Sunday, July 17, 2016

Don't Make this Mistake When Attending a Blog Conference (My #1 Takeaway from BlogFest)

I am writing this on my iPad on the plane flying home to Dallas/Fort Worth from an amazing weekend of fun, friendship and fitness in Los Angeles. Want to know what I learned at BlogFest with Sweat Pink? One thing was to write a blog post title that peaks curiosity so people will click on it. You clicked. (Thank you! I love you for that.) But that is not my #1 takeaway from BlogFest...

The lesson is if you can be Charlie's Angles, you be Charlie's Angels. Yoga pose of the day with Mat.Miles.Medals and Train with Bain
If I said it once, I said it once...and it bears repeating now (a Jack White reference for my White Stripes friends). Blog conferences are all about the connections. The magic is in the networking parties, the group workouts, the runs and the impromptu dinners. Sure, the seminar sessions are great, usually fun and informative, but I am more interested in the stories behind the presenters. Want to give me tips on how to use SnapChat to grow my blog? (Snapchat? Isn't that for 12 year olds? Apparently not.) Great, but I want to know more about the work and passion behind the blogger.

Playing at the IDEA World Expo.
For me, attending BlogFest with Sweat Pink in LA at the IDEA World fitness convention was not about the blogging education at all. I've been blogging for a long time (6 years is a life time in the blogging world) and there is not much I haven't heard, read, studied or researched. Not to say that I know everything about blogging, but I know everything about blogging. Just kidding. I just don't walk into blog conferences expecting to be blown away with new blogging knowledge. Of course I pick up new information and tips, but that's not the point. The people are the point. The chance to connect, learn from and motivate each other at a social level is the point. 

The Rock 'n' Blogger Girls! Another supportive community of runners! We are all part of the rock 'n' roll marathon's rock 'n' blog program. 
The funny thing for me is that I am not an overly social person. (That was the understatement of 2016.) But these are my people. I am sitting in a room of 150 gals (and a guy or two, Sweat Pink doesn't discriminate) who are all fitness bloggers and a majority are fitness professionals too. These are people who have similar dreams and goals as me. These are the people that get me. At home I have lovely friends and an amazingly supportive husband. They love me, they support me and cheer me on in all my dreams, but they don't share my love and passion for blogging and fitness. Going to BlogFest gives me the unique opportunity to surround myself with people who do. 

Pre-conference shake out run at the Marriott. I'm behind the camera. 

This was my second year at Blogfest so I got to see some old friends and make some new ones. Right before I left for the conference this year I was looking at a picture that was taken in 2015 at a pre-conference run. When that photo was snapped less than 24 hours after getting off the plane, I barely knew another person. One year later as I was looking at the photo while packing for my 2016 trip, I realized that I had formed meaningful connections with about half of the large group of people in the photo. After meeting at the conference last year we became Facebook friends, so I spent the last 365 days keeping up with their lives, their achievements, their families and their blogs. Those people on that run became my friends, my real friends, not just some faces on social media, but people that I followed and cared about. So when I saw them again this year at the conference, it wasn't just seeing the bloggers I had met once a year ago, it was reconnecting with friends. I hope to forge some of those same connections with the people I met this year. 

The sweet and lovely Christiana from Spilling Coffee and Dropping Things

I finally got to meet my long time blogging friend Tri-ing To Be Athletic. Only click on her blog if you feel like laughing your butt off. She's awesome and hysterical.
I had the chance to connect with the A-mazing Lindsay from ItSurf on Instagram and Fit and Awesome. I won the FitBit I am wearing from her last year, so definitely follow - she has good giveaways! 

My biggest takeaway from BlogFest? The social interactions are the most important part. This is huge coming from the self-proclaimed introvert. If attending BlogFest or any blog convention, don't be tempted to skip the run, the dinners, the workouts or the social parties because they may not be on the official schedule and seem like fluff. They are the most meaningful part of the weekend. Sure, attend the sessions, learn about SEO, how to grow your mailing list, how to take better food photography and be inspired by the celebrity speakers (Jenna Wolfe was awesome), but forging those connections is the biggest win.

Jenna Wolfe of Today Show Fame! Just being BFFs
Jason Karp of Revo2lution Running. I read his book, the Inner Runner, on the plane to LA. It was really good. I knew this running thing was good for my brain too. 
Melissa Hartwig, the creator of Whole 30.
Find your people. Lift them up. Help them. Share with them. Give to them. Receive from them. Be open to them. Surround yourself with people who get you. These are the people who help make you great. BlogFest brings together all the supportive uplifting motivating woman to do that. What's not to love about that?

At the BlogFest Sweat Pink networking event.
Alena of Living Life 365 and Alyse of Fit Approach
The whole crew with Jorge Cruise!


Can't wait to see my sweat pink sisters again next year (In Vegas, baby!). Will I see you there next year? 



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Keep Running,

Lea

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15 comments :

  1. great job honey. you didn't mention me nearly enough but what-evs, I'll get over it (maybe) uuuugh, long sigh and drama, drama, dizzzama.

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  2. I love how my eyes are closed in like every photo, ha ha! Kidding, though they are closed and this motivates me to get my eye doctor on board and get my contact lenses back already. So glad to see you connect with Jason Karp--I'm one of his Revo2lution Running certified run coaches!

    You're right though, about the conferences thing. Yes, i take away HUGE things from the scheduled sessions. The things I often remember as THE BEST are things that happened off-the-schedule. It's so easy to naturally fall into a conversation with a fellow blogger, or really even almost anyone at IDEA, and those conversations and connections are often really incredible; while the rest of the world may not be as interesting/interested, it's a reminder that the best things can happen if you just stay open to the possibility.

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    1. I am taking his course now!!!! So glad I had the chance to hang out with you this weekend. See you in Vegas!!!!

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  3. LOVED seeing you this weekend, and I couldn't agree more, it's all about the people, the connections, and the friendships you form. It's so fun being in a room full of people passionate about the same things. Can't wait for next year! XOXO

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  4. I was so sad that I missed meeting Julia! But so glad to finally meet Gigi. I completely agree with you. It's the people that make it great. It was so good to see you again.

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    1. I missed Gigi! So great to see you too! Until next year....

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  5. Holy hell this would be my worst nightmare, lol! Not because of all the fab bloggers, but because I am the Queen of Social Awkwardness! Seriously, I'm the chick at the party hiding in the corner looking for the resident dog. :)

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    1. ha. I am JUST LIKE YOU and I promise it was amazing. I think it is just because they people are all so much like me -- in love with fitness, blogging, writing, training, etc. :) I think you'd love it!

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  6. Wish had a chance to spend more time together but man was that overwhelming. My head is still spinning. Cant wait for next year!

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  7. Nice post! It sounds interesting. It makes me want to join together! ^^ I like...

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  8. I could not agree with you more -- I love our community and coming together for the weekend like we do is always my favorite part of the year! I am excited to get to a place where I have a little more time for just hanging out with y'all and not just running around like a crazy person the whole time. :)

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    1. you are amazing and such an inspiration! Loved seeing you again this year!

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  9. Awesome post! It was great meeting you!

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