How to Choose a Blogging Conference That is Right for You

How to Choose a Blogging Conference That is Right for You

First, let me say that I’m not going to use any names.  I’m all about protecting the innocent. However, I recently registered to attend my first blogging conference.  And then I cancelled. The conference hasn’t even happened yet and I don’t regret my decision for one minute. I know that during and after the conference, when social media will be flooded with hashtags and pictures from the events, I won’t for one second regret my decision either. I’ll explain the whys and hows of my decision to bail and give you a few tips on how to choose a blogging conference that is right for YOU.  Below are the red flags that led to my cancelling and selling my ticket.

Attendance

Is the attendance limited, or is it a conference that accepts as many people as possible? I began to grow leery when six months in the conference was still soliciting registrations. The conference has a Facebook page for newbies, and the list is never-ending.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Every business has its own business plan, as it should, and I understand that blogging conferences are businesses unto themselves.  However, for me, I do not want to attend a conference with a couple of thousand other people.  That is now the kind of blogging conference experience I am looking for.

Sponsors

What companies are sponsoring the event i.e. planning on giving you lots of free stuff to go home to blog about?  Are they companies that sell products you actually use?  I checked out the sponsor page for this particular conference and the sponsor list is not only sparse, but among the few sponsors that ARE participating, NONE of them are products I have ever used or plan on using. HUGE red flag for me.

Key-Note Speakers

Do they interest you?  Would you go out of your way to buy a ticket to hear them speak if they were speaking in a different venue? If they were doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble, would you go?  If so, good for you!  If not, don’t go to the conference.  I’ve been to several conferences before (for other things, not for blogging) and key-note speakers are okay, but at this point in my life I’m just not interested in sitting there to listen to someone give me a pep talk.  If I haven’t heard all of the feel-good quotes at this point in my life, I don’t think one more talk is going to change me. I registered for this particular conference before the key-note speakers were announced.  Once the speakers were announced, I was underwhelmed. Another red flag.

Break Out Classes

Are they interesting?  Are there two tracks, or is it one and done, meaning you have to pick and choose?  What if you want to attend two different classes but they are both at the same time?  Is the information being offered something you can Google?  When I saw the list of classes, I was once again underwhelmed.  But let me also say that what feels right or wrong for me might be the perfect fit for YOU.

Past Reviews

Google the conference and see if there are any blog posts of reviews from people who have attended the conference in the past.  Are the reviews good or bad?  If the reviews are bad, are the issues things that you could overlook? If the reviews are good, are the positives things that would be positives for YOU?  The particular conference I registered for has a lot of separate parties in addition to the regular events.  That’s okay, but apparently the invitations to these parties is a big “thing.” Why would I attend a conference where I already feel like an outsider before I even get there?  I don’t like the cliquey vibe.  But, hey!  Maybe this type of thing isn’t an issue for you.  For me, it is.

Pre-Conference Preparation Advice

Do I need business cards?  Do I need a press kit?  What should I wear?  How does one get invited to the “parties?” How do I meet with sponsors? Does the conference “committee” provide enough pre-conference preparation advice or do they keep saying, “We’ll let you know when the time for the conference gets closer”?

What’s the big secret?  Will the answers to my questions be any different at a later date? RED FLAG.

The particular conference I planned on attending has a weekly Twitter Q & A.  It’s a very frustrating way to convey information and to ask and answer questions.  Have you ever tried to follow a Twitter thread?  I set aside an hour one week for a pre-scheduled Twitter chat  on the topic of what to wear to the conference. I wanted serious answers.  After about a ten minute back and forth of inside jokes between previous attendees, I finally had to jump in and Tweet a snarky Tweet to the effect of, “Hey guys, I know you’re having a great time joking back and forth, but as a newbie, can we please get serious about what we need to pack?  I don’t have all day to listen to you pat yourselves on the back with how funny you think you are.” Snarky, I know, but I was about to shell out over a grand for this conference between the ticket and hotel and I wanted my simple question answered.

Go With Your Gut

Let me just summarize…for me, I decided to bail on this conference because the attendance size is unlimited, the key-note speakers do not interest me at all, the sponsors are lame, I can get the answers to the break out classes via Google, and I don’t feel like subjecting myself to a TON of cliquey women.  I’m just not feeling it.  My gut is screaming NO, NO, NO!!!

Now how should I spend that $1200 bucks I was about to shell out?  Should I have a party? Maybe I’ll have my own blogging conference.  You’ll be invited AND I’ll tell you what you can wear.

(P.S.  On a positive note, I have to say I am so thankful that I was able to cancel my hotel room without any charges and  the conference allowed me to sell my ticket and transfer my registration. Thank you, unnamed blogging conference!  I wish you nothing but the best!   I truly hope all of the attendees have a great time.  I’ll be looking at the social media posts during your conference event while also trying to find a conference that fits my specific needs.)

how to choose a blogging conference that is right for you

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Featured in People Magazine

I pour my heart and soul into eWillow.com and my greeting card business.  They are my babies.  I spend every waking minute promoting and blogging and creating. I also help Erica with Cosmetics for a Cause while she is away at college.  When I compare the two separate endeavors – the greeting card business and the charity – I find it so interesting how things have turned out.  When it comes to Cosmetics for a Cause, we have done zero promotion.  When we formed the charity, we put up a free website just to have an online presence.  That little website has been updated to a more professional site.  That was all we did.  We never sent letters or solicited directly with cosmetics companies.  Somehow, the companies found us.  And find us they did.

