Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Social butterfly hits a conference

I am back from Type A Parent and i i just had to post about it. I tried to get it all into one post but yeah it was getting a little insane so the 2nd part will be tomorrow. 
My biggest fear was that I wouldn't get anything out of the actual conference and only enjoy the parties. I was hoping desperately I would be wrong. Praise flying spaghetti monster I was wrong.

I learned so much and i will never look at my blog the same again.

Some other observations? While many things changed in the blogging world since I started in 2004 some did stay the same. I need to make changes and I learned what I need to do it. Blog parties are tame compared to other industries but still a shit ton of fun.
I met tons of people who are social butterflies
Type A schedule loaded on my nook

I decided to not get to bogged down in my schedule. I woke up and selected which sessions I would attend that morning and set alarms in my iphone. Some overlapped so I set them all so I little ping would let me know when I should get up and move to a different session. It was a lot easier to move back and forth and feel like I was getting as much in as possible. I socialized during breakfast seeking out people I didn't actually know yet, if I got to a session early I sat at a half full table and made conversation, if I was late I sat near the door or at an empty table. Repeat at lunch and afternoon sessions. Dinner was not provided so it was find a companion or 7 and head out. I met some of the best people at dinner. It was so much more relaxed, louder, and full of laughs. 

I did find a point where a session block had nothing of value to me. This isn't to say it wasn't of value to others just not applicable to my blog and online presence. In comes the dodge relaxation room. I spent so much time in there. Chair massages drinks snacks and this foot massager and It was bliss. I had a blast and met lots of really great people I hadn't seen at all in sessions. If you were at Type A you probably met me in the relaxation room. I never wanted to leave. You know you've been there too long when the massage therapists know who you are. 

This isn't to say the sessions weren't good. I went to some really interesting and engaging sessions. Sessions of email newsletters, Social media campaigns, the hard to understand facebook pages (which i missed but read the twitter stream where people were learning a ton). I listened to Patti Digh give a really inspiring opening keynote and went to her session of writing exercises later. Hard interactive session which forced me to think outside the box. Definitely a great session. Blog conferences have a thing called tribes. new concept to me but its basically a round table discussion on a topic. Thats just some of the lineup. There really is something for everyone but the downside with tracks is sometimes you really want to see 2 or 3 sessions that all happen at the same time.  

The parties were interesting and nothing like I expected. Every night was 2 parties, one in the conference hall the other on the patio. While I had bought a change of clothes for the parties the dress code was so laid back the only change I made most nights was from short sleeve to long sleeves. Sure some people were dressed up but neither looked out of place at the parties. Some of the parties had drink tickets, at a normal conference i'd look for the recovering alcoholic or diabetic, at Type A I looked for the pregnant women. People get really happy at these things. It is nothing like a corporate conference. People get fall out drunk and roughly but at type a it was mostly talking and hugging. Event he drunkest person there has nothing on a corporate conference.

I also spent more time then I thought I would at the sponsor tables. I really treated it like the vendor shows i've gone to so much over the years. I finally felt like some part of this conference wasn't foreign to me. I learned about brands i knew nothing about and found out new things about new brands like Ovaltine. Hated it as a kid, but it tastes pretty good now. They made smoothies. 

I know there are people who have never gone to blogging conferences that still think "I'm ________ blogger and i don't think i should go to a blogging conference." Well i've learned that regardless of what you can put in that blank you need to attend at least one. it could be fore the after parties, the sponsor connections, the personal connections and putting a name to a face, which i will say more then once i heard several people talk about yet another blog where it turned out to be fake. Even if you think you have all the right stuff, you may want to go so people know you actually exist.  

A conference by any other name still has vodka. I'm glad i went. 


Tell your friends!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...