Since we started Thinking Outside The Sandbox in September I have immersed myself into blogging culture. I jumped in with both feet, arms and even brought along the dog who is kind of immersed. The deeper into the blogging world I get, the more important I realize finding a blogging tribe/community is.
I have joined social media communities, twitter parties, comment chats and networks but I have yet to attend what I consider the holy grail of blog networking – a blogging conference.
Blogging conferences are not just places where bloggers get together and hang out. They are also a place to learn from and support one another. Yes, some online communities I participate in offer a lot of support. However, the idea of taking a very important part of my life (blogging) and transplanting it from my desk in the bedroom to a room full of like-minded men and women makes me super excited.
There are many different blogging conferences to choose from. Some focus on a particular niche (food, beauty), some are large with 1000s of attendees, some last for days and others for only a couple of hours.
Which conference should I choose? As a blog conference newbie it can be overwhelming.
I have already made my decision. My first blogging conference will be Bloggy Con ’13.
Being a logical thinking kind of gal, I chose what blog conference to attend based on 3 criteria:
- Brand Awareness
- Travel/Proximity To Home
- Wow Factor
Brand Awareness. I want my first blogging conference to successful. I want to know the conference will be run well, the speakers will be great and I will learn a lot. Bloggy Con has been going on since 2011 so I know they have experience in running a conference. I was also able to do some internet research and read reviews of past participants (which were all very positive). I am also a member of Bloggy Moms, the ones who run Bloggy Con, and there is a sense of familiarity with their brand which is a bonus. Plus since I am active on the forums, I already feel like I know some of the other attendees.
Travel/Proximity To Home. Living in a rural farming community in Southern Ontario means I will have to travel for any blogging conference. I will have to take into account gas, mileage or plane ticket, hotels, food, time off of work etc. Bloggy Con ’13 is located in Sandusky Ohio which is only a 5.5 hour drive from my house. I see this as a great plus. I do not have to fly (which I hate doing) and I can bring my daughter on the car trip without having to worry it is too far of a drive.
Wow Factor. Of the three, this was the trickiest of all of the criteria. Wow factor can be pretty much anything. For Bloggy Con ’13 the location was the Wow Factor. Bloggy Con ’13 is being held at Cedarpoint. While an amusement park may not normally be a positive as I do not ride on roller coasters in this instance it was a HUGE plus. It turns a blogging conference into a mini family vacation. My husband is very eager to go and I know he will be fine all day with our 16 month old as my sister-in-law is coming as well. They can spend all day at the park going on rides and everything else Cedarpoint has to offer. It is a win-win.