Blogging Conferences ~ To Go or Not To Go

When I first started blogging there was all this talk about BlogHer and who was going and who wasn’t. I had no idea what everyone was talking about or what the big deal was. I think that someone Tweeted something about BlogHer with a link and it peaked my curiosity and I clicked on it.

From there my world changed! My eyes were opened to a much larger world. A world of conferences that could introduce me to all sorts of new people that I’d making lasting friendships with, teach me great things that I never knew, and help grow my blog to epic proportions (okay…. maybe not that last part). There was Bloggy Bootcamp, Blissdom, Type A Conference, Savvy Blogging Summit, Bloggy Conference and so many more!

I soon realized that all these great conferences were not close to where I live. I was a bit bothered by it because on top of the cost of the conference there was travel costs, hotel room, and food. I was trying to figure out how to justify the cost to my husband (he doesn’t see the point in going) because it wouldn’t be a little drop in the bucket. I think that I estimated around $500+ depending on the conference and where it’s at. That’s seriously a lot of money! I’m still trying to figure out how people are able to afford going to one much less two conferences!

Another thought (or two) crossed my mind. If I were to go how do I decide which one(s) are the best ones to go to and which one would best serve me and my blog? I have no idea really. It’s not like you can compare them up front since all the information isn’t available until closer to the date of the conference so you have to go on a hunch…. what you ‘think’ is the best one. You want to be able to learn from the speakers and workshops that are offered because that’s part of the reason for going, education. So how to decide is another dilemma.

So now what happens if I don’t go to a conference? I know one thing for sure…. you feel left out! There are Tweets, pictures, videos, blog posts and all sort of information flying around out there about who went, what they did, and so on. You hear about the amazing things that they’ve learned and how they’re implementing changes not only in their blogs but their lives as well. If I don’t go does this mean that my blog won’t grow? How am I going to get some of that incredible knowledge that was shared at the conferences?

I also have to think about my family and my job (yuck) because I can’t just take off for a conference when I feel like it. I have to make sure that I can get the time off from work, which means taking precious vacation time and arranging for childcare and/or make explicit lists for my husband. It seems like a lot of work! How do you all do it?

I am happy to say that I did register for a conference! I am going to Gleek Retreat in May! Now this is not a huge conference but for me it’s a start. It’s one that I can attend without changing things around in my life because it’s on a weekend and it’s right here in Michigan just under two hours from my house.

I’m looking forward to meeting some of the great bloggers in real life that I’ve connected with on Twitter and through their blogs as well as my own as well as learning few new things that I can do to improve my writing and my blog. So stay tuned for some updates!

I’m curious… if you’ve been to a conference or two how do you manage it all?