So you want to go to a blogging conference… but which one should you choose???
Once upon a time, in a world before Twitter and Facebook, a small conference was born. It came from three women asking the question, “Where are all the women bloggers?”
Now, six years later, BlogHer has not only brought together tens of thousands of bloggers at their conferences, but fueled the explosion of women focused blogging conferences! Every year, more conferences appear — and their success is testimony to how committed and passionate women are to social media and building successful websites and online brands.
But, as the options grow, bloggers who once only had one flavor of blogging conference to choose from are faced with a problem — which conference(s) should I attend?
When bloggers and businesses ask me which conferences I recommend they attend, I suggest they begin by considering a few things.
1. What are your needs and goals?
Understanding what you want to get out of a conference is critical in determining which conferences are a good fit for you or your brand. Different conferences have different focuses, different strengths and even different personalities.
For example, if you are a food blogger and you want an intimate, food-focused event, BlogHer Food may be the obvious choice. If you are a Canadian, looking to find fellow Canadian bloggers, Blissdom Canada would be perfect.
If you want to experience a large conference, with tons of sessions, parties, and people — well, BlogHer would be a great bet.
(While I don’t have time in this post to go into detail about all of the individual conferences, I do plan on spotlighting more of them in the future to help you get a clearer idea about each one.)
2. What is your personality? In what environments are you more comfortable?
Considering your personality — and your brand’s personality — will also help you narrow down your many conference options.
As I said, different conferences have different personalities and a different “feel” to them. As Cecily noted in her post earlier this week, (a must read by the way,) Preparing for BlogHer ’11, different conferences appeal to different mom bloggers. I agree with Cecily’s descriptions, Mom 2.0 Summit has a luxurious element, Type-A Parent is laid-back (love the irony on that one Kelby,) Blissdom is inspirational. And that is just to name a few.
3. What is your budget?
Budget is key! Fortunately, with conferences ranging from one day to three days, and located all over the country (and one in Canada too!) you can attend a conference even on a tight budget.
The GREAT News…
Guess what??? I have NEVER been to a conference I didn’t love!
Sure, some conferences may have stood out for me for various reasons, and I may even have my favorites.
But I often say, conferences are like children — they are all different and fabulous in their own way. Comparing which I “love more” just doesn’t even feel right. LOL
The key to having an incredible time at a conference isn’t even the conference — it is YOU!
Your attitude, your perspective, and your enthusiasm will determine what you experience. There will always be elements of an event that could be improved, there will always be some weaknesses. But instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on what is RIGHT!
No matter which conference(s) you choose, you WILL be surrounded by incredible, talented people. It may seem intimidating at first to delve in and develop relationships, but you can do it! In my post at 5 Minutes for Mom, 5 Tips to Make Sure You have a Blast at Conferences! I tell you how to make sure that you DO have a blast — no matter which conference you are at.
So what is the low-down on BlogHer? Is it the right conference for you???
The truth is BlogHer is a fantastic conference. I love it and would never miss it.
Some people are concerned that BlogHer has become too much about the parties and not about the conference itself. My response? Yes, BlogHer ’11 is SO popular it does drive the largest audience (3,500+ this year I hear!) and the most brands. So, it is a HUGE networking event!
Is that a bad thing? No — I don’t think so! Again, you have a choice where you will focus your attention during a conference. Yes, at BlogHer ’11 there will be a TON going on. And you will never personally meet and bond with 3,500 bloggers. But that is OK. You don’t have to meet everyone.
And if those “private parties” have you worried you will be a wallflower missing out on the real action at BlogHer — no worries! In my post yesterday at 5 Minutes for Mom, The Private Party Predicament at BlogHer, I let you in on the truth about partying at BlogHer.
Will you have an incredible time at BlogHer? I know I will — and honestly, you will have to try hard NOT to!