in our lives have no idea what blogging is about, but during the conference everyone would be sharing and learning together! And after meeting the sponsors it was time to start the conference!
I chose to attend the “Behind the Scenes: Brands and Blogger Relations Programs” which was presented by Lauren Melcher. The slide was the most eye opening to me, and really made me question where I am, and where I want to be.
I tried to adjust the settings to make it easier to read…but basically, am I a fan & follower of a brand? Or am I a Super Fan? Do I want to be a Social Publisher, a Semi-Pro Content Creator, or an Editor? (I’m currently attempting to find the right brand(s) to be a super fan for.)
The second session I attended was Moving Your Blog to WordPress presented by Grant Landram. My mind got absolutely blown in there! I had no idea I wasn’t in the “true” wordpress. I had NO IDEA that wordpress.org existed. I thought I was so up on my game for having my own domain….and turns out….thats nice, but not the key to having your own blog. I left the room almost certain I needed to learn how to get to wordpress.org or hire someone to do it for my ASAP! (now as I take a step back…I’m re-evaluating)
It was finally lunch time and I was really looking forward to the baked potato bar! It turned out of be pretty standard, baked potato, butter/sour cream, broccoli, salsa, green onions, and cheese. But I was inspired to serve baked potatoes the next time I serve a big group. There are so many other possible toppings!
During lunch I had a great conversation with a husband and wife who both blog and was very inspired by both of them. We talked about advertisements and how they could be a source of revenue, however as readers of blogs, we tend to find them annoying.
In the afternoon I chose to attend the Not just for words session presented by Teresa Boardman. It was great to listen to her passion about photography and kick back with something that was more focused on what I can add to my blog no matter where it is hosted.
If I tried to include every moment and thought I had during the conference this post would get far to lengthy for my liking. I absolutely loved attending the conference. My favorite parts were: it being free, well planned, and everyone really was friendly! The parts I wish were a little different: explaining that the parking is on 10th would have been wonderful, and I was a little overwhelmed by the Twin Cities focus. I realize there are more groups that I could possibly get involved in, but being located in Aitkin makes it a little harder for me to participate unless the events are on weekends.
Thank you so much to all the sponsors of the event and also for the planning team! I am so thankful that I was able to get a ticket and hope that there is a 2013 event and that I can be a part of it (and possibly help in some way).