What Happens at A Blogging Conference?

by Stephanie Bryant

Just a few examples of Dawn Camp's amazing photography. You need to get to know her.

I’ve mentioned to a few folks that I’m heading to Blissdom next week.

“What’s that?” is usually the response.

I begin to explain, “It’s a blogging conference.” And then I wait for it. . .

The confused expression. The smirky grin. The look of ‘What’s the point?’ written all over their face. {If you’re a blogger or involved in Social Media in any form, I’m sure you’ve experienced the same and you know what I’m talking about.}

Most people can’t imagine what happens at a blogging conference. And by ‘most people,’ I don’t mean my mom or next door neighbors. I’m referring to Founders of companies and Vice Presidents of Marketing.

Social Media Conferences are the perfect place for your organization to connect face-to-face and begin a lasting two-way relationship with Entrepreneurs, Creative Revolutionaries, Photographers, Designers, Agents of Change, Thought Leaders, & The Influencers of our Time.

You know the ones – your consumer.

Somehow it’s still one of the best kept secrets. Why? I’m not really sure.

Want to find your tribal leaders? Want to get in front of your consumer? This is the way to do it.

Influencers like Scott Stratten want to spend time here. Small businesses are launched here. Bloggers turn to Media Moguls.

A few ‘small’ companies will be the sponsors for the four day event. Maybe you’ve heard of a few. . . ConAgra foods, Hallmark, Johnson & Johnson, and The Vintage Pearl.

I believe the future of our economy rests in these places of great influence. Brands are launched and solidified. Companies are made {or broken}.

You should go.

It’s the perfect place to listen to your consumer. And not just any consumer, but the one that will tell 5,000 of her closest friends, not the typical circle of 10.

It’s like dating your consumer. A place where companies and bloggers can get to know each other and fall in love.

Individuals are no longer a person but a personal brand. The virtual becomes real-life and connections cemented. Social Media enthusiasts and experts are willing to help each other . . . teaching you something that could revolutionize your business.

This is NOT about another spot to broadcast your promotion, since your TV ad is being fast forwarded on the DVR and the national newspaper circulations is on a rapid decline. This is an opportunity to invest in your consumer and those that influence her.

Warning: This approach will take more time. You will have to navigate new waters. You’ll need to host community, allow it to organically grow, trusting your consumer with your brand. In the end, you need to become her friend.

Laptops and iPhones constantly working may look strange and like no true engagement is taking place. But don’t let the new business model fool you. This is where the magic happens.

The good news is you can be a part of it, learn from the best, and finally build a real, long-lasting relationship with your consumer {and those influencing her}.

{If you can’t make it to the conference, then follow #blissdom on Twitter. You’ll able to follow influencers at the conference and gain wisdom from their tweets.}

There are a few other Social Media conferences I would recommend, depending on your brand, but I’d rather hear your thoughts. If you’re a Social Media maven and could recommend only two Social Media conferences to attend this year, which two would it be and why? I look forward to reading your ideas and experiences.

  • Tsh @ Simple Mom

    Excellent summary of Blissdom, Stephanie! I get the “deer in the headlight” look, too, when I tell my offline friends I’m going to a blog conference. I think in their minds, it’s akin to a Trekkie convention or something.

    I honestly feel like this is one of the few times a year when I’m surrounded by people who get what I do for work. It’s nice to feel normal.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  • Anonymous

    This is a great post! I agree that conferences are a great way to build relationships with influencers. As far as conferences to recommend, I am totally biased but certainly at Type-A Parent Conference we work very hard to create a great environment for attendees and sponsors to engage and interact. I also highly recommend Blissdom. It is a wonderful conference, and one I never miss!

  • Anonymous

    If I could only attend 2 conferences this year… that would be hard! Last year I attended BlogHer and TypeAMom. This year I got a last minute spot at Blissdom and am thrilled! But I’m also going to DisneySMMoms and wouldn’t give up that experience either. I am headed back for TypeAParent in the summer. I would say that if you can’t attend Blissdom or DisneySMMoms this year, than TypeAParent is a MUST do. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/RaisingCEOKids Sarah Cook

    Fabulous article Stephanie! I’m looking forward to meeting you and so many others at #Blissdom

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  • http://impressyourkids.com ohamanda {impress your kids}

    Awesome post! You just made me proud to be a blogger! :)

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