Oct 102014
 

It has been a few weeks since I attended my very first bloggers’ conference, BlogPodium, here in Toronto.   My mind is still mulling over all I learned and I would like to share my experiences.

As many of you know, I have been blogging for just over a year. It has been a great journey of learning, experimenting and growing as a blogger and a DIYer.

In spring 2014, when the dates and registration information was announced for the Toronto bloggers’ conference, BlogPodium, I swear I must have been one of the first to register. At the time, I was in a bit of slump and knew I REALLY needed to attend the conference.

Age Demographic

At the same time I was very apprehensive. Why? To be honest: my age.  Let’s face it, on average there appears to be more bloggers out there under the age of 50 than over 50. I fall into the latter group. Looking at the pictures of the attendees from the previous BlogPodium and other conferences, it seems everyone is young, pretty and “hip”. I was worried I would be out of place. However, this is an apprehension I have ignored many times before. You see, having my first and only child at 40 sure helped. I kept me young even though I was often the oldest of the dance moms, the oldest of her classmates’ parents, etc.
Having said that:

  • I was the one who took them to Canada’s Wonderland,  a big Toronto area amusement park,  AND rode all the roller coasters with them… and I still would if they would let me go too!
  • I was the one who finished two university degrees after the age of 40.
  • And I was the one who started a blog after the age of 50.

The BlogPodium conference was held right downtown Toronto at the beautiful and historic, Royal York Hotel which happens to be linked underground to the subway and commuter train (GO Train) station.

The schedule for the GO that morning meant I either arrived very early or quite late. I chose arriving early. Wandering around the hotel lobby and the reception area for the conference, I thought “Yep, look all these “young” ladies.”

Regardless, I grabbed a coffee, found a table in the main ballroom and hung out. As the room began to fill, two ladies sat down at a table near me and they looked over 50!!! so I joined them! Perfect! My apprehension, like so many times before, was totally dispelled.

Keynote Speaker

After following Donna from Funky Junk Interiors for some time, I was aware of her journey and it was exciting to hear her share it with the audience. She was so inspiring and made me feel a bit silly for my “age” apprehension.

I came away with this message:

Be authentic.

Write out your mantra. Then stay authentic to it.

Session Highlights

Reviewing the schedule, I realized I must have signed up for nearly every breakout session by some misunderstanding of the process. Or perhaps it is just they all sounded so great! Regardless, it did give me some choice.

I also had a chance to say hello to a few bloggers I follow on Bloglovin who came from a considerable distance:  Donna from Funky Junk Interiors came from British Columbia and Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies came all the way from Massachusetts!  I also met some great new people including Jordana from White Cabana and the lovely Jennylyn, president of Homestead House Paint Company which manufactures and distributes a number of great products including Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and the new mineral paint Fusion which I am dying to try soon.

What I Took Away

My head is still hurting with all the info and ideas I picked up at this conference.  Other than what I learned, I came away with a few things:

  • I wish I was two people so I could have attended more of the breakout sessions
  • Jennifer Flores and her team sure know how  to run a great conference
  • The Royal York caters great food!
  • Don’t leave your business cards a home!!!

and lastly, as I have discovered in so many situations in my life “

You CAN teach an old dog blogger new tricks!

 

Did you attend this conference? 

What was your experience? 

Have you implemented what you learned?

Love to hear from you!

Joan

  9 Responses to “BlogPodium: My First Bloggers’ Conference”

  1. I attended my first bloggers conference a few months ago.. and I can relate to your post! totally agree.. don’t leave your business cards home. I almost ran out of them! met a lot of wonderful bloggers and now connected with several of them. I look forward to my next conference 🙂

  2. […] my post describing my first bloggers’ conference, I did not discuss  how much I wished I had “known” more people and could approach […]

  3. I’ve been wanting so badly to go to a blogger conference and this makes me want to go even more! Thanks for sharing! Found you on the Finding Silver Pennies link up party =)

  4. I’m so jealous! How fun! 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week

  5. […] Nicer Than New’s First Blog Conference […]

  6. I’m attending my first blog conference this spring. I’m nervous and excited. Luckily, I feel like I “know” some of the attendees through Twitter/Facebook. Plus, since it’s a pet blogging conference I’ll have my sidekick Pug with me to ease my nerves. 🙂

  7. I’m attending my first blog conference this spring. I’m nervous and excited. Luckily, I feel like I “know” some of the attendees through Twitter/Facebook. Plus, since it’s a pet blogging conference I’ll have my sidekick Pug with me to ease my nerves.

  8. It was so wonderful to meet you and see a friendly face (from Blogland) in the crowd. Such a fun conference and such a beautiful city! x

  9. I was so unsure at my first blogger meet. Thankfully, it was a bring-your-family event and I managed to pull my husband. The day was such a wonderful experience. That was back in India. Now that I am in the States, I am hoping to be a part of such meets here. I should find out more about Blogpodium.

    Thanks for linking up with us at Wake Up Wednesdays.

    Co-host Tanya
    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/

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