Wow what a weekend! I think I am finally catching my breath after a fun filled, busy weekend. As I type this post my thoughts about Blog Podium are still all over the place but I want to try and get some of them out in a sort of recap form. I went to Blog Podium not really knowing what to expect but I obviously had expectations (we always do about everything). The conference was awesome! I learned so much and the best part was being able to meet some other really sweet bloggers. The conference was only a day long so there was a lot of information given in the hours we were together and my hand was busy making notes all day.
The morning started off very early (I mean like 5:30 am on a Saturday early) for me. With butterflies in my tummy and excitement in my spirit I got ready to head out to meet my sweet friend Bethany to head off to Toronto for the day. We of course had to make a stop at our beloved Starbucks to grab some caffeine to calm our nerves or wake us up – one of the two.
We arrived to the city in great time and quickly found some parking that didn’t require us to go out in the rain to get to the venue where the conference was being held. (This is a big deal when you’ve spent time trying to make yourself look presentable and you are about to meet a whole bunch of women for the first time) With big smiles on our faces and holding each others hands we rode the escalator up to the floor of the conference and were greeted by the most beautiful set up.
The morning keynote speaker was Donna from Funky Junk Interiors and she came with her own style and wearing her heart on her sleeve. She had such a touching story to share of how she started her blogging journey and was full of encouragement and a true story of grace. We then broke off into workshops and the two I choose to attend where great. The first session was on SEO which for those of you who don’t blog means really nothing but man it was a great session. The speaker Nicki Lamont was informative and very knowledgeable on the topic. She did a great job of getting as much information out to us in the short amount of time she had. The second session was more business oriented and both Shannon of aka design and Mara of Brazenwoman did a fantastic job of making their presentation professional yet funny and engaging.
We then broke for lunch and let me tell you the Fairmont Royal York knows how to put on a spread. The food was delicious, nothing like I would eat for lunch at home, but the conversation was even better.
I sat at a table with some amazing ladies and a couple happen to live in the same town as I do. How crazy is that! Thelma of Urbanmomdesign, Lily of Elleceedesign, Dima of DesignsbyDima, Bethany of Thislittleestate and myself had so much fun in the Esty Photo Booth taking pictures to document the Blog Podium Best Table of 2014.
After lunch we had the privilege to listen to a panel of Entrepreneurial Experts. Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators and also the master mind behind the Blog Podium conference along with the beautiful and talented Monika Hibbs of MH and the HGTV savy real estate investor Scott McGillivray where the experts and Leigh-Ann Perrault was the witty and fabulous moderator. They all had such a wealth of experience and advice for us to hear. The one thing that I heard from each of them and is something that I am trying to learn is that it takes time to grow your blog, it won’t happen over night – just be yourself be true to who you are and thats all that matters. One thing I vowed when I started this blog was that I would only be myself and just have fun with it and I plan on doing just that. It is hard when you start blogging to be vulnerable to peoples criticism and not to compare yourself with others, especially other bloggers who have been doing it a lot longer than you. I think that can be true in life not just for bloggers. No one can be a better you than you – so be the best you you can be!
The afternoon had another session in it where the lovely Brittany Douglas was teaching us how to vlog and although you won’t catch me making any videos any time soon, she was so sweet and did a great job of teaching us how to make a youtube video and shared tips on how to make it look and sound great. After that session there was some time to network with the amazing sponsors that where at the event. Urban Barns, Chapters, Linen Chest, Urban Outfitters, Shoppers Drugmart, Dyson, Ryobi just to name a few.
I still can’t believe I won a tool set from Ryobi tools! But no one left empty handed. We all left with sweet swag bags as well as a lot of great information to help take our blogs to the next level and to help us grow as bloggers to challenge ourselves where needed. But most importantly (in my opinion) I think we all left with great memories and new friends.
A huge thank you to Jennifer Flores and the whole Blog Podium team as well as Para Paint and all the other sponsors for making my first Blog Podium a great experience. I am looking forward to next year already! So I hope I didn’t bore you with my recap of the day but I wanted you to get a true sense of just how awesome the day was. Check out my Instagram @katespinks and Twitter @spinksgirl for more great photos and memories of the day or other pictures of my life.