The main thing?
To start planning NOW for next year! Will you be there? I hope to meet you!
10 Takeaways from BlissDom09...
1. Face to Face and Confidence
When Megan Jordan of Velveteen Mind walks up to you and recognizes you? Wow. When you hear that as little as 100 visits to your blog places you in the top 10% of the mommy bloggers? When you get 2 minutes to talk to a PR rep. and after only 30 seconds they look you in the eye and say — "I'm amazed, please email me with your ideas!"
I loved that 30 seconds where you say hi I'm Carissa and they say hi I'm Roni... and then you read their tag and realize OhMiGosh! "You're @Ronisweigh!" You then emit a scream, while lifting her off the ground with an embarrassing bear hug! Again, wow. Worth it.
2. Finding the Dollar Store in Nashville
I mean what else are you going to see while spending a weekend in Nashville. Yup, that's all I saw. If you need party balloons.. I know where to find them!
3. The importance of Elevators, Hallways and Lobbies at Midnight
More than once—several times in fact—Jyl & I would find ourselves early to one thing and late to another only to catch the event coordinator Barbara Jones setting up, or the Disney Producer finishing up and gaining a few minutes of one on one time with each of the Hot Yanni Voices dudes (one of which turns out went to BYU.. who knew?). The serendipitous meetings and interviews may have been worth the whole conference right there.
yes the blond one kissed Jyl!)
4. If you are nervous about introducing yourself?
Get over it!
So is the other person... making the first contact is over in 15 seconds— so jump in and it will be pasat you and easy after that. The bigger problem? Second contact when you recognize their face but can't remember their name... And worse the third time, same problem. But 3's the magic number and I kept saying so...worth the effort!
5. Organic Vs. Fertilized / Finding Your Own Voice
(Then losing your voice to late night shout sessions of Karaoke).
Define organic based connection leading to a sponsorship please? Okay here goes: When I mention to someone I met on twitter that I LOVE their new children's book, and can I please write up a review of the book back at my blog. They say..really? For free? And I say, well yes? I really like your book! And he says..well, can we offer a giveaway or something to your readers? And I say..oh? Okay, sure, even better why don't you participate in my upcoming #GNO event on Twitter, we could host the giveaway there, and would you mind making them signed copies? He says sure! And I say...um.. the two copies that I just bought..?? would you sign those as well? Love to, the end.
6. Stats Vs. Reach
I kept having this conversation over and over during the conference. "People are commenting on my blog less and less. Instead they tweet me that they like my post?" I kept replying, you know what? That's Perfect! It may lesson your blog stats—but it widens your personal REACH. Get ready now for the shift. —Are you using Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media sites to increase your reach? You could be, you should be. When we talked to a sponsor about helping us with our BlissDom After Party, they were more about our overall reach and not just our blog stats.
7. Delivering the Elevator Speech
I have no tips here? I didn't even know what that meant 6 months ago. The What? In 30 seconds or less tell me the big piccture, the dreams and goals you have for your business. About the time a typical Elevator Ride takes. I fail right there. I talk too much. My tip? Figure out how to listen more—now if I can just take my own advice...
8. How to Contact PR Reps
(ie. Don't wait for them to find you.) Do you have a great idea for your blog? Is there a product you already love? Did something you mastered change your life? Pitch an idea for a partnership to an ad agency or the company directly. There are ad networks interested in you, PR Agencies too and try out PitchEngine.com. Don't get discouraged, I heard several 'successful' bloggers say they failed 2 & 3 times before thy got a relationship with an ad agency to work.
9. Hosting Your Own Event at a Conference
Think you can't do it? Think again. We thought we would host a silly slumber party in our room the 1st night of BlissDom09. But we realized there was a similar event already on the conference schedule that night? So we contacted the event hosts and turns out they were thrilled! So, we created an After Party the last day of the conference! Mom It Forward also sponsored a service project at the Nashville Rescue Mission, and Jyl recapped the details on her personal blog: Mommy Gossip. Wow, so worth it! We are planning now for other events...okay dreaming is more like it: Mom2.0Summit, SXSW, and BlogHer... See you there? (Marie and Ghennifer chopping veggies at the Nashville Rescue Mission)
10. I don't have 10
Oh well. If you wait to be nearly the last one onto the airplane you can often choose from empty ROWs at the back of the plane... and when your travel day takes 3 separate flights with really long layovers, for a total of 14 hours...that extra space pays off!
Plus because you made it all the way to the end of my long long long post? Free Shipping from Lands' End. I know I love that! But you have to hurry! You only have two days til it expires! Lands' End code: blissdom, PIN: 2175
What are these? A few of the sponsors of blissdom, and yes I met representatives of all three!