I have been to several blogging conferences and many industry conferences with elements of social media included. The first blogging conference I ever attended was BlogOrlando in 2007 and before that, there were more informal blogger gatherings I attended in St. Louis. Since then, I’ve added BlogHer on the national list and Show Me the Blog St. Louis for a smaller, regional meetup.
Yesterday, I attended and spoke at Central Virginia’s first social media and blogging conference, BlogVille.
I have to say — I was pretty impressed. The content was great — excellent speakers with topics that covered specific social media areas and philosophical concepts (like time management) that so many bloggers desire. For me, the experience was especially gratifying because so many people I know or who I admire were there and engaged in the day’s events. It was also enjoyable to be at a blogger conference that was a manageable size (one of my complaints about BlogHer in recent years is the behemoth crowd it has become — at 800+ it’s a mob and more than a little overwhelming).
I couldn’t attend all of the sessions, as there is only one of me, but I particularly enjoyed meeting (at last) Billy Hunt and learning from his presentation (which is a blog and available to you, as well). I was inspired by Denise Stewart who has to be one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve ever heard. As ever, Christine Hohlbaum (who I love, love, love), the author of the Power of Slow helped us learn how to become blogging rock stars with staying power. (I have written about Christine and the Power of Slow before.)
Great connections were made and everyone left inspired and encouraged. This was the first year for BlogVille and I anticipate a fantastic second year — and beyond.