Friday, October 19, 2012

ProBlogger Training Event 2012: The conference, the people, the outfits

Finally I am back in front of my laptop and a Blogger new post page. The last week has been a whirlwind of activity: packing, travelling, conferencing, meeting, eating and more. In so many ways travelling to Melbourne for The ProBlogger Training Event was one of the best things I've done in a long time.

Flying to Melbourne and attending a conference on my own got me out of my comfort zone and made me smash down boundaries that I'd had surrounding me for most of my life. Meeting new people has always been something I've had difficulty with, and in fact, I used to actively avoid it. You know what I mean: walking up to a stranger and saying hi. Small talk. Relating to people face to face at a party without half a dozen alcoholic beverages on board. It is hard! But I did it.

Here's what happened.

The conference

Some great presenters at #PBEVENT and @problogger Darren Rowse in a school dress
Afternoon tea delights that I resisted for Droptober!

Bloggers of all types descended on Etihad Stadium for two days of networking, inspiration and learning. We all came for different reasons with different goals. Most of us bloggers lucky to have attended will write a post conference blog post. Rather than me going over the details again, here are some of my favourite posts from sites I didn't know about until now: The Best 9 Things I Learnt at ProBlogger Event

This is an excellent, easy to read rundown of some of the important lessons from both days at the conference. It is particularly useful to me because the author, Adam Franklin, went to some of the talks that I missed. I particularly like the point he learnt from Chris Guillebeau that blogging is 50% connecting/50% creating or curating content. Makes me feel less guilty about 'wasting' time on Facebook and Twitter. 5 things I learnt from the ProBlogger Training Event

Clear and concise with an emphasis on the ProBlogger Event theme that from little things big things come: even if you're starting off small or you are an introvert, by just focusing on building your brand, being true to yourself and giving it just 15 minutes a day you too can make something big. 20 small #PBEVENT actions that will make some big goals happen

This is another great piece with a different take on the information provided. Belinda has taken away the core message to take action with this awesome list.

The people

From top left clockwise: bricks+clicks, A Cajun Down Under,
The Crafty, Diet Schmiet 

When I arrived at the Alto Hotel I immediately recognised my first uber blogger as she was checking in. Kerri Sackville looked exactly like she does on her press photos: very attractive and immaculately put together. Just like when I met some other big name bloggers at Blogopolis earlier in the year, I was a little star struck. I think I even stuttered a bit when I introduced myself in the lift when we were making our way up to our rooms. But at least I had the guts to do that!

My chief goal for the two days was to meet people and meet people I did! Some of the cool bloggers I met included:

Deb at Diet Schmiet - Deb and I have been online friends for a while so I was really pleased to finally meet her in the flesh. She was the life of the party and quite the little matchmaker, bringing together bloggers who wanted to meet one another.

Tonya at Crafty Mummy - Lovely person. Really approachable and friendly.

Travis and David at Tackle Nappy - These two are daddy bloggers! Very friendly blokes indeed. We had some interesting convos at both the conference at at the networking dinner.

Christy at A Cajun Down Under - I was really glad to meet Christy. I generally love Americans and Christy is no exception. We escorted each other back to the hotel after our big night out at the Friday night networking cocktail party. I'm really glad to have found her blog too. There's some great recipes in there!

Dorothy at Singular Insanity - Dorothy is a fellow sole parent, raising not one but two boys on her own and I take my hat off to her. She is fiesty and passionate, despite all that she has been through. I really loved meeting her at the Friday night cocktail party.

Michaela at Five Frogs on a Blog - Hilarious woman. Just read her #PBEVENT wrap up at Badly behaving cutlery, shark penises and broken moustages. Or check out this picture (enough said, no?):

Funniest blogger at #PBEVENT

The outfits

I did my best to put a bit of effort into my outfits for my trip to Melbourne. Aussies all know Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia. I didn't think my usual uniform of black leggings, t-shirt dress and Converse would cut it somehow.

Day one at the conference I wore this ultra comfy black Virtu dress, paired with orange beads (also Virtu) and some super cool (in my mind anyway) Pamela Mann designer tights

For the networking party I went for this Marco Polo black and white striped dress I bought last year but have only worn twice before. The rose necklace I bought at a really cool shop along King Street Newtown in Sydney. Wish I could remember the name of it so I could link in here. 

The boots I wore are from Camper and are the most expensive shoes I've ever owned! I felt great all weekend and was particularly pleased with my Virtu purchases. And there's nothing like a bit of shapewear underneath to keep all the lumpy bits in position.

I took so many clothes, shoes and handbags with me but only wore a fraction of them. Totally ridiculous but it is always good to have options!

What did I learn?

So, what did I learn at the conference? As far as blogging and how to monetise the, I didn't actually take in a lot if I'm honest. I have to go over other bloggers posts as well as relisten to the audio (which you can too with a Virtual Ticket) to absorb the more practical lessons from the two days I spent at Etihad Stadium.

I did however learn that I am not as shy as I think I am. That I can talk to relative strangers and not fall apart with embarrassment. That despite my ongoing issues with anxiety I can test my limits and build my confidence by doing so.

I learnt that as much as I love my son, every parent needs a break every now and then, for their own sanity as well as to be the best parent they can be.

I learnt that while meeting new people is hard, I am very good at holding on to long lasting friendships that I know will last a lifetime no matter the distance. Catching up with some old mates while in Melbourne made me feel so happy and extremely lucky and grateful that these people, even after five or even 10 years apart, are still a part of my life.

Did you go to #PBEVENT? What were your highlights?



Debbish said...

Hey, thanks for the mention! I had a great time as well and it was lovely to meet you in person.

Thanks also for the links to the summaries and your own! Like you, I'm gonna have to go over the sessions and my own notes for stuff to really sink in. But the networking is such a huge component as well.

Mumabulous said...

I too am a fan of Five Frogs on a Blog - its highly under rated in my opinion. You look smoking hot in your conference outfits.

Michaela C said...

awww how lovely to get a mention! I'm happy my facial hair issues gave you a giggle ;-)

I think I was probably floating on a cloud of champagne by that point...

Lovely to meet you! xxxxxx

Michaela C said...

Oh shucks you ladies are giving this frog a big head! xxxx

ACajunDownUnder said...

Thanks for the mention, Vanessa. That picture cracks me up!

It was really lovely to meet you! xx

The Babbling Bandit said...

No worries!

The Babbling Bandit said...

You're welcome! Yes, facial hair always gives me giggles... especially on a woman!

The Babbling Bandit said...

No worries re the mention, Deb. Yes, it was so much to take in. Strangely though I must have absorbed more than I thought because I've been talking about it over the last week with friends and family and I seem to know what I'm going on about!

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Mumabulous!

Yolanda said...

Great post V.

Melissa Mitchell said...

That "night" outfit - HOT. Where can I find it? A hello from your newest liker. Turns out we follow a lot of the same blogs, so I thought it was time I popped in. :)

Dorothy @ Singular Insanity said...

It was so lovely to finally meet you in person and talk and talk and talk. That's what I love most about these conferences.

Kylie Purtell said...

So glad to hear you had a good time! Your outfits totally rocked too. Despite the fact that I am generally known as a loud, outgoing person, I secretly fear meeting new people and having to introduce myself to strangers and make small talk before it actually happens. Once I'm ding it I am fine, but the thought of it beforehand has sometimes been enough to make me not go to something so I am inspired by your confidence.

Lisa John said...

That’s a terric list that can be useful to so many in a variety of way. I do hope you update it periodically because I have every intention of using it. Thanks.

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