I have been thinking about attending some of the upcoming blogger conferences to extend my reach.   As I was very tempted to book my ticket to Blogher, I quickly realized that my struts and brakes need changing, my house needs painting, and my kids….well they need it ALL.  With that said, I simply can’t swing the conference fee and the hotel in NYC.  Last year, the twitter stream was wild with updates from San Diego.  I have to admit I was envious because the content shared was exactly what I needed at the time.

However, I always try to make lemonade out of oranges in my life.  I know where my funds need to go and if I can find an alternative solution to my hurdle, I forge ahead.

This week I got to thinking about the cost/benefit of conferences.

  1. Last Year, I attended one conference where I met a lot of wonderful ladies. However, over the year, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people for free too by putting myself out there.
  2. I met the reps from various large companies at the conference.  However, over the year, I have met many more brands through continuous networking.
  3. I learned a little from the speakers who shared their stories, but I’ve learned even more by being part of Facebook groups and face to face meetings.
  4. I have almost fifteen years of Sales, Marketing and Event Planning under my belt how different can blogging be?

Well I have to say, blogging is difficult.  Finding brands to work with you takes personality, great content, and the ability to take risks when sharing innovative ideas.  It’s about differentiation as there are so many bloggers out there today.  It’s about public relations and marketing on behalf of an organization.

I don’t do many reviews, but kudos to those that do as it takes a lot of hard work and effort on a daily basis.  I’m sure that if you asked most of these bloggers if they learned what they know from conferences, you would probably receive mixed reviews.

Furthermore, my trust subsides if the organization hosting the event is not representing the sponsors well.   At a conference that I attended, I was awarded something from one of the sponsors. Without getting into detail, the event host was very very lucky that I did not share the story of my winning fiasco and the pictures of the deliverable with the sponsor.  Suffice to say, it left a bad taste in my mouth. So much so that I simply can’t hand over a couple hundred bucks and two nights in a hotel to an organization who doesn’t appreciate the graciousness of their sponsors!

After meeting great people out of conference and knowing that my trust level is growing with brands on my own, I think I’m going to hang my hat in regards to conferences for this year. I will never turn my back on networking events, training seminars geared towards the education that I require to flourish, or the opportunities to hook up with a few bloggers for coffee.

With that said though……..my dream is to attend Blogher one day when I can afford it.

Enough about me though, what are your thoughts about conferences?  Will you be attending the array of conferences in your neck of the woods?  Why do you go?

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