Is Attending a Blog Conference Worth It?
I often read about how at-home bloggers, and other work-at-home-preneurs, are prone to feeling disconnected from society. Personally, that has not been my experience. While I might not be meeting my newly found ‘blogging buddies’ for drinks anytime soon, I feel that since I started blogging, I have made more connections than I would have otherwise.
Aditya Mahesh recently blogged about How To Overcome The Disconnection of Working Alone.
And it is going to be the tipping point for me when it comes to blog conferences. I have never attended a blog expo. In fact, I’ve railed against them, chalking it all up as a business card strokefest; a way to bilk your employer out of money and time. Guest speakers talk about things you can read online. Companies pitch their products…and you have to pay to listen?!
But I could be wrong. And I won’t know for sure until I attend one myself. That’s right. THIS guy is looking to schmooze and mingle with like-minded professionals, and there’s probably no better place than at a conference.
I’d love to hear from you! What blog expos have you attended? Was it worth the time and money? And most importantly, what was the biggest lesson you walked away with? I’m searching for one in the New York area during 2010, so if you know of a good one, speak up!
In the meantime, I’ll read up on how to maximize my time at a blogging expo.
Andrew G.R. is the owner of Jobacle, a career advice and employment news blog and podcast designed to make work better. Follow him on Twitter.
I’m not so sure about attending a “Blog Conference” either. I say we just set-up shop at the pool and have at it with the R&R, BBQ and sunshine.
We can read all about the conference come Monday morning when most of my blogging community has to show for work.
I agree with this! I could make a lot of like-minded friends!
I’ve never gone to a blogging conference but I have been to several marketing conferences, which I would assume would be very similar. I agree that most (not all, though) of what the speakers say can be read online, but networking is where you really learn. If you can catch some of your favorite speakers at the after-parties you can get the information you really want to know.
We like ’em. But it has to have a point, and unearth new possibilities in a given field. That’s why we created Blogs With Balls – for, by, and of the sportsblogosphere (most recent one was part of the Blog World Expo in Vegas: http://blogswithballs.com/2/).
Info for the 3rd in June (In Chicago) is at blogswithballs.com. Or just watch the videos of the poker tourney with Annie Duke, the ESPNZone, and a sampling of who was there.
Then make your plans to come.
These guys claim that their Science Blogging Conference was a “fantastic success.” Not sure how they measured that (especially for scientists!). There is a difference between getting sponsor dollars and what attendees bring back from attending.
I attended the first BlogWorld and haven’t had a chance to go back since, though it was more useful for the friendships outside of the sessions than anything else.
I’ve also attended a couple of WordCamps as well as organized the first two of those events in Birmingham, AL. While there are a lot of folks trying to hand out their business cards at these events, I think folks really enjoyed the in person interaction that they can’t get by just talking online. Some of the folks are there for work while others are folks still enjoying it as a hobby wanting to know how to improve. They’ve also taught me the biggest lesson of all from attending – it’s supposed to be something you enjoy doing (even if it is to bring home a paycheck).
I’ve been looking for one in New York as well as an excuse to get home for a visit and haven’t seen one as of yet. There are a few that are more unconference-like that happen in Philly and DC. I’d keep an eye out for those…
I plan to go to one conference this year. I think it’ll be one that’s co-ed instead of the ones that are geared towards women. I’ve heard too many negative stories about the big name women conferences.
I think that it is essential to go to a blog conference. The WordCamps put on by WordPress are a great resource and help you to find great people and great ideas. It’s just like leaning IT Training in Indianapolis, if I want to learn anything beyond the classroom in Indy, I have to build on by going to related conferences and websites or I’m really limited. Blog conferences open up those opportunities and more.