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!
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!)
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?