To date, Cosmetics for a Cause has received and donated nearly $2M in products from international cosmetics companies and from individual donors, too.  It has been a fun ride, especially because we are pretty speechless when we receive emails from large companies like E.L.F. Cosmetics, Parents Magazine, Refinery 29, Urban Decay, and Formula X.  We have to pinch ourselves.  Our website, that we never promote and pay little attention to, has turned Cosmetics for a Cause into what it is today.

On Sunday, we were speechless when we started receiving emails from people saying they read about Cosmetics for a Cause in People Magazine.  What?  People Magazine? We had NO IDEA!  We have NO IDEA how it even happened.  But here it is! Cosmetics for a Cause featured in People Magazine:

featured in people magazine

images copyright people magazine

Page 147 on the May 1st “World’s Most Beautiful Women” issue mentions Cosmetics for a Cause as one of the “100 Ways to Look and Feel More Beautiful.”  Needless to say, we bought several copies!  It reminded me of my days as a model when I was featured in the paper or in a magazine.  I would drive from store to store and buy up all the copies.

Life is so weird, isn’t it?

Visit Cosmetics for a Cause for more info.

If you don’t have any unused makeup to donate, you can also help Cosmetics for a Cause by shopping its corporate sponsor, eWilow.com Greeting Cards.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each box goes to support Cosmetics for a Cause.  There is a great Mother’s Day Promotion going on right now, too, so check it out!

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2017 Mother’s Day Special from eWillow.com Greeting Cards

Mother’s Day Gift Idea

Friends!  Today I’m revealing the details for eWillow.com’s Mother’s Day Gift Idea Special for 2017! With the purchase of the “Save $20! Quarterly Greeting Card Package,” you’ll receive a beautiful card storage tin with index cards for FREE.  The tin makes a wonderful addition to your greeting card subscription because you’ll be able to keep all of your cards neat and organized.  You can use the index cards to create any category that you would like so you’ll always know what cards you have and what cards you need. More importantly, if you need cards for certain occasions, you can send an email to info@ewillow.com and make a request for special cards.

A subscription to eWillow.com makes a great gift.  The Quarterly Subscription Box for Mother’s Day is a gift that keeps on giving because your mom or other special person in your life will receive a box in the mail every three months for a year.  You’ll be the favorite kid, that’s for sure!  There are several different options from which to choose, but the free tin only applies to the “Save $20!  Quarterly Card Package Subscription.”

Each box contains ten greeting cards and envelopes.  The first package includes two each of the following cards:


Some Important Details to Note:

  • Offer is only good in the USA
  • If you would like to receive the free tin, you must order early because quantities are limited
  • Some cards might require extra postage to mail
  • To order this year’s Mother Day Special from eWillow.com, click HERE

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miss america dreams

Miss America dreams!  Have you had any?  I grew up thirty-five miles from Atlantic City, the home of the Miss America Pageant.  The pageant was part of my being.  It was a huge deal every single year.  There was always a ton of press coverage on the news and in the local newspapers.  I thought Miss America was a huge deal to everyone!  (It wasn’t until I moved away from my hometown that I realized some people didn’t even know who or what Miss America even was.  Imagine my surprise!)

Just watch my video.  It’s much easier to record my thoughts than to write what I’m thinking.  The pageant taught me a few life lessons over the years.  Enjoy!

To read my Halle Berry post, click HERE.

Remember,

  • some of the most important talents you can have are those talents that others can’t see
  • just because you don’t have a performing talent doesn’t mean you aren’t talented
  • sometimes coming in second means you’re the real winner
  • find humor in everything!

What are your talents?  Let us know!  Leave a comment!

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Friends!  eWillow.com has a Mother’s Day special coming soon!  Here is a sneak peek at one of the cards that will be included in this year’s special Mother’s Day subscription box of greeting cards:

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I’m busy behind-the-scenes creating five different designs for this year’s special.  There will be special pricing and a special bonus gift.

Why a Subscription to eWillow.com Greeting Cards Makes a Great Gift:

  • Your mom will receive a box in the mail every three months. A subscription to eWillow.com is a gift that keeps on giving!
  • Your mom will always have a card on-hand when she needs one.
  • A subscription box to eWillow.com is a unique gift…way better than flowers!
  • Each box includes ten cards and envelopes.
  • Different subscription lengths available
  • Many siblings go in together and purchase the one-year special pricing.  Your mom will receive a box of cards every month for a year. Woo hoo!!
  • eWillow.com makes a great gift for teacher’s, friends, and neighbors, too!

There are limited quantities and my Mother’s Day specials sell out every year.  If you would like to be put on the pre-buy list (no obligation) send an email to info@ewillow.com and I’ll put your name down.

More details soon!!!!!!

Also, check out the wonderful “Giving Back Series” review that my cyber-friend Jessica from “Petite Style Script” wrote about eWillow.com and it’s support of Cosmetics for a Cause.  Thanks, Jessica!

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