|Thank you @macaronikidhq! And yes that's me with cocktails!!!|
If you make your way past the awesome pics sent to me by Joyce aka MacaroniKidHQ you can read more about my experience and a few blog conference tips I picked up. PS more pics HERE.
Oh recap posts... I have got to get better at writing these. But that's what I have you guys and dolls for! See those questions I had you ask to enter the giveaway? I will now use them to help me write this post. Sneaky. ;-)
- What is a Macaroni Kid conference?
- A Macaroni Kid conference is a blogger conference. What's a blogger conference you ask? It is a chance for people who create blogs to learn more about the craft as well as products and services to share with readers. For example there were key notes about travel as well as opportunities to test drive Chevrolet vehicles.
- I found out about the conference from a friend who already works with Macaroni Kid. She tweeted me one day and the idea of doing something like this had been in the back of my mind for a while so I figured why not give it a whirl. And yes I am so planning to get to next year's! It might take some saving but I think it'll be worth it. I so wish I could take one of you with me!
- I don't like to live in regret. So for the most part nothing. However I will use this experience to keep in mind that I should talk way more at the next conference.
- Thank you Twitter! Yes! And I did. Not only did I attempt to network with the other bloggers BUT with the people running the MacKid Expo. Because of this I was able to giveaway tix to the Expo on my site and Joyce (founder of Macaroni Kid and all around awesome person) knew who I was and hugged me like I was an old friend.
- Plan ahead. There's a saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". When you decide to go to any blog conference check out their website, research blog posts about it, email the people throwing the conference! They want to help you. Let them.
- I LOVE my necklace! Lots of compliments. Mostly the DragynAlly necklace was a signal to other people at the conference that I was a member of the tribe. It was comfy but I am self conscious about my neck (iChubby) but everyone said it looks so fab!
- Luckily I did a post all about what I wore! :-)
- Oh there is so much to tell. It was a small conference. Probably no more than 100 people. It was great, fun and I learned a lot. Speakers were there talking about how travel is great for kids.
- Riding around in a Corvette and making a connection with the Chevrolet brand! Why? Because I hadn't planned on doing it. I thought riding around NYC in a car I can't afford would be a waste of my time... WRONG! My driver was freaking awesome and the women who were the PR for the brand were so sweet. They even helped set me up to test drive a Corvette on my own in August! How cool is that?
- Do it! Stop thinking and take the leap. You will not regret it. You will have fun, make friends, and learn new things. I feel like after I walked away from the #MKExpo I had friends and mentors that I now can call if I need help or just need blog advice. I also learned things that inspired me to branch out my blog in new ways. And how fun was it... Scale of 1-10? 11!
- Find one person to connect with at a time. There will be tons of people (yes even 100 feel like a ton to me). But if you connect with one person at a time it makes it a bit easier. Don't think about introducing yourself to EVERYONE just introduce yourself to someone. And don't be upset if they seem like they aren't your instant BFF. They are probably nervous too.
- research. Google phrases like "blog conference tips" or "blog conference recap". You will find so much info. And look for the places where info overlaps. Chances are that's the best advice.
- The speakers. All of them. They are just so well traveled and interesting and smart. Honestly I wish I could have invited the whole group out to lunch just to chat it up.
- I hate to pick favorites (I really did love them all!) But Ted Rubin was particularly awesome! He talks about putting the social back in social media. Ted talks about taking online connections and making them real world connections. I really want to do that.
- Whoa! Question overload! Let's take this one thing at a time. First no this was my first blog conference BUT not my first conference. I went to a few conferences while in college. About leadership and other things. Conferences are great for anyone who just wants to learn about the world of blogging and connect with other bloggers. Heck just being in a room with people who "get it" makes it worth every penny. My best take away from the conference is that I am just as good as any blogger out there. Brands and PR people were just as interested in me as they were someone who might be considered a bigger name.
- I'll let you know after BlogHer.
- There were vendor tables lined up in a large room. You could walk around and talk to different people.
- Joyce Shulman aka the person who came up with this idea. She was as nice and awesome as I expected. BONUS I also met Nicki Hemby the second brain behind the idea. She became like my blogging big sister. In fact as I write this I have a sudden urge to send both of them an email. It was so nice to meet women who took a crazy idea and made it a solid reality. They are in essence living my dream. This gives me so much hope.
- That the Lair is a work in progress and that is ok. I have more to learn. More to discover and more things in this world I want to share with my guys and dolls (readers).
- Some did. A lot did! But not all blog about Disney.
- They are gatherings of bloggers that allow for the opportunity to engage with brands, learn more about the blogging craft and connect with other bloggers. They can be. But that's up to you. I personally had a blast!
- I almost want to tell you to go completely outside of you niche. But that might not be the best advice. What I find is mingling with bloggers who are in areas completely different from mine help me expand my knowledge and help me refocus my own niche goals. Meaning by learning something new I learn more about me. Also most conferences regardless of niche tend to cover a lot of the same topics. Just in different ways.
I think that's it. In summary there were keynote speeches that were amazing, panels that helped us learn what PR people want and how we can work together, and break out sessions on photography (iPhone photography to be exact), videography (maybe I'll vlog one day) and writing. AND there were brands that wanted nothing more than to connect with bloggers.
Most importantly there was a little Dragyn making a name for herself... Trying at least. We'll see if I can take everything I learned and apply it to BlogHer. Wish me luck!