I went to the most amazing conference last weekend. It was called Brands & Bloggers Summit. Now, you know that I've been to many conferences and events. Instead of rehashing the events of this weekend (because there are a ton of posts already out with what we learned. You can also see a lot of what happened on Twitter using the hashtag #bbsummit11.) However, if you are wondering if you should come next year, I've got the list:
1. The people. Yes, it was mostly women, so we also know how to take care of one another. One blogger tweeted that they wanted a Diet Coke. If you can believe it, another blogger brought her one. 🙂 Another blogger needed some aspirin and some was given to her. Now, I can honestly say I've never been at a conference where I've seen such big hearts. Oh yes, we also all took turns holding the babies (who have to say were seen and not heard. And they were cute.)
2 (aff). Affordable. Since it was one day, a lot of people drove in Saturday. Some women even drove home (aff) Saturday night. It is much more affordable to get a room for one night. (For me, it was a 30 minute drive, so I went home (aff) late Saturday night). The conference itself was $100 (I think. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on that). That include breakfast, lunch, and two snacks. I could have easily spent $100 on food in downtown Chicago myself on a Saturday. 🙂 It also helps that we have 2 (aff) airports for those flying in.
3 (aff). Wifi and power cords. I can't tell you how many conferences I've been to where the Wifi doesn't work or there are 3 (aff) outlets in the entire room and hundreds of bloggers. MJ (the awesome lady who put this on) is a blogger herself, so she knew we'd need this stuff!
4. Breaks for networking. I've never been to a conference where there was actual time scheduled into the day, so we could all network. That's what this is all about — making connections and learning new things. In our networking time, I found out that one of the women at my table (who I'd never met before), actually lives 5 minutes from my house. Now, how crazy is that? If that network time wasn't there, I may have missed ever talking to her. I also found that that another wonderful woman at our table had read my interview in the newspaper (it was a couple of years ago), and she's read my site ever since. I can't tell you how warm and fuzzy that makes me feel.
5. Organization. We all had QR codes on our badges. Also, the back of the badge was our agenda for the day. (Again, I've never seen that done before). At all times, you knew what was next and how long it would take. Everything pretty much ran on time.
6. It was great for brands also. Our information was put in for a grand prize. All we had to do was visit each booth and get a sticker. I thought this was brilliant, so that we visited each booth (which I would have done regardless, but not everybody did). The brands there also were a great fit with the moms there. I found products that I would have never even seen before.
7. Miss Lori. Not only did we get to hear her perform for us, she also gave an awesome speech (which I'll be blogging about this week).
8. No egos. The speakers hung with us during the conference and even after. I've been to many of a conference where the speakers weren't good enough to hang with the rest of us lowly bloggers nor would they talk to us either. (I do have to add that the conferences I've been at with John Chow and Chris Brogan that they have never acted like that even with their A list status.)
9. The after party rocked. We got to go to the John Hancock Observatory. I've never been there, so it was pretty awesome. It was also great to network with the other bloggers I didn't get a chance to during the conference itself.
10. This was the best conference I've ever attended hands down. I've been to BlogHer, and it was even better than that. Many times, the complaint I have with conferences is that I'm not a beginning blogger. I've been doing this longer than some of the speakers at other conferences. I'll be honest — nothing is more annoying that knowing more than speaker (and I'm not trying to be rude about that. You know what you know. However, I don't like paying hundreds of dollars to learn what I already know.) I learned something from each of the speakers at the Brands & Bloggers Summit!
I highly, highly, highly recommend heading out to the Brands & Bloggers Summit next year. It is definitely worth and hope to see you there!
Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary ticket to this years event. However, all opinions are mine.