Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the BlogPodium conference in Toronto, Ontario. Before this, I had only been to the SNAP conference in Utah, so this was my first Canadian blogging conference. I was super nervous at first, because I didn’t have very many tight relationships when it came to Canadian bloggers like I have with the girls I attend SNAP with, and I am always nervous without a group around me.
Thankfully the nerves didn’t last long, and I met up with Virginia from Fynes Design, who I had actually met at last year’s SNAP. We sat together at the group sessions and visited some sponsors together and it was really nice to spend more time with her! Anyway, onto some things I loved about the conference:
- I loved, loved, loved the location. The Royal York hotel is such a magnificent and inspirational place to have a creative conference like this. The architecture, the decor, even the flowers on the hallway tables were beautiful. It set an atmosphere of creativity that really set the tone. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this historic venue, do it! You won’t regret it!
- One of the title sponsors, Para Paints, had created a huge backdrop of paint chips that had been sewn together, and they had a professional photographer taking head shots for all of the attendees – it was the most brilliant thing! Who couldn’t use a new professional headshot?!
- It was so wonderful to make great connections with fellow Canadians. It really hit home the idea of having local support. If your area has a local bloggers group – go get involved and meet up with them! It’s so wonderful to have people in your area who know what it’s like to be a blogger and all of the demands, challenges, and joys that come along with it! Also, I loved meeting the Canadian businesses that participated in the sponsors areas! No more “We don’t ship to Canadian addresses” here!
- My favourite speaker was Donna from Funky Junk. To hear her personal story of how she began her blog and overcame challenges was so inspiring! I attended a presentation at SNAP that she did with HomeTalk, but this was so much more personal, real, and at times, gritty, and I really appreciated hearing the story behind the blog!
If you’re a new blogger, or perhaps you’ve been blogging for a while but have never attended a conference, I really suggest you consider it. I can’t tell you how much they have changed me, and my blog, for the better – and the networking and connections, well, to be honest, those are my favourite parts of any blog conference. At the end of the day, it’s all about those relationships – the ones with other bloggers, sponsors, and readers – that help a blogger grow. Conferences nurture those relationships and help build new ones, which is why I so strongly encourage them!
Thank you so much to Expressions Vinyl, who helped me with the cost of attending this conference!
(They are one of the relationships I value that was started at a conference two years ago, by the way!)
** All photos courtesy of Flow Photo **