Going to a BlogCon for the first time
Over the years I’ve been a blogger, I’ve seen many others go to BlogCons.
Some seem to be about socializing, some seem to be more professional for networking, and some seem to be in between.
I’ve always said I would go to one and then never end up going.
That will change this weekend.
On Saturday, I’m going to head off to the NEPA BlogCon, based in Northeast Pennsylvania. It’s a short haul from me, so it should be an easy trip. I’m not a Northeast Pennsylvania resident, but I live close enough and I spend enough time there that I feel I could be honorary!
I’ve been looking to go to this event for a few years, but it just never worked out. I actually won a free ticket a few years back, but couldn’t end up going. Always something getting in the way, isn’t it?
A lot of these conferences, though, tend to slant toward blogs that earn income or are more professional. I have a personal blog and the only money I’ve ever made off of it are from the rare sponsored posts I get. I think I’ve only had a handful of them and, sometimes, they are nothing more than a pain.
This conference is a blogging and social media conference, so I’m excited to see what I can pick up at it. Some of the sessions look quite interesting and I have a feeling I might be able to utilize some of the items for work, as well as my personal blog.
This is going to be an all-day conference, beginning at 9 a.m. (ish) with registration, and ending around 5 p.m. There’s an after-conference gathering, too, but I’m not sure if I’ll be attending that. After a full day, I might be ready just to head home.
What’s nice is they have the sessions set up in 20-minute increments. I’m assuming if there are one or two that you aren’t interested in, you can kind of just wander out and take a stretch break etc.
Though all the sessions seem interesting, the morning ones have drawn my eye a bit more. I like some of the themes and I’m hoping to take some items away from these. The afternoon ones should be good, too, and hopefully there are items to learn.
The conference definitely seems like it is packing a lot of “bang for your buck” with the $15 ticket price. There are a lot of good presenters, lunch, as well as a swag bag when you register during the morning. Then, during the lunch hour, there are also vendors and such, so I’ll be excited to see what’s out there.
I know life is full of networking opportunities, but it’s not always my cup of tea at times. Though I’m looking forward to meeting people on Saturday and learning about their blogs, I’m not always looking for that next step, sort of thing. As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed a change in that I’ve become a bit more of an introvert over an extrovert. I like to kind of do my own thing and not stray far from certain boundaries.
That needs to change some, so it’s nice to go outside the comfort zone at times.
It’s not that I dislike speaking with people, it’s more I like to be in a certain setting. This weekend will be slightly outside the comfort zone as it’ll be a way to see and experience other people’s creative work, learn things and, hopefully, see how I can grow my blog some, even if it’s only a personal blog.
With that in mind, I took a tip of some people I know who’ve gone to conferences and created some business cards. Of course, where I ordered them from seem to be going slow and I’m still holding out hope that I have them by Friday (the day I am scheduling this post), but it’s possible they won’t arrive. In that case, I’ll be highly disappointed because I know they are pretty good to have in these situations.
We’ll see what happens tonight because it appears Staples offers same-day printing, so if things get screwed up and I can order by 2 p.m. tomorrow, then maybe I’ll be able to do those — though I’ll be extremely ticked off that I ordered from a company that didn’t deliver and had to pay for more.
But enough of the negative — let’s focus elsewhere. I look forward to meeting other people and seeing what they have done with blogs and social media, be it on a massive site or personal. It should be fun and interesting either way.
Whenever I go to conferences — be it professional or personal — I am always looking to learn. If you can take one or two things away from every conference you go to, then it was worth attending.
I know I can grow in each aspect when it comes to social media and blogging — in the professional world as well as personal. Maybe there are some strategies I can use on both ends. I’m all about hearing about video and podcasting and things like that. Will I ever do a podcast? Who knows. But it never hurts to hear about these things. I would definitely like to add more video to my blog, so it’s nice to see there are topics about that. I’d love to find a way to do more giveaways and there’s something about that.
This conference will cover a lot of ground and I look forward to that.
I truly believe there are different ways to look at a conference like this. You could show up in a shirt and tie or a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. Honestly, I’ll be more of the latter. I’m going to be casual, chat with people, and learn some new things. Though I’m always open to possible career opportunities, I want to be relaxed and feel like I am in a comfortable setting. If it’s more of a dress-up thing, then I’m a little more tense — and who wants that on a Saturday?
NEPA BlogCon offers a great page for first-time attendees, and I’ve taken that to heart. The event is set up through the Yapp app, so I’ve downloaded that and have it on my phone. I also plan on bringing the things they say would be good, including my camera as I figure there will be some good options for photos. I’ll also have my iPad Mini, but I still haven’t found the best app for note taking, though I am hoping to sit down before leaving to find one I like and that I can use this weekend.
The business cards will be with me, if they arrive on time, and I hope to gather many others and follow some new people on social media and blogs as it will only help with growth all around.
I feel I am ready to hit up an event like this and take something out of it, which is highly important to me. I’m sure I’ll be blogging a bit about it in the coming weeks and, hopefully, I’ll even have a little on social media the day of the event. So feel free to follow me to see what the conference has to offer — at least from my eyes!