Last week, I attended my first “real” blogging conference — Blissdom. It was really nice to get away for a few days and be around people who “get” me and this blogging thing that I do. I got to meet lots of great people and I got to know some local bloggers a little better.
I’m still processing the experience, but I wanted to share a few of my thoughts with you before Mommy Brain kicks in and I have no recollection of the weekend at all.
The Gaylord Texan was a great location.
Our room was awesome. The view from our balcony was stunning. One day, I sat on it to eat lunch and decompress. It was great for my mind and my soul.
The only hiccup was lunch on Saturday. We were provided with a $25 gift card for lunch, but with one three restaurants open in the entire hotel, the wait at each was at least 1 1/2 hours. It was crazy. Luckily I had my car, and headed to an offsite restaurant with a group of other women. It turned out great, but it would have been nice to have some advanced warning.
And because I live locally, I was able to see The Nerd and Andrew a couple of times during the event. I was missing my baby pretty badly, and it was nice to be able to get away from the conference for a bit and love on him.
The speakers were inspiring.
The best part of the conference, in my opinion, was the opening keynote by Scott Stratten, followed closely by the closing keynote by Jon Acuff. Both speakers were wonderful and their messages were tuned in to the audience and the experiences we have as bloggers. I left each speech feeling refreshed and ready to share more of myself on this blog.
I wanted more from the sessions.
The sessions were only an hour long, and I know that was on purpose so that we were not overloaded with information. But I wanted to be overloaded with information. I wanted to leave with a long to-do list of things I could implement on my blog. That just didn’t happen.
Each session I attended was more philosophical than practical. There were no tangible tips and tricks shared by these experienced bloggers. They weren’t really encouraging you to learn so much as they were encouraging you to think. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The atmosphere was very welcoming.
The organizers at Blissdom tried hard to make everyone feel welcome. And they succeeded. Of course, there was some cliquishness I experienced, but I think that’s to be expected with some people’s personalities. They just can’t help themselves. When that happened, I moved on and tried not to spend too much time with that person. It was really eye-opening to see the true nature of some of the people I thought I knew well. But enough on that.
I never felt alone. I felt like I could walk up to a table with other women and join them. I didn’t mind sitting down with women I didn’t know. From what I’ve heard, that’s very different from other blogging conferences.
The breaks were too long.
I’m sure the organizers thought that planning 1 1/2 hour breaks between sessions and events would be relaxing and soothing, but it was just too much. The breaks were longer than the sessions. At first, it was nice to visit all the sponsor booths and chat with my friends. But the final day dragged. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t go home early was because I was dying to hear Jon Acuff speak.
All in all, I had a great time. It was nice to see my bloggy friends and to get inspired to come home and share a little more of me online.
Want to know what other bloggers thought about Blissdom? Here are a few of my favorite recaps from my bloggy friends:
- Blissdom vs. BlogHer from The T-Shirt Mama
- Blissdom13 Recap from Froggy and the Mouse
- My Blissdom 13 Experience from Giggles, Glitz and Glam
Did you attend Blissdom? What are your thoughts on the conference?