Blogging West Coast

Five Things I Learned From My First Blogger Event #PBUYVR

This week I got the chance to attend my very first blogger event organized by Parent Bloggers Unite. Okay, this wasn’t the massive BlissDom conference, but I was never going to leave my nursling and family and fly to the other side of the country for an entire weekend. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured I wouldn’t find out unless I went. What I found was a valuable and fun affair that I can’t wait to experience again!

We were hosted by Neverland Tea Salon, a gorgeous little tea place that just opened up on West Broadway. The friendly owners served us yummy teas and beautiful high tea goodies. Word is they also offer a dress-up trunk for the kids and tea-infused cocktails for their exhausted parents!

Neverland Tea Salon {photos courtesy of mumfection.com}

Photos courtesy of mumfection.com

Nicole Christen, founder of My Real Review, was the guest speaker. I learned some things about when and how to monetize, as well as keeping my authentic voice while monetizing. My favourite food for thought quote of the night came from Nicole:

“Saying yes to certain opportunities sometimes means saying no to your family.”

I don’t take this to mean that I shouldn’t say yes to anything. I’m more than just a mom, and I need to take time to do me stuff too. But it’s definitely a huge part of the equation I’m calculating in my head when I decide where and how to spend my time.

After all was said and done, here are the lessons I’ll be taking with me to my next blogger event:

1. Step outside your comfort zone.

I’m not a social butterfly. Most days, I would describe myself as introverted and pretty disinclined to strike up conversations with complete strangers. I think a lot of us enjoy blogging because talking from behind a keyboard is so much easier than making friends in person. But I wanted to learn more about this blogging thing, so I took a deep breath and walked in, sat at the nearest table, and introduced myself. By the end of the night I was swapping twitter handles and birth stories, so there you go!

2. Don’t forget your camera!

I can’t believe I left my camera at home! I have no pictures of the beautiful venue, the fantastic goodies, or my fellow bloggers.  I had to beg the pictures for this post. (Thank you Eschelle and Rebecca!)

5 Things I Learned From My First Blogger Event #PBUYVR {photo courtesy of rebeccacoleman.ca}

Photo courtesy of rebeccacoleman.ca

3. Bring a smartphone.

Believe it or not, I don’t have a cell phone (gasp!) let alone a smartphone.  It’s not that I’m some kind of a Luddite. On the contrary, I love my gadgets and technology! But I’m a stay at home mom (with a home phone), and hubs has the car for work so it’s not like I’m running errands all over town. Up until now, I haven’t really missed it or felt the need for a phone. But it would be nice to borrow hubs’ phone next time so I can be like all the cool kids and live tweet and network from the event. Plus, this would cover point #2 as well!

4. Bring business cards.

I’d never really thought about business cards before, but passing along my contact info on a nice glossy networking card is so much more professional than a corner torn from the back page of my notebook.

5. Don’t assume it’s over when it’s over.

I told hubs to show up at 9:30 p.m., and he ended up waiting almost half an hour while I chatted with some of the other attendees after the formal part of the event was over. But you know what my sweetie said when I finally got in the car? He told me he was happy to wait while I enjoyed my first evening away from the kids in months. Love this guy!

 
If you’re a blogger, what did you learn from your first blogger event?

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14 Comments

  • Oh my gosh, that tea salon looks amazing!

    I just attended my first two blogger conferences in one week (SheBlogs and Blissdom). Like you, I am shy naturally, so I work hard to socialize! And I have a cell phone but I barely use it. I really did enjoy meeting other bloggers most of all.

    • It is a beautiful place! I agree it was wonderful to talk to other people with similar experiences, questions, etc. (we were all parent bloggers), even though I was pretty nervous about it at the beginning. Congrats on your whirlwind week! You must be so ready to just curl up in your PJ’s on the couch (I would!).

  • ALWAYS bring a smart phone to blogger events, live tweeting, sharing pictures is a must, and lots of fun!

  • Congrats! I remember my first time getting away. Everyone starts somewhere and it’s okay you didn’t have those things, it just means you will…when you’re ready.

  • Going to any event where you can learn a thing or two and meet some of the lovely bloggers you connect with online is a good thing, whether it’s Blissdom or not. I really wanted to be able to go this year as well, but had a family emergency and couldn’t go. From the pictures it sounds like you had a wonderful time. So glad you stepped out of the comfort zone and got to meet others. I can’t wait to do it one day! 🙂

    • I just reread my post and realized it may have sounded dismissive because this wasn’t a huge conference, something I absolutely didn’t intend. I had a great time here, and it was definitely a valuable experience. I made a minor edit to better capture what I really thought about this event. Thank you for prompting me to take another look at what I wrote!

  • I’ve yet to attend a blogger event but I am totally jealous – as someone who is tea-obsessed, that would be a perfect location for my first!

  • This is great to know! I’ve never gone to a blogger event. I’m like you,stay at home mom. We use our regular cell phones that just call and text. I have my old iPhone that I had service on but I use that thing as a computer for when I’m away from the PC. I would really love to go to one of these for sure. It may need to be close as well because my nursing is attached to my hip too 🙂 thanks so much for sharing these tips!

    • I was so happy to find a local blogger community just starting up. It will probably be at least a year before I’d feel comfortable leaving my youngest overnight, so it worked out really well. You could try searching online or on FB if there’s anything similar near you.

  • thank you soo much again for coming out and enjoying the night with us we really love having you!! Hope we will see you at our upcoming event at Brentwood 😀