Sunday, September 16, 2012

CFL Blog Con

Saturday I attended my very first blog conference, the CFL BlogCon. It was hosted at the Orlando Science Center in Downtown Orlando.

The keynote speaker was Lou Mongello who was AH-mazing! Before spoke a flash mob broke out, and I'm not going to lie (and Joscelyn can attest to this) we knew something was up when we saw these people in the crowd. They were far to dressed up for the event, the rest of us were rocking our jeans and flippy flops.

Even Bess, one of the organizers, got in on the action and danced along.

It was awesome though and really set the tone for a great key note for Lou. If you ever have a chance to hear Lou speak, do it. He's amazing. You also need to check out his site. 

Lou reminded us that when you are blogging you need to be a pro and treat your readers like friends. 

After Lou's keynote we all broke out into our different sessions. The original session I wanted to attend was canceled, but I was able to sneak into the one on marketing yourself and creating a media kit. I'm SO glad I attended this session because I took away a lot of tips on what to include. Best tip? Keep it short and simple (1 page max).

The next session I went to was on navigating Facebook promotions. I knew nothing about hosting an actual giveaway on Facebook and am so glad I was able to learn about it.

At this point we broke for lunch which was provided by one of my favorites, Bahama Breeze. It was SO delicious and they even had a steel drummer playing!

Next up was a session on SEO. Can I tell you I've feared those three letters for a long time now. Tom Jelneck gave an amazing presentation and totally broke down SEO in an easy to understand format. Considering he only had 30 minutes, this was quite a feat. 

My next session was on analytics (another thing that just makes my head want to explode). Mark Krupinski  gave a great presentation and really broke down what is important to monitor and what you can not waste your time on. Aside from the scary clown slide, it was awesome. 

Julie of The Little Kitchen gave the next session on working with brands. I work with a lot of brands on Multiples and More and want to really take those relationships to the next level and got a TON of ideas from Julie. 

The next session I went to was hands down one of my favorites. It was with Amanda of Disney Every Day (she was my Cruze pal for the Cruze the City Beautiful) and a PR rep from one of the local agencies. It was great to hear both perspectives on working with brands and monetizing your blog/brand. Another highlight of this session? Lou Mongello brought Suzannah (of Zannaland) and I the most delicious cookies I've ever put in my mouth. They are strawberry cookies from Parkesdale Market in Plant City. I have no photo of these cookies, they were just too delicious.

The final session of the day was with Justice Mitchell. Fun fact: Justice is an adjunct professor where I work, so I had to see him speak. If you have a chance to hear Justice speak, do it. Run and don't walk. His talk was about storytelling and the importance of it. At the end of the day it comes down to, "was that really worth retelling?".  

We had short niche break out sessions after this and it was great to see and meet some other bloggers (and brands) in my niche. 

Finally we had the Yelp! after party in the DinoDigs area. The venue was perfect! 

I found the strawberry cookies while I was there too. Suzannah and I were trying to find a way to walk out of the room with an entire tray, however, my bag was not large enough to accomplish this. 

I had such a great day and cannot believe how quickly it flew by. I learned so much while I was there and cannot wait to apply all of it to my site. This was definitely the perfect conference to attend as a first time conference attendee. 

Thanks to the entire team at CFL BlogCon for making it a memorable day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad you had such a great day. You should have closed down the Yelp party ... somehow I left the entire try of cookies at the end of the night! But after two more, I knew I needed to get rid of them so I sent them into my daughter's preschool on Monday for snack time for all the classes!

Glad to find you through #CFLBlogCon! Hope to see you around town soon!

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