This is my first year at BlogWorld Expo and the first time in a long time that I’ve been to a big conference, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to what the attendees would be like and if I would actually connect with anyone in this sea of faces. Would I be the old lady in the bunch with all these kids looking at me like I was their mother crashing the party? Would I be the lowly sporadic part time blogger who would be laughed out of the room when these other blog superstars showed up? Would everyone else be hip and cool and I’d be that nerdy woman that was just out of touch? Those thoughts crossed my mind.
Now, I generally think of myself as a friendly person and can be outgoing when I need to be. However, when thrown into the “sea” with no perceived expertise, authority or recognition factor, I find it very easy to shrink into the corner and just observe. So…how has it been going so far? Very well, I think! Upon arriving I realized quickly that there’s quite a diversity of demographics here at the conference. Older and younger, men and women, full time and part time bloggers, business attire and casual (thankfully its mostly casual).
I’m pretty proud of myself. Yesterday I even went to the “Networking” Luncheon (mainly because the cost was included in my registration and I had to eat lunch anyway). I didn’t have any intention of “networking” to gain any advantage for myself, but I did meet quite a wide range of very interesting people and I’m glad to have spent the time with them. And today I jumped into a conversation with a couple of really nice guys while waiting in line for lunch at the hotel and we ended up sitting together to eat (because it’s never fun to sit alone when you can be learning about others and their world). So here’s a list of just a few of those interesting folks and links to their respective blogs or websites.
Steve Cobb at Activ8Social – Steve is a nice young man from the DC area. Here’s what I found on their website. “Activ8Social specializes in digital branding, social media network development and strategy, sponsorship activation, web property management, and digital word-of-mouth promotion for clients in the sports and entertainment industries.” That sounded interesting, but when he mentioned that his company represented Tim Lincecum my ears really perked up. Now I’m not a huge baseball fan, but even I know who Tim Lincecum is! It was great talking with Steve about various celebrities and how well they’re doing in connecting to their communities.
Susan Spencer at BriefCaseEssentials.com – Susan is quite a bit older than I am and has a wealth of experience leading and owning businesses. In fact she was once the acting General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles football team! She owned several meat processing businesses throughout her career as well. She has been a leader in male dominated business arenas and has written about her experiences to help other women in the same situation.
Scott Lum at Digital Marketing Muse.com – Scott is from the Seattle area and has two little kiddos. He works for a major technology company and does a little blogging on the side. It was great to chat with him about his take-aways from the conference since he’s coming from a much different business perspective than I am.
Tom Terenyi at Digital Natives Consulting AND WeAreKenya.org – Tom is the owner and principal consultant in his business, plus he has just recently started a non-profit org to help children in Kenya with food, clothing, shelter and education.
Kristi Trimmer at OrangeDragonflyBlog.com – As you can see from her site, Kristi is a talented lady! In one of our workshops she mentioned that she was from Phoenix and even though her site isn’t strictly about desert gardening, she gets lots of questions about it. She’s wondering if she should focus on that more and/or maybe create another site/blog specifically on that topic. I encouraged her to do that because we need all the help we can get in our hot dry climate.
So this is just a smattering of the people that I’ve met the last 2 days and that doesn’t even include the key note and workshop speakers that have been excellent. I hope it gives you a little bit of an idea of the various backgrounds that are represented at the conference. I’d love to see some statistics on the demographics here. It’s really quite interesting!
I’m so glad I came!