I’ve been home from Blissdom for about two weeks and it’s taken me that long to recover and to gather my thoughts. I’ve tried to concisely boil my thoughts into the top seven reasons that Blissdom is the best conference ever.
1) The PEOPLE! I didn’t realize that so many of my bloggy peeps that I’ve met at other conferences were going to be at Blissdom so it was a sweet surprise to get to see so many friends. I made a ton of new friends as well and everyone was easy to talk to and super friendly.
2) The SIZE! The size of the conference is perfect– not too big, not too small. It’s a small enough scale that I felt like I got a chance to really connect with other bloggers AND the brands without being overwhelmed.
3) The BRANDS! I was super excited to see my girl Brittany from TechnoGel (makers of my amazing unicorn pillow). Rachel from Soybu, won my love forever when she gave me the softest infinity scarf ever touched by human hands. And I fell so in love with Bre and Alexis from Obagi that it’s gonna require a separate blog post to tell you all about it.
4) The CONTENT! Blissdom is savvy and soulful. I go to a lot of conferences, writers’ conferences tend to focus on the creative side of things while blogging conferences tend to focus on tech skills. I found that Blissdom had just the right amount of both. I especially loved Megan Jordan’s talk on the power of uninterrupted focus (good lord I need to CLOSE SOME TABS when I’m writing!) And Shelly Kramer’s talk about SEO– I actually learned things that I am using right now. Right this very second, in front of your very eyes!! Aren’t you amazed?!
5) The Speakers! There is NOTHING I detest more than being at a conference and running into a “big name” speaker and getting blown off. Or talking to someone and notice them looking over my shoulder for someone more interesting. You can TELL when people are uninterested. Every. Single. Speaker that I had the opportunity to meet was engaged and interested. Including…
6) ANA GASTEYER!!!!
I was having drinks in the lobby with a group of bloggers when my Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop bestie , Kim-Marie Evans of Luxury Travel Mom, came running up to me and said she’d just had her picture taken with Ana Gasteyer– whom I have loved wholeheartedly since she was on SNL back in the day and CONTINUE to love on Suburgatory (watch it!!) After I freaked the freak out, Kim-Marie pulled me across the lobby and introduced me to Ana. I gave her a copy of “Ketchup” and we stood around chatting about internet shopping. Then I realized one of the women talking with us was Patty Breen, one of the producers of the show, and freaked out again. I may have cussed.
Ana, Patty and Jeremy Sisto did a Q&A that night about Suburgatory and the creative process. After the official interview was over, mics were passed through the audience for questions. EVERYBODY was whispering about “Schweddy Balls” but nobody was asking questions so I stood up, grabbed a mic and asked Ana to please for the love of God, to say “Schweddy Balls.”
Which apparently threw her a little bit because she said this was her worst nightmare. WHICH I get because when I tell people I’m a humor columnist I get, “Really?? Tell me a joke,” all the time like I sit around writing knock-knock jokes. (“You’re a clown fish! Tell us something funny!”) It’s annoying. So afterwards I slid into the end of the picture line and apologized for putting her on the spot.
I’m pretty sure she loves me back.
7) Jon Acuff was the closing keynote and he was amazing. I didn’t realize he was going to be so funny. And y’all know how I feel about funny. In addition, he gave us all copies of his latest book Start: Punch Fear in the Face. Escape Average. Do Work That Matters,which hasn’t even come out yet!
I have 9 extra copies that I’ll give to the first 9 people who email me with a mailing address! They are all spoken for! Gotta be quick!
I do need a little help though, Jon is having a contest to see which Blissdom attendee can send the most traffic to his site in the next month. The winner gets to go to dinner with Jon and Dave Ramsey in Nashville in September!!
I really wanted to win until I realized that I’m going to be in Nashville the following week with my kids and there is no way I can drive there twice. SOOOOOO I really want my Blissdom roomie to win! Mandy Rose of House of Rose— she is a HUGE fan of Jon Acuff and her husband is a financial blogger and this could be a huge connection for them. SOOOO click on this link to check out Jon Acuff’s book and help get Mandy to Nashville! (Also check out her blog because I am newly obsessed with it.)
If you are looking for a blogging conference I HIGHLY recommend Blissdom!