My First Blogger Conference

Saturday morning, I went to the 2nd annual Central Florida Blogger Conference located at the Orlando Science Center. (That means, no whiney long run story this weekend. I know you guys are gonna miss that.)

CFLBlogCon is an all-day conference with a schedule of 30-45 minute long meetings covering all sorts of topics about blogging. Topics included everything from making money from your blog to working with brands to using social media in increase your audience. If I remember correctly, the ticket was $50 and it included a swag bag, snacks, and lunch.

I’m gonna be honest here. I didn’t really want to go. Attending a conference that lasts from 9:00am-6:00pm (not including the after party) sounded like a day at work to me. I don’t work in social media and unless someone wants to hire me to write snarky TV commentary, I don’t ever intend to blog for a living or for my blog to become my main source of income. So, learning things that could help that become a reality didn’t appeal to me. What did appeal to me was getting to hang out with and support my friends who were speakers at one of the day’s meetings.

(Michelle, Jackie, and Christine – picture stolen from Michelle)

They day started off in the IMAX theatre with a keynote speaker and a flash mob. I’m not kidding. See ‘em down there?

Have you ever been around when one of those busted out? I was so confused. Now I know what my mom must feel like when she’s operating a DVD player.

After the keynote speaker wrapped up, everyone broke apart to attend their chosen meetings of the day.

There were 3-4 different meetings going on during each time slot, so we had a few different topics to choose from. Once one meeting ended, we had 15 minutes to make our way to the next one and take pictures of ourselves when no one was looking.

There are five floors to the Science Center and I’m proud to say I didn’t get lost and cry in a corner once!

After Michelle, Jackie, and Christine’s presentation on Fitting Blogging into Your Life (the second meeting of the day), we hit up the Recharge Lounge with Theresa (who I met for the first time before the Sarasota Half Marathon this year). The Recharge Lounge is a room where we could get snacks and drinks throughout the day and charge our laptops and phones.

I spy a sweet bunny.

There weren’t a whole lot of snacks but I was thankful for what was there since lunch wasn’t scheduled until 1:00pm and I’ve been known to eat all my snacks and  lunch for the day by 10:30am. I hoarded a few apples but something else caught my eye.

Oh hi there cookies.

The cookies were soft and strawberry flavored and sprinkled with crack. Or maybe it was powdered sugar. Who knows? I could not keep my mitts off of them.

After having my way with the cookies, it was finally lunchtime. We were the first to arrive. Naturally.

Lunch was provided by Bahama Breeze. They had a really good spread of food and an extremely helpful staff that even offered to help me carry my plates since I was the only jerk that had two of them. I grabbed some grilled chicken, paella, mashed sweet potatoes, spinach dip and chips, salad, mixed fruit, and a death by chocolate dessert (omgsogood).

After lunch, it was back to more meetings. I attended a Widgets and Gadgets for Bloggers and a Facebook Makeover session that I really liked and another called Finding and Sharing Content that Leads to a Passionate Following that I did not care for at all. So for the most part, I got something out of every meeting but there were a couple I attended where I wished I had picked something else.

At the end of the day, we broke out into groups of bloggers in our own niche. I signed up to attend the fit blogger break out group where I got to hang out with Miss Fingers and meet my online mistress, Carissa, for the first time in real life. I failed miserably at taking any pictures however, I am not beneath stealing this picture from Michelle. Thanks Michelle!

After our breakout group ended, we headed to the Yelp after party in the Dino Den.

There was live music, food, and booze, also known as the makes-Paula-happy-trifecta. Just when I thought things couldn’t get better, the cookies from the Recharge Lounge showed up right behind our table and we shared some quality time.

Kerry, Michelle, Christine, J, Jackie, and I all stayed until 8:00pm chatting and catching up. Remember we’re all part of the Central Florida Lady Bloggers? < — if you’re a blogger and in Central Florida, click that link and like us on Facebook so you can join our monthly meet-ups. They are SO fun. And I swear we don’t bite…hard.

(Stolen with permission from J)

It was a long day, but I’m glad I went. I learned some new things, I got to see some of my favorite people, and I had fun.

 

17 Comments

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17 Responses to My First Blogger Conference

  1. Andrea @ Andrea out loud!

    haha sprinkled with crack!
    that actually looks like lots of fun… and delicious!
    Andrea @ Andrea out loud! recently posted…I Dislike Shopping & Return Of The Bento BoxMy Profile

  2. David

    Kudos on the improving food-photography quality!

    • Ha! Yeah, I was sitting next to a window and I used my regular camera instead of my phone. Who knew lighting and an actual camera worked? Just don’t get used to it. 😉

  3. I’ve only ever been to teacher conferences (which I love since that’s my brand of nerdiness), but a blog conference sounds fun, too! Plus cookies like that? Count me in!*

  4. Amber K

    Looks like fun! I don’t think I would ever actually go to a blog conference. I’m weird enough on the Internet…can people really handle crazy in person? 😉
    Amber K recently posted…Are Intestines That Essential?My Profile

  5. I’m so glad we forced you to go!! I had so much fun just hanging out with everyone too. Although, I wish we hadn’t gone to that one session where we learned nothing. Or maybe it was just over my head?
    Michelle recently posted…CFLBlogCon 2012 – Getting SocialMy Profile

    • It was definitely over my head. Oh, and he had a ton of pics from the photographer. Did you notice that? Yes, please take all the pics of him and not the cute girl in the purple dress. Fail.

  6. think we can sneak your bunny in next year?
    Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers recently posted…CFLBlogCon Recap: Part TwoMy Profile

  7. Verlin

    There was a certain emptiness to my weekend without your standard long-run story. I filled it with wine, nachos and chocolate. Thanks for that. Good on you for supporting your friends — I don’t think I could force myself to anything with the words “meeting” and “schedule” in it on a non-work day. You are a strong woman.

  8. Miz

    SO SO SO THE BEST PART OF BLOGGING, too!
    Miz recently posted…Im FITBLOGGIN bound!My Profile

  9. I totally stole your pic. Please don’t sue. And I thing the bunny should come along next year too. You’d be more popular than the crack cookies.
    Kerry Ann @Vinobaby’s Voice recently posted…Blogging Tips from Central Florida Blog ConMy Profile

  10. I am so glad I recaps of the conference keep popping up! It’s led me to some new and awesome blogs, including yours! Glad I found you!

    I will be at the Tower of Terror race too. I am a super slow runner so I’ll be hanging towards the back trying to not to get swept!
    Sabrina recently posted…Brainstorming New Content. Feedback Wanted!My Profile

  11. I must be hungry because what I took away from that was Mmmmm strawberry cookies. 😀
    Sara@runninginpinkproject recently posted…Alexia Foods Giveaway and ReviewMy Profile

  12. Stefanie

    You have made the big-time! First blogger conference! Also…those cookies. OMGEEEE. Gimme Gimme.

  13. Pingback: Race Review: Disney’s Tower of Terror 10 Miler