I came, I saw, I conquered!
…that would be my fear I conquered.
I went to Blissdom Canada and I survived. I’m gonna tell you right now, I was a good 15 – 25 years older than the majority of the over 400 attendees. In fact, I could probably count on both hands the people that were my age (and most of those were speakers). I truly enjoyed it all. Everyone was beyond friendly and helpful, and the conference was first class.
Here’s how it went…
I did not get lost on the way there. I wrote about that fear in my earlier I’m Scared post. Really, all I had to do was take a flight to Toronto, find my luggage, call a cab, and check into the hotel (ha! but yes, I was scared).
Have I mentioned that I met up with my daughter, Jo-Anna? She blogs at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. It was the highlight of my experience to be able to spend time with her and watch as she navigated her way through the conference. She knows her stuff and is an inspiration to everyone who meets her.
She is also an extremely forgiving roommate. It’s quite possible that I snore. Add to that the fact that I picked up a nasty cold… and nasty cold plus snorer = well, you can imagine…
I rode my daughter’s coattails the whole time. We ate together, attended sessions together, and went to a couple cocktail hours together. I disappeared to my room to avoid the parties, but other than that I didn’t miss much.
Every day I was in awe as I listened to all these young women as they discussed working with brands, choosing advertising companies, and writing sponsored posts. They have created a business from their blog, and they want to grow it. Blogging is big, and companies are noticing.
For the hands-on workshop, I choose to participate in “Creative BIG storming” with Marilyn Barefoot. A bit out of my comfort zone, but that was the whole idea. Take a totally random image or word, and by association, come up with as many new ideas as possible. Nothing was too crazy. Write them down.
I enjoyed the inspirational speakers, I laughed and I cried (really) at their words, and came away with a renewed sense of what my blog is about.
So here’s the truth:
- Just thinking about working with ad agencies and brands exhausts me.
- Sponsored posts are fun, to a degree. When I write a sponsored post, it has to be about something I like, and something that I believe in. However, I don’t expect to be inundated with offers any time soon…
- Social media is king. If you want to attract advertisers or sponsors, you have to have a large reach with Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. For some reason, G+ was not even mentioned (I was a bit disappointed in that).
- Twitter is like a tunnel (think Alice in Wonderland) but I am proud to say I’m experimenting with it (learn something new…). During sessions and while people were speaking, everyone was tweeting constantly (about whatever the subject was at the time). This was encouraged, and the tweets would show up on a big screen at the front of the room… all new to me. I have to admit, I had a hard time following it all.
- At times I felt invisible (to brands). No offence to anyone… this was a conference aimed at young entrepreneurs, and I knew it. It did not diminish my sense of self-worth at all.
- Quite simply, I just like to take photographs and write about them.
- I know who my tribe is (and you know who you are).
And now, about the photos…
Blissdom Canada had employed a lovely photographer by the name of Anna Epp to take portraits. I thought, what the heck, and went for it. Whenever else would I be wearing a jacket?
Bless her soul; she managed to clean me up a bit while still keeping it real!