Some Thoughts on Blissdom


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:

Did you attend Blissdom? What are your thoughts on the conference?



  1. After seeing all the photos over the weekend and now reading the recaps, I’m so sad I didn’t attend! Especially since I’m so close to the Gaylord!! Glad you had a good time, though. Hope to connect soon! :)

  2. Great recap!! I completely agree with you on the sessions. I walked away feeling inspired, but have to really sit down sometime and think about how to practically apply it! Had so much fun!

  3. Great recap, I was wondering what it was really like – sounds like it was interesting, for the most part. Hope you did come away with some fun things!

  4. Great re-cap.

    I’m a little curious now which sessions you went to? I took home a TON of practical, implement this advice from Shelly Kramer’s session as well as a bunch from Lucrecer’s and to a lesser degree from Danielle’s only because she focused on TV rather than talking about print media and radio as well.

    • Hi Michelle! I didn’t attend the sessions that you listed. I really wish I would have attended Shelly Kramer’s session, as I’ve heard great things about it. I went to Jon Acuff’s session instead. And I did not attend Lucrecer’s session because I’m pretty familiar with my camera and taking portraits really isn’t something I’m interested in. I mostly do lifestyle photography. And again, I didn’t attend Danielle’s session because I’m TERRIBLE on TV and understood from the description that it would focus on TV. As I said, the sessions I went to were more thought-provoking than task based. Glad you walked away with some great info, though!

  5. I completely agree with you about those midday breaks. I’m glad you had an overall nice time, though!

  6. I agree the breaks were too long. I didn’t mind the first couple but like you by the end I just wanted to get on with the conference. There was nothing new going on at the booths but I sure loaded up on GoGo Squeez for the little one! Glad we finally got to meet!!

  7. I feel the same way…especially about the long breaks (there wasn’t THAT much to look at…). I wish I’d stayed for the closing Jon Acuff talk but I guess I was kind of over it, because I headed home after lunch.

  8. Great recap – I had pretty much the same experience. So nice to meet you!

  9. Great recap! I really wanted to go to Blissdom especially since it was in town. But I just had a baby. Although reading all the recaps I don’t think I’ll ever go unless its back in Big D!

  10. I’m glad that picture of you and your precious family turned out! :)

  11. Good recap Arena! I’m so glad we got to spend some time together – especially our little lunchtime escape! : ) I did go to Shelly Kramer’s session and I’m so glad I did. It had the most hands-on advice and I took away a lot from it. I just mostly enjoyed the people and getting to hang out with other ladies who love to blog, you know? :)

  12. Ah! You were one of the few I wish I could have had more time to talk to…it seemed I always saw you in passing and I was never able to actually grab you and say “HI!” like I meant it.
    I’m glad to see you enjoyed yourself and yes, that whole lunch thing was a bit of a mess.

  13. Fabulous post. You wrote tactfully about some of the problems of the conference. Hope someone from Blissdom reads this!

  14. I’ve never been able to attend the conferences, they are always SO far away! It’s interesting to read some honest opinions on one. Wow, the place they held it is absolutely stunning. 1 1/2 hour breaks sounds like a really long time. Thanks for sharing your honest experience. I don’t feel so bad that i can never go now :)


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