For my 36th birthday, I decided to treat myself to the 3rd annual Blogalicious conference. Blogalicious is an event celebrating the diversity of women of all ethnicities in social media. I’ve been a stan of social media for years and have always toyed with the idea of starting my own blog but [insert excuse here]. The reality is I’ve been procrastinating (this will become a theme….you’ll see) so when I saw that not only was this year’s conference being held in DC but during my birthday weekend, I cocked my head to the side, glanced upward and said “okay, I hear you”.
Registration paid, hotel room booked and networking cards in hand I began to wonder WITW was I thinking!? I’m not a blogger. I don’t have a website. This is my first blogging conference. What would I say to the REAL bloggers when it was time to network?
Suffice it to say that Blogalicious 11 was an experience above and beyond what I could have imagined. Read on for why….
Swag –the conference placed a strong emphasis on connecting your blog with brands. As such, the conference sponsors did not skimp on swag: from our conference swag bags to the multiple giveaways to the exhibit hall and sponsor suites…I left the conference
with five large bags full of everything from gift cards to socks to hair care products.
Food and dranks – my word! At every turn there was something to nibble on and even better, there was always something to drank. There was the Hanes Comfortini, the PineSol-inspired hibiscus cocktail and a delicious sweet red wine compliments of the Wine
Sisterhood but my absolute fav of the weekend: cucumber water 😀 Yes, yes,yes! One of the sponsors kept a nice cold dispenser of fresh cucumber water throughout the weekend. Oh and I can’t forget about the Breakfast for Dinner event sponsored by Aunt Jemima where Food Network Chef Aaron “Big Daddy” McCargo gave us a fun cooking demo.
Knowledge – one thing that became painfully obvious almost immediately was that my self-proclaimed status of being a Social Media Butterfly was overstated. The collective knowledge of my fellow conference participants was overwhelming. Many of the presenters and panelists have been in this blogging game from the start. I have pages and pages of notes on how to effectively use audio and video content, monetizing, working with brands, taking your blog global, search engine optimization and much, much more.
Relationships – ‘Making Masterful Connections’ was the conference theme. I arrived at Blogalicious not knowing a soul and left with several new friendships: in blogland, on FB, on Twitter but most importantly IRL (in real life <——-that’s that knowledge I was referring to earlier). Special s/o to: Chai, April, Uneeka, Kiratiana, Alisha, Tuni, Terrance and Karen. They all welcomed and encouraged me so please check them out and show them some love.
Thank you Blogalicious 11 for one of the best birthdays ever and for motivating me to write my first blog post!
Have you ever been to a blogging conference? Were you at Blogalicious 11? How would you dress for a cocktail party that served McDonald cheeseburgers? Are you looking forward to my next post? Leave your sunshine below.