Just got home last night from a satisfying four days in Nashville at the fabulous Blissdom Conference. It was another successful weekend for the conference, now in its fifth year. Over 700 women (and men) were in attendance, and with jam-packed workshop style sessions, power-packed performances, and lovely parties, a good time was had by all.
There were some rather significant changes, however. Where the blogging conference usually offer a pretty standard format — a keynote in the morning then a series of panel presentations during the rest of the day — Blissdom changed things up quite a bit. They instead offered a day of mini-keynotes using a workshop format (a 30-30-30 style workshop, meaning a thirty minute presentation followed by attendees completing worksheets, followed by Q & A).
From what attendees told me, the new format was very well received. Blissdom chose this new format based on the success in previous years of their Wisdom Workshops, which had a similar format. This of course reduced the number of speakers considerably (without panels, there are fewer presenters), but Blissdom decided instead to bring blogging experts in as Community Leaders, so each table in the workshops had mentors offering assistance in guiding attendees through the worksheets. (Full disclosure: I was a Community Leader in the “Don’t Niche Me In” area.)
Many of the speakers were new to the blogging community, but are well known in the Christian community, including Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson Publishers (the largest Christian publisher in the world). There was no shortage of members of our own community, of course, including Melanie Nelson of Blogging Basics 101 (who led my favorite session of the conference about growing your Facebook page). Sessions were also frequently focused more on achieving goals in life, making life plans, and other personal growth areas instead of more traditional blogging topics. This led to many an interesting discussion around the dinner table (at least around mine!).
What did you think? Was Blissdom all you hoped it would be this year, or was it more? Did it live up to your expectations? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.