After 3 days intense days of learning, interacting, and being downright terrified, it’s no wonder that I needed to sleep yesterday. I had all of these lofty plans for Sunday, and instead I spent most of the day in bed. Oh well, even bloggers need their beauty sleep.
Have you heard of the BlissDom conferences before? They’ve been happening in Canada and the United States for a few years now. Bloggers of all genres gather to network and learn about social media, publishing and other blogging-related subjects.
(Two of the organizers of the BlissDom Canada Conference)
This was my first conference ever, and I was really nervous about going because I thought I would be intimidated by all the “professional” bloggers who were attending. On the first day I rushed to the “Newcomer Meet and Greet” after work, and felt completely stressed out. I had planned to meet up with Lisa from Je Suis Alimentageuse , but I couldn’t figure out where she was in the hotel. Luckily, I ran into two awesome bloggers from Ottawa who chatted with me and helped me feel more comfortable (thanks @LSSocialEngage & @jptoyrental). Lisa eventually found me, and having her as my buddy for the rest of the conference was really helpful. It’s hard to feel shy when you have a friend with you!
As the evening wore on (and I got some food and wine into my system), it didn’t feel quite as scary.
The next two days were jam-packed with presentations, workshops, micro-sessions, and networking opportunities, and it was a lot to taken in.
We did get to do some cool activities though. This is me listening to an explanation of how to properly apply toppings to a donut. Apparently, it’s best to turn it upside down and press the ingredients on to the chocolate coating.
Photo by Lisa Lee
I chose a combination of crushed Oreos, coconut flakes, toffee bits and mini m&m’s. I called it “The Four-Year-Old” because only a four-year-old child would eat this. It would have been better with just the coconut flakes and Oreo bits, but I ate the whole thing and enjoyed the sugar-high while it lasted.
I was so flustered, I managed to pour coffee over my tea bag instead of hot water. Then, hoping that no one noticed, I just threw hot water on top and proceeded to drink the piña colada-coffee flavoured grossness that I had just made. I’m fairly certain that the Tetley rep thought I was total weirdo.
I also had the bright idea (sarcasm) to not book off work on Friday, so I had to leave the conference in a hurry in order to get to work on time. By the time I finished up at work, I was extremely tired and I still had to go back to the hotel because I promised to meet up with new friends at the party that evening. I’m glad that I didn’t decide to stay home though, because Jully Black was performing and she was awesome.
Saturday was busier than Friday, with back to back sessions that required me to run down hallways, but I was in a better frame of mind so it was much more pleasant. We also had a really yummy, substantial, lunch which was sponsored/provided by Canadian Lentils. There was a creamy lentil soup, baked salmon, curried lentils, salad, and a fantastically moist pumpkin loaf with cinnamon butter for dessert. I wish I could translate flavours by blog post for you… but for now a picture will have to do.
My biggest disappointment out of the entire event was the creative workshop that I signed up for. When I walked in and saw all the candy, toys, and crayons on the table I thought “ok, this looks promising”, but the majority of the workshop focused on word association. I’ve done many sessions like this in my childcare training, so it wasn’t as useful or ground-breaking as I had hoped.
There were several brand representatives that took the time to chat with me, and hopefully I’ll be able to share some cool things with you later on. In particular, I’m hoping to be able to do some promotional work with Unicef Canada because their cause is important to me.
Overall, the convention was worth the expense, and I did enjoy myself despite being exhausted by the end of it. (That’s me in the piggy sweater, clearly laughing to myself.)
I met some really great people, and learned a lot from the micro-sessions that I attended. But the best part of the conference for me was the motivational speakers. Several people spoke about being authentic, knowing your voice and having faith in your work. These are all things that I need to focus on as I build a career in blogging and writing.
Erica Ehm, the first female MuchMusic VJ, also gave a down-to-earth presentation on why you just need to ask to get what you want.
When I approached her afterwards, I tried to argue that asking is hard. She stared at me and said flatly “it’s not hard.” I was taken aback by her bluntness, but then realized that she had a point. It’s only hard if you let yourself believe it’s hard. We chatted a bit more about having respect for yourself, and she made me realize that I really need to work on my self-confidence. A few years ago I would have thought that she was kind of mean, but now I’m happy that she gave me the kick-in-the-butt I’ve been needing to push forward in my career. Thanks Erica
Honestly, I could write an entire blog post on the awesome presenters from the convention, but instead I’ll share a few quotes that really stood out to me.
When it comes to stepping outside of your comfort zone: “‘If it scares the s*** out of you, than you should probably do it!” - SharonDV
Talking about staying true to yourself: “Tell your own story. It’s hard to break the habit of telling someone else’s story or using someone else’s voice.” – Joe Boughner
And my favourite, from the closing speech, in regards to letting people upset you: “Don’t let people live rent-free in your most valuable property: your mind.” – Drew Dudley
Photo by BlissDom Canada
I don’t know conferences are usually this inspirational, but I’m really glad that I chose to attend this one!
On Tuesday I start my second conference, the Online BlogCon, more on that later.
This is not a sponsored post.
Photos with the BlissDom Canada watermark were taken by www.AnnaEppPhotography.com