In 2012 I was committed to blogging conferences. I wasn’t going to fool around, it was time to invest, explore and figure out WHAT each of these blogging conferences had to offer, and which one was the right one for me.
So, from October 2014 to July 2015, I attended 7 blogging conferences.
BlissDom Canada- October
ROAM event – JUNE
Strut – JUNE
Blogher – July
BloggerBash – July
I am going to break down what the BEST and WORST of each event was, MY specific ROI from each conference and the nitty gritty of WHY I would (or wouldn’t) attend the event again and perhaps add in a few conferences I haven’t attended but that are on the list!
If you are a Canadian, or an American blogger with Canadian traffic (trust me.. you have Canadian readers) then BlissDom Canada is probably your best bet with connecting with Canadian networks and PR agencies. BlissDom was my “launch” conference so I am partial to it. It welcomed me into the fold, and continues to do that each and every year. It also has the VERY best events that I have EVER experienced at any conference ever. You won’t believe your eyes!
BEST PART? My ROI was always great as this conference allowed me to connect with new networks and brands looking to work with bloggers. The sponsors were prepped to work WITH bloggers and not market to them, and that is a big thing I appreciate at blogging conferences.
Worst part? It’s over. 2015 was the last year BlissDom Canada will be operating.
This was my first year attending mom2, although it had been on my radar previously, I had just never gotten around to getting a ticket before they sold out. Although this is one of the more expensive conferences on the list, it also had some of the best opportunities. The workshops, while they still catered to the masses, and didn’t really dive into as much detail as I wanted, were still good. I attending one session on making video that was worth the whole conference in my opinion.
Most of your benefit comes from networking at mom2. We spent a lot of time sitting around the pool and having, what would end up being, important conversations. I walked away with more from mom2 than from a lot of the other conferences put together, and it is MOST definitely worth your investment if you want to be a monetized blogger who works full time innovating in the industry.
BEST part? I made some connections pool side that have been HUGE for my business. I was able to personally connect with an entirely new (to me) group of professional influencers. Other best, this conference showed me how much MORE I could be doing! Innovation rocks with these group of people!
Worst? Tickets are currently sold out for 2016, but I “hear” more will be released soon so add your name to their email list!
This was another new one for me. Located in Maryland, BlogU is run at a university dorm and caters towards the “content writers” of the industry. The goal for most of the attendees is to become “writers”, publish books and earn an income freelancing. Obviously for me this was a VERY new concept and crowd. Because of this a lot of the workshops were geared towards introductory topics, but the content was STILL very good, with a lot of detail vs generalization. The accommodations weren’t 5star and for this old girl didn’t necessarily provide the creature comforts I was used to, but they were worth it in the end.
BEST PART? Having my eyes opened to a whole new group of fabulous bloggers and writers! Damn these ladies are talented!
WORST PART? The accommodations… gotta be honest!
A sub event from the creators of BlissDom Canada, ROAM was built to be a blogging conference “on the move”. It was a mastermind style event, with only one workshop at a time, and had us moving (literally) around kelowna to local spots to do on the spot learning. Funniest thing, because we didn’t have choices in which workshop to go to, I didn’t skip any (like I normally do). We stayed together as a group, and because of that each workshop took off where the first finished. It was a learning experience over the two days, and I walked away with inspiration and ideas I wasn’t expecting.
BEST PART? That I was
forced encouraged to attend all the sessions! This was a huge win for me!
WORST PART? This was an entirely educational event with no brand “opportunity” that us bloggers are used to,.
A Toronto “invite only” event, I attended strut as part of my 10-day-3-conference binge, and while it was short (only 1 evening and 1 3/4 day) I walked away with a lot of ROI from this event. The people who attend this (or are invited to attend) are working IN the industry already, and experts in their field. Because of this, the connections you make are easier to follow up on, and have a higher return per proposal.
BEST PART? The uber useful networking that happened. This event opened up a lot of opportunity.
WORST PART? Invite only 🙁 And I am kind of DONE Toronto.
This was my 3rd BlogHer and unfortunately not the best one I have attended. My first blogher was impressive and gave me great return from the tradeshow floor, the 2nd returned 1 fabulous client (still good enough for me) but this year the tradeshow was even smaller, with most of the companies wanting to market TO me, instead of WITH me. The content at BlogHer still seems to be geared to the beginner, and with SO MANY people it is really challenging to network and build relationships. I think if you want to experience one of the BIGGEST conferences, or if it is in a good location to act as a meeting place for your blogger tribe, go for it, but don’t expect a huge business return in my opinion.
BEST PART? It’s huge and EVERYONE is there (not everyone really, but LOTS of people)
WORST PART? Not enough brand ROI for this blogger, and it’s HUGE!
A New York Based blogging conference event that is known mostly for its “Sweet Suite” Toy event. I love the bloggerbash and especially respect how the majority of sponsored are prepped to work WITH the bloggers. IF you have a large product review portion of your blog, I recommend attending this event. The workshops didn’t offer too much to me, but there was opportunity to connect with others at the events. I found NYC challenging to get around, so take this into consideration when you attend! You will find as well that there are other “off shoot” events happening in and around NYC at this time as well!
BEST PART? The brands were all prepped to work with bloggers! LOTS of opportunity to find new business here!
WORST PART? New York, in the SUMMER! Ugh. For this west coaster that is a nightmare trip! I don’t want to attend blogging conferences in the summer!
So, of my 7 blogging conferences in a year, which ones will I go back to in 2016?
I have already got my tickets for mom2 summit in California, Strut in Toronto and hope to attend ROAM again (I hear rumours it will be in VANCOUVER, BC which is nice and close to home) These 3 blogging conferences gave me my BEST return of business, opportunities, networking and education, and I wouldn’t miss them. BlogU is on the list mostly as a great place to connect with content writers for my other website and to get a feeling for where that niche demographic is at (note here: IF you publish a collaborative website, this is where you will find your blogger gold)
I won’t be returning to blogher this year, after 4 years I need a break, and with BlissDom Canada closed up, that one is off the list as well.
I would like to explore NEW blogging conferences, including Type A Parent (I hear amazing things about this) and if Social Media on the Sand called, I would answer! Tbex (travel blog exchange) also looks interesting. In the end though, each one has to return SOMETHING to me, either a connection, revenue to education (no, relaxation doesn’t count) so I am going to move forward picking and choosing wisely from this point on!
One thing that I WILL keep doing is attending. Nothing has done MORE for my business growth than attending blogging conferences, and each experience has grown and adapted to what I need at the time!
Here are a few other blogging conferences that are worth exploring
BConnected – Ottawa Canada
Social Media Camp– Victoria BC
Alt Summit – Salt Lake City
Build Your Blog – Salt Lake City
Dad2 Summit– Washington DC
Camp Blogaway – LA
BloggyBootcamp – SoCal
MomPoweredMedia – Minneapolis
Blogalicoius – Maryland