Collaboration. Honesty. Respect. These are just some of the words that I repeatedly wrote in my notebook at this past weekend’s BlogPodium in Toronto. Bloggers, PR agents, and brands artfully invaded the Hyatt hotel on King Street on Saturday to learn and share strategies about the world of blogging.
photo by Jordana
This year’s BlogPodium, just as in previous years, completely impressed me. Organized by co-founder Jennifer Flores (Rambling Renovators) and her BlogPodium 2013 crew, the event showcased the important work of bloggers, the brands that recognize their influential abilities, and the ways in which bloggers have come together over the last several years to form one of the most engaged, vibrant, and energetic communities around.
decorations by Minted, styling by We Create Hoopla; photo by Jordana
This BlogPodium was an extra special one for me as I gave my first blog-focused conference presentation. Several months ago, I submitted a proposal to Jennifer after a BlogPodium Call for Presenters was released. A little while after I sent in my submission, Jennifer put me in touch with Giulia Doyle (Audrey’s) and suggested that we partner. Our topic? Balancing a day job and a successful blog. While Giulia and I had never met, I was excited to work with her and give back to the blogging community through this presentation.
Over the period of a few months, Giulia and I worked together (via Skype, telephone, Dropbox, and email) to write two posts for the BlogPodium blog (one and two) and to prepare a cohesive presentation for BlogPodium attendees. I am so grateful to Jennifer for brining Giulia and me together. Not only did I learn about Giulia’s approach to blogging, but I appreciated her professionalism, her commitment, and her creativity. Giulia – thank you. (It surprised many attendees to find out that Giulia and I only met about 2 hours before our presentation. Kind of cool, right?). For those who are interested in our full presentation, the slides should be available soon via the BlogPodium site.
me and Giulia; photo by Anna With Love
Presenting at BlogPodium was hugely satisfying for me and it allowed me to connect with bloggers – new and experienced – on a whole new level. We were able to take our conversations offline and speak in sentences that were longer than 140 characters. While I love the online world, face-to-face interaction is hard to beat.
photo by Giulia Doyle
Another highlight for me was Sarah Richardson‘s keynote speech. She was funny, intelligent, and engaging. She was approachable, spoke clearly and with ease, and really shared how hard work, determination, and talent, got her to where she is today. Having respect for colleagues, being nice, and working collaboratively, were just some of the points that she shared during her presentation. Creating successful relationships has been a really important contributing factor to her success.
Sarah Richardson & Jennifer Flores; photo by Anna With Love
Lunch was good…but dessert was amazing! Way to go Hyatt!
bloggers love chocolate, right?
Lunch was extremely enjoyable for me as I had the pleasure of sitting with such a talented and diverse group of bloggers. Thanks to Christine (Just Bella), Brittany (Gallery No. Eight), Megan (Hodge Podge), Gabrielle (Bee and Daddoo), and Sara (Saige Wisdom) for sharing your stories.
After lunch we heard from a panel of influential blog & magazine insiders: Margot Austin, Jacqueline Clark, Emma Reddington, and Rhonda Richie. This panel was moderated by the uber-talented Leigh-Ann Allaire. Oh man – she alwaysÂ always asks the questions that I am itching to ask. She know what to say and when to say it – she’s a talented moderator and I look forward to seeing more of her soon. This group of presenters shared their experiences with publishing – online and offline.
I am also pleased to recognize the generosity of the sponsors and exhibitors. They spoiled us with artistic, useful, and pretty supplies (everything from paint to caulking to candy to fabric)!
Sarah Richardson + Kravet
dishes at Urban Barn
Poppin in white at Chapters-Indigo
BlogPodium 2013 will always be something that I look back on with incredibly happy memories. Thanks again to the attendees, presenters, and sponsors for making this day so fun!
*Note: The original post vanished after it was published due to a server error. This piece was written from an earlier draft.