Today I attended my first-ever blogging conference. Even though I’ve been at this blogging thing for about a year now, something about today finally made me feel like a real blogger!
The event was called the Central Florida Blogging Conference (aka #CFLBlogCon, if I choked up your Twitter stream today), and it was the brain child of the fabulous Bess Auer of Central Florida Top 5.
This was the first year for the event, but I suspect (and REALLY hope!) it won’t be the last.
I’ve always known that the Orlando blogging community is active, but to be honest, I never realized just how robust it truly is. I feel lucky to have so many big brains to pick as I begin my blogging journey.
Speaking of big brains, one of the biggest ones I know got the day started off on an inspirational note. My boss, Marc Middleton of Growing Bolder, gave the keynote address.
During his talk, he shared the story of how he started the company and some of the bumps (OK, mountains) we’ve faced along the way. As an added bonus, people got to see pictures of me when I was 8 months pregnant or in the first few postpartum weeks, attending company meetings with E. on my lap. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it 1,000 times again — I have the best job in the world.
Throughout the day, I kept hearing from people who were inspired and motivated by Marc’s talk.
Some other familiar faces also presented today, including Meghann from Meals and Miles and J. from J’s Everyday Fashion. They rocked their presentations! I don’t envy them getting up there and teaching a room full of bloggers about blogging and having every word live-tweeted! But they both showed a lot of poise, humor and brains.
I sometimes use Facebook check-ins but I’ve been hesitant to dive into the Foursquare, etc. world. But after that session and learning how you can really customize your check-ins on Yelp, I’ll definitely be doing it more. And I can’t wait to start playing with SCVNGR, a service Joshua raved about.
One of the other cool things we learned about today is Fiverr.com, a site where you can a ton of stuff for $5. Missy Ward told us she’s used it to get everything from graphics to transcription services. Can’t wait to check it out!
But, hands down, the best part of today was connecting with other bloggers. It’s so great to get together with other people who get this crazy hobby of ours and to meet some new bleeps (aka blogging peeps, I word I’ve stolen from someone. Probably Katy).
Speaking of Michelle, I sat next to her all day. Since we’ve started reading each other’s blogs over the past couple months, we’ve decided that we just might be blogmates. She’s like my sister from another mother (well, other than the fact that she loves running and I hate it. Oh, and that she’s tall and slim and I’m short and not slim, but you know what I mean.)
By the way, all the non-fuzzy pictures in the post were ripped off from Michelle. Forgot to charge my camera last night. Not the smartest thing I could do the night before a blogging conference. See what a rookie I am.
But I did take the conference very seriously. See, there’s photo proof.
I didn’t get any pictures with her, but I also got to spend a lot of time with Julie from PBFingers.com today, and let me tell you, she’s even nicer in person than she comes across on her blog — which is saying something because she’s basically one of the sweetest bloggers I’ve ever read, too.
What a great way to spend a Saturday. Before coming home, there was a little more fun in store. The whole #CFLBlogCon crew headed over to the Eden Bar at Enzian Theater. I even won a door prize by being a fast Tweeter and having an uncanny knack for remembering useless trivia (no wonder I’m so bad at math — there’s no more room in my head!).
To beat the heat, I decided to order a pear cider. Surprise, surprise, guess what Michelle ordered too.
I can’t wait for the next conference! I have a lot of great new ideas swirling in my head and can’t wait to start acting on some of them!
And if you were there today, too, make sure to leave me a comment so I can make sure I’m following you on Twitter and subscribing to your blog. So excited for new reading material! And if you’re looking for me on Twitter, don’t forget there’s a blog after my name — @momjoviblog. Some chick has @momjovi and she never even uses it!
Have you ever attend a blogging conference or meet-up? Would you?