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.
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.
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:
Write out your mantra. Then stay authentic to it.
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.
- The Tabletop Photography session for Object and Food Styling has inspired me to try it food and small item photography and expand my horizons. Guila Doyle was excellent and I came away some great tips. I am dying to try out.
- A review of my blog design at the Camp Tech Nerd Station provided me with good suggestions to improve my design
- Introducing Vlogging or video blogging was another “outside the box” mindset I learned from Brittany Douglas
- The Keynote Presentation “The Entrepeneural Mindset: Finding Success Online and Offline” with Jennifer Flores, Scott McGillivray and Monika Hibbs was outstanding and was made especially fun by the moderator Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault whose professional style and quick wit kept us in stitches. I for one will not be able to watch Income Property without thinking about Scott’s “package”
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
dogblogger new tricks!