Last week I went to the BlogHer conference in San Jose. It was a good conference and I am glad I went. That said, it was what it was. I will write about the fun and sessions later but while it is on my mind, I have to do a little conference analysis.
I enjoyed going but I have to be real about what it is. It is fun. I go to a few sessions and keynotes. I end up walking away with a couple of tidbits and feeling emotionally more secure in what I do. I hang out with some great people and make a couple of business connections. That’s it.
Yup, that is about it. This year I think it was worth it because I drove. I loved the fact that it BlogHer was smaller this year so I could fully participate in all the conference and not be as rushed as previous years I have attended. And I love seeing my friends! There is nothing that really beats that. But a good portion of my friends who I go to BlogHer to see didn’t come this year. And that did make me sad.
But is it worth it? Well, when it is in California I think it is. Maybe. But this isn’t the only place I see my friends and it really isn’t the place I learn. And while I may go to BlogHer it isn’t my conference priority. If I have limited time and money (which is my plight right now) I need to focus on the most effective learning and connections conferences. BlogHerit isn’t a real active learning environment for me and in order to get the most out of my conference dollars I need it to be.
I know, you are wondering what are the conferences I love and learn at.
The first one I am going to is Blogging Concentrated. They will be in San Francisco on August 9th and LA on Sepptember 7th. I am attending the one in LA!
Why? To start with Dan Morris is the bomb! (Full disclosure, we are friends;) I have sat in on some of his sessions at conferences like Type A and Savvyblogging. He knows his stuff and how to teach it! He partners with Rachel Martin to teach a small group for 1 intensive day! Seriously, they limit it to around 35.
I love that this isn’t aimed at the beginning blogger. It is aimed at that person who knows some of the basics and wants to kick it up to the next level. You can also ask just about any question and get an actionable answer.
The second one I am going to is TypeA Parent in September.
It is less than 500 people and frankly, I like that size better. It is also a learning conference. You take your laptop in because you will be given tools you can use then! This conferences is really about equipping so we end up not just learning in the sessions but also in the conversations with people you both do and do not know. I recommend bloggers of all levels attend Type A for all of that learning.
And my peeps are here! I admit that I find the Type A to be a bit more of my tribe. What tribe? Geeks and nerds but not just them, also people who are serious about blogging and learning how to do it better. We all have very productive times of learning and a ton of fun at all the parties too! And getting to know other bloggers is important! I have to be real and say, I have gotten more paid work out of knowing other bloggers than out of pure company contacts. I love Type A so much, I am literally spending my birthday there this year;).
These conferences are where I am going next. I am not saying that I am never going to BlogHer again. It has a value but I (and I think everyone else) needs to be really conscious of what each event brings to them. And is it the conference that gives you the most of what you need?
So what are you attending next? What did you think of BlogHer?