So, I'll start with the beginning.
I attended Blissdom for the first time last year (you can read my recap here) and absolutely loved it. It was so inspiring and I couldn't wait to go back.
This year was the same--it was an absolute blast and informative/inspiring all at the same time.
In order to keep this post under 60,000 words, I'll use the number technique to highlight my favorite aspects of the conference.
1. Friendships (new and old). Carrie, Beth Anne and I all traveled together last year, and this year we did the same thing. Last year we flew southwest, and it was an absolute breeze, however this year we were doomed to fly United, and while we got everywhere on time, there was much stress added to the travelling. Southwest > United.
2. Roommates (new and old). Carrie was my roomie last year. In fact, we had only known each other a very short time before we shared a bed and that quickly brought our friendship to a new level. This year we did the same, and had the pleasure of also rooming with Rebecca and Melissa. It was a great mix. I think it's safe to say we all enjoyed each other! There were many, many laughs.
3. Sessions. I'd say last year my intentions for Blissdom were to glean as much information as I could out of the sessions. This year, however, my focus was more on connecting with other bloggers than the sessions. I attended a personal branding session with John Morgan, a session with some YouTuber's, a writing session with Megan Jordan, and a writing session with Jeff Goins (who is also speaking at Influence Conference later with year, along with yours truly). I skipped out on one session in order to stay longer at a lunch with friends.
Fantastic keynotes were given by Scott Stratten and Jon Acuff, both funny and powerful speakers.
4. Social. I can't even begin to list all the wonderful people I met. Everyone was smiling and absolutely delightful to chat with. I was telling my husband last night that I wish there was a "speed dating" session where you can sit face to face with as many people as possible and have an opportunity to chat with them for more than a few minutes.
I had fun at lunch and dinner with great groups of girls that I wish I could see more than once a year. The closest I can relate a blog conference to, as far as the social fulfillment is concerned, is summer camp. You spend every waking moment with these people who you quickly come to love, and then abruptly leave when it's over. You return home to quiet, which is needed is some aspect, but miss the friendships that only had a short time to develop. But, I will say, traditional friendship is spread over a longer period of time than an intense weekend of sharing a living space--so while I only had a few days with my roommates (and the other girls), I'd say it feels like we've been friends for roughly 7-10 years.
If you asked me what the most informative "session" was during the conference, the piece of information or experience that I'll never forget, I'd tell you that it was a conversion I had with Mindy and her husband Shaun on Saturday night. We ran into each other in a hallway at around 11:30pm (I think? I had no idea) and chatted for an hour or so. They are incredibly kind and helpful, and offered so much advice about YouTube, conferences, and blogging by sharing their experience. I'd say that was the most informative conversation, for me, at the conference in total.
I could go on and on about how fantastic the conference was but now I'll let the iPhone photos (+ dslr photos from Melissa) do the talking.
Melissa, Carrie, Rebecca (who had to be photoshopped in because she was busy selling her beautiful bags at the market!)
Cashew and I
Carrie is always trying to blackmail me.
Celebrating our 1 year friend-iversary
bag is Better Life Bags
I wish this was real.
Lindsey and I
MELISSA WON A NURSERY!
The night I did all their hair, my hair was the boring-est.
I did some 5 minute hairstyles on these beauties before the last event. I only wish I had time to do more/everyone I ever came into contact with.
A new concept for Kacia
I could continue, but I'll wrap it up for now. If you are ever on the fence about attending Blissdom, I'd love to push you off of it, onto the "attend" side. It's a lot of fun, really helpful and informative, and I'm confident you won't regret attending.
Hope to see you at Blissdom one day!