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?

Tag! 8 questions for you!

In going through all updates for the blogs I follow I was reading one from Multiple Mama about 8 questions about me.

Here’s the game. I’ll answer them and then you do the same! Think of it as an updated version of Tag! And it’s an easy post to do!

1. Why did you start blogging?
Why not? It was something that I pondered for a long time and finally took the plunge into the pool! And now that I’ve done it I love it! I’ve met a lot of wonderful people that are in similar boats as I am! Best of all I’m not alone in this great big pool! There are so many people out there that are willing to help and it’s great.
I like being able to rant, rave, tell my side of the story, or just ramble on. I like that I’m not the only one out there that won’t be winning the mom of the year award. I like that I have an outlet and one that doesn’t take a lot of time!

2. If you could travel any where in the world with no restriction of costs, where would it be and why?
Hmm… so many choices. Well, I’m going to go with that there’s not a restriction on the length of the trip either. I think, after some research, I’d start my trip out here in the U.S. because there’s a lot I’d like to see here. Like the Grand Teton’s, Yosemite, Grand Canyon (again), Salem, and a few other places. From there I’d move on to Ireland & Scotland and stay there for about a month. After that I’d warm up on the Greek islands and take a cruise over to Italy. Of course I’d take my family and a nanny to help out with the kids because I’m sure that there are times they’d want to hang back at the posh house we’re staying in while the husband and I go out.

3. Did you have a teacher in school that had a great influence on your life? If so, what?
I probably did or not. I really can’t remember. There are teachers that stick out in my mind but none that did something that greatly influenced me and my life.

4. If you could spend the day with a famous person, who would it be, and what would you do?
Just one?!!? Geesh… that kinda limits me. Well, the first person that comes to my mind (Don’t Laugh) is Rachael Ray! I love her shows! She seems to be such a down to earth person and I would love to just spend the day cooking and hanging out!

5. Toilet paper — over or under?
I really don’t care as long as we have some in the bathroom when I need it!

6. Name one thing in your life that you would do over if possible.
I would have stayed in college after graduating high school. I stopped for a while because of a stupid boy. And that was a HUGE mistake. One of epic proportions. Stupid. But I knew everything at the time. Nope. Wrong. Shh… the parents were right. Now, I did finish college but I think that I’d be in a better place with my career had I stayed on track when I was younger.

7. Tell about your pets — if any.
4 kids ( 3 girls – 14, 11, 8 & 1 boy – 7m), 1 dog, and my husband. I have plenty!

8. Do you live in a small town or a large town. (You don’t have to name the town.)
Actually, I think it’s somewhere in the middle and I’m situated in a really good area. I live between the capital city of Lansing and the failing city of Flint. But I’m also only about 2 hours from northern Michigan or the Detroit area. So finding something to do is fairly simple!

Tag! It’s your turn now!