It feels like I counted down forever to BlogFest, when in reality, I only signed up two months beforehand. And now, here we are, back at home to our daily lives and BlogFest is over. tear
Today I’m going to recap my overall thoughts of the experience, tomorrow I’m going to share 10 things I learned and Friday I’m going to share all the goodies I came home with. Here we go….
I’m going to do my best to recap my overall thoughts of the experience here without going into too much detail. Never fear, in the upcoming weeks, I’m going to be integrating a ton of what I learned, so you’ll hear it too!!
Originally, I was supposed to work on Wednesday, but opted to take the day off as I’d also taken Tuesday off as a result of the passing of my Opa. This gave me time to nap, and organize before heading out at 4:30 to pick up Jen and head to the airport. We arrived right on time at 5:30 and then suffered through the slowest security line ever. We had just enough time to grab burgers and beer before boarding our flight.
After arriving in LA we waited for what felt like forever (it was probably 40 minutes) for our bags before hopping in an Uber to head to the hotel.
Since it was after 11 when we arrived, our awesome roomies, Susie and Beth were fast asleep. We had an early morning wake-up call for a run, so it was time for us to hit the hay.
5:45 came way too early considering we probably didn’t fall asleep until midnight or so. Yuck.
We managed to find out where to check in to the conference and then made our way to the start of the BeTru fun run.
And then? It was over and time to get ready for BlogFest.
A great way to kick off @blogfest and meet new friends! #blogfest #ideaworld @ideafit #cowgirlruns #cowgirldoesLA ••• We had an AMAZING time this morning! Thanks to everyone who came out this morning! @coachhenness and I had so much fun with all of you!!!! Thanks to Truitt Family Foods for sponsoring. #WeRunSocial #Run #Runner #Marathon #Runner #Endurance #RunItFast #HalfFanatics #MarathonManiacs #Health #SweatPink #fitness
The wonderful Katy Widrick kicked the day off with some great tips on how to be a great blogger and I’m excited to review my notes (I nearly stepped away from this post to review her notes again!) from her session and make some cool changes here.
Next up were the IDEA World opening ceremonies and lunch sponsored by General Mills. I’m a super big fan of free lunches, but I’m not certain the group bought into Lean Cuisine as a healthy meal staple.
Melissa Burton, RD (The Valentine RD) busted the Top 5 Myths our Readers Believe (hooo boy, I cannot wait to recap these for y’all!) and left us with this amazeballs nugget:
Nutrition is not common sense – its science.
I’m sad to say I was a bit disappointed in the “Build a Following” sessions. I loooooove Kasey Arena (Powercakes) and was really hoping to leave her session with a major takeaway, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
By far, the session I was most disappointed in was session by Natalie Jill. I felt like it was more of a promo for her and we never really heard how she approaches Pinterest. Does she schedule at certain times? Does she use a pinning tool? Does she interact with other pinners? What group boards are good to join? Should we join a group board?
Our Thursday ended with the BlogFest lightening round. These. Were. Awesome! (lest you think I’m a total curmudgeon and hate everything).
We ended Thursday by heading out for some Mexican (these girls needed some food!) and then popped by the Urban Party. By this time this introvert was starting to feel overwhelmed and being in a room with flashing lights and loud music just wasn’t for me, so we headed up to our room and hit the hay by about 10pm.
Another day, another early alarm. We were up early to grab coffee before getting our butts royally kicked by Kaia Fit. I absolutely love their motto of Strong Bodies, Happy Minds, Healthy Lives.
Since Carlee and I were twins, I put on my big girl panties and grabbed a picture with her. Let me say, she is wonderful and sweet and 100% #keepsitreal.
After refueling thanks to breakfast from Kelloggs we learned about the legal side of blogging from Elizabeth Bain (Train with Bain). This session was packed with a lot of great info, but since I’m in Canada there are some differences (the biggest being CASL – Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. If you’re a blogger sending emails, I highly suggest you review it as I was not impressed that the IDEA World vendors were scanning badges to obtain email addresses in order to send promotions. FYI – in Canada you need express consent, so a badge scan isn’t cool!). My take away from this is to learn more about what Canada requires bloggers to do.
Gabby Reece was our keynote speaker and I really enjoyed her presentation and everything she had to say. She took a very casual approach to her presentation and then did a Q&A session where she recognized the absolute craziness of the idea that we need to one-up one another constantly.
We were then put through the paces in her HIGHX workout which was freaking insane. I was sore for days and loved every second of it. (But not enough to take pictures?! Ugh! #fail).
Friday’s lunch was sponsored by Morning Star Farms which was absolutely delicious. I have a feeling we can’t purchase Morning Star products in Canada, but they may just find their way into my suitcase on my next trip to the US.
Our post-lunch session was on SEO Tips and Tricks and this was the one session that I felt I was in waaaaaayyyyyy over my head. I had no idea what was being said half the time.
After, Katy, Katie and Laura talked about their blog journeys and how they’ve created a career for themselves through blogging. While I’m not certain what direction I want to take my blog (I should probably figure that out one day, right?!) I really enjoyed hearing what they learned and how they approach it.
Our final session was another “Build your following” session, this time on Twitter. Again, I left feeling disappointed. I don’t even think I have a major take away from that session.
[Tweet “Ange is #keepingitreal and recapping the good and bag of #blogfest 2015 #sweatpink #ideaworld #blends”]
Lest I end this post on a bad note, here’s the TL;DR of BlogFest 2015.
- Session content – some sessions didn’t really answer the why
- More networking! I was able to briefly meet people, but would have loved more opportunities
- Maybe some smaller breakout sessions would be helpful?
- (You might think I’m a dick for saying this, but I’m going to go ahead and say it) Before we left I read numerous comments about leaving a ton of room for swag in our suitcases. We did receive swag and I love and appreciate everything I received, but I definitely didn’t need to leave a ton of room to bring it home with me. I’m not sure if this was an expectation thing, or a change from last year.
- Sponsored workouts and snack breaks (bloggers love snacks!)
- Some sessions where really good – it was definitely a mixed bag
- The Sweat Pink gals. They worked extremely hard to put this one and I don’t for one second want anyone reading to think I didn’t appreciate the hard work they put into putting this conference on.
- The BeTru run on Thursday. Such a great way to kick things off.
- My roomies <3
Whew. Congratulations if you made it through this massive post! I haven’t even touched Saturday and Sunday yet – but I will!
BlogFest (and blogging conferences) tell me YOUR thoughts!
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