My First Blog Conference


Yesterday, I went to my first blog conference, Bloggy Bootcamp here in St Louis. I've wanted to go to this once since I started blogging but they haven't been in St Louis in a few years so I was really excited to see them coming back this year.  The conference was less than 5 minutes from home too!

1950s vintage cotton plus size floral day dress via Va-Voom Vintage bloggy bootcamp

I wore this beautiful light cotton 1950s dress, a gift from Daffny of A Vintage Nerd. She sent it to me for Mother's Day (I believe) a few years ago but it hasn't fit till now. I love it so much, I'm sure I'll be wearing it all summer.

1940s easy victory roll pin curl updo

I also wore my new 1940s rhinestone arrow brooch from Nellie's jewelry sale

vintage 1940s rhinestone arrow brooch costume jewelry

A big worry of mine was what to bring to a blog conference. Since it was only a one day event and I didn't need to book a room, packing was pretty easy. Here's what what is my bag:

what essentials to bring to yoour first blog conference

  • business cards- I totally procrastinated and ended up printing mine at home the night before the conference. Yikes! Pj was such a big help, making sure they looked nice and everything was lined up properly. I put my cards in a little vintage zippered pouch, to keep them easy accessible and separate from other people's cards

  • a place for new friends' cards- I gathered so many business cards from new friends. Since there were a lot of local girls, I kept their cards in my dress pocket and out-of-town cards in a pocket in my bag so I can easily remember who to contact to meet up again locally. 

  • something for notes. Laptops can be cumbersome so a tablet or notebook and pen are your best bet. I went the old-fashioned route because a spiral notebook's batteries won't die half way through the conference. 

  • something for pictures- I thought about bringing my camera but it's so clunky so I stuck with my phone. I loved being able to post updates on my Instagram during Q&A sessions and follow some of my new friends

  • A jacket- hotels and conference rooms vary in temperature so everyone always brings a jacket or cardigan, although the organizers of this event did a great job making sure that the room was always comfortable

  • Energy, Friendliness and a Great Attitude- Don't pass out business cards like you're dealing for a poker game (yeah, that happened!). Be friendly, shake hands and look someone in the face when you introduce yourself, then swap cards and take a few moments to get to know something about that person. The purpose of a blogging conference is to meet face to face and make real, lasting connections with other people. First impressions make a big impact and if you can't make a good impression face to face, no one will want to connect digitally. 

Life Changing Moments
I was nervous to attend the conference. I's read so much on being a better blogger and have listened to countless online seminars. What if I didn't learn anything new? By lunch time, I had over a dozen pages of amazing notes.  The most important discussions took pace at the end of the conference during the Power Down session. In this presentation, they talked about the importance of turning off the computer and taking care of yourself, your children and life outside of the internet.  The most life changing and important message for me was "Stop striving for balance".

What? Everyone wants to know how to balance life, family, blogging. The answer is give up on balance. Balance is impossible. No one's life is perfectly centered, poised and steady all the time. They said "You can have it all, just not all at once", meaning you can be a great mother, a great blogger, a great business owner, wife, friend- but you can't rock at those things at the same time.

This is why I mentioned the importance of setting office hours in my post on Making Time for Blogging and Family. When you're blogging, be an awesome blogger. When you're being a mom, don't try to focus your attention on blogging at the same time. When you juggle, you will drop a ball eventually.  When you walk a balance beam, you will fall off. Schedule time to do everything you want to do and when your time is up, power down and move on to the next thing.

Have you ever been to a blog conference?

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  1. I really appreciate all of your hints in this post - I've never been to a bloggers conference, but I've started 'putting myself out there', introducing myself at press events and so forth. It's HARD, as I'm naturally quite shy in large groups of people, but I feel better for doing it than chickening out! I think that's a helpful tip about keeping blogging time separate - I've been spending a lot of time on my blog recently, trying to improve it, and the OH has felt a bit neglected at times, so I'll have to be sure not to try and do two things at once (is that a female thing? I feel like I'm always doing three things at once at least!).

    Finally, you look lovely in these pictures! x

    1. You're right! It's really hard getting yourself out there. I feel like I've always been a pretty outgoing person. I'm not shy at all but its so hard for me to drag myself out of the house and go out and meet people. I'm always really happy that I did, after the fact and I always have a wonderful time while I'm out! Definitely look up blog events in your area! There's a list of them on the iblogmagazine website:

  2. Hi Dear,
    how exciting!!! And what a lovely dress. It fits so perfect!
    All the best from Austria

  3. sounds exciting... and that dress is very flattering! xxx

  4. I would love to attend to a konference, but they are either invites only or in another country. There used to be seminars from time to time in my country, but that was maybe two years ago. I am actually surprised, because I think there are more bloggers than it used to be (although the matadors are disappearing I think), but noone helds these meetings. I think it would actually be a good business opportunity, but I have no brand to promote and no spare time on my hands.

  5. Firstly, hi! I found your blog via Trish Hunter Finds and I've really been enjoying what you have to say and share.

    Your thoughts on your first blogging conference make me want to go straight off and find out if there are any happening in my area. I have previously been to a day-long course on getting my blog in order - which was great - but I think a conference would be even better.

    Love the outfit you wore, too.

  6. Thank you SO much for putting up your information from this conference. If anything, it's a good excuse to revisit the work at home issues we're all dealing with. I work at home, my DH works at home, when I'm at my 'real' job I'm working from someone else's home (gotta love that someone else is making me lunch that day). It is so easy to forget to make time to work/make time to NOT work.

    Oops. Like now. Bedtime for teens! Thanks again for being honest.

  7. It was really great meeting you at lunch! Thanks for the share and I look forward to keeping up with your blog!

  8. Very neat! I'd love to go to a blog conference, it sounds like a fascinating learning experience. Thanks for sharing your perspective, it makes the prospect of eventually attending slightly less daunting.

  9. Brittany,
    I loved meeting you, too!!! We are going to have to do something together. I told you I like to incorporate vintage into my home decor (I'm not as fashionable as you are, cute girl!) I just shared this post via Twitter and am going to also Pin it. I wish we took a pic together at the conference. I just shared some others but you were missing. We'll do something, in person, and then we can!! Hi from a new friend!

  10. Wow! I don't know if it's that dress or if you have lost weight, but you look amazing! I have applauded you for being a gorgeous plus-sized gal who is comfortable in your own skin, and now I applaud you for being able to wear a formerly unwearable dress. I did that last summer and wearing things that didn't fit before was always my favorite part of losing weight. :)

  11. The conference sounds like fun. I don't know if I could ever go to anything like that - I only write a spuddy little blog, so I'd feel out of my depth.

    Your dress is really lovely, it must be so nice to get into it. I have a few things on the 'Should they stay or should they go' list, and it's so hard knowing whether to set them free to find new owners, or to hang onto them in the hope that they'll fit one day...

  12. Wow, that message does hit you like a ton of bricks, doesn't it? I know that I've often struggled with finding balance and beaten myself up when such has failed to even come close to happening. I was battling this especially strongly around the time we moved across the country from Ontario to BC in early 2012, but it's been a part of my life for ages now, especially since becoming chronically ill nearly 12 years ago and always having my life dictated by the ups, downs and whims of my constantly unpredictable health. I'm so glad you shared this message with us as I needed to hear it right now something fierce.

    ♥ Jessica

  13. I am so stinking excited that I got to meet you! I remembered seeing you at one of the other tables during the first session and thinking "I hope I get to meet her today!"


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