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Even for seasoned bloggers, Bloggy Boot Camp was a learning experience.

Last August, BlogHer ‘10 was my baptism by fire into the world of blogging conferences. Since then, I’ve attended Mom 2.0 Summit and just this past weekend, Bloggy Boot Camp Boston.

Bloggy Boot Camp was by far the smallest and shortest of the three, but extremely well done. I think the big blogging conference organizers could learn a thing or two from The SITS Girls. Here’s what Bloggy Boot Camp got right:

1. Assigned seating. At Bloggy Boot Camp we had assigned seating for all of the morning sessions. Our assigned table numbers were listed on our conference badge and we rotated to a different table after each session ended. Loved. This. Instead of sticking with the people you know, which one tends to do in any large-scale social gathering, you engaged in conversation with all kinds of new and different people. Conference organizer Tiffany Romero shared another reason for assigned seating: “When you sit with people you don’t know, you’re on your best behavior, so you tend to pay attention and listen during presentations versus having side conversations.” So true, and so smart.

2. Paper handouts. I know, I know… paper. Who does that anymore? Well the presenters at Bloggy Boot Camp do, and I’m thankful for it. Since the presentations were so content-rich, it would have been impossible to write down all of the resources they shared. Often presenters will mention something quickly and then direct you to their website or slideshare for more information. Honestly, I don’t have time to go looking. Just give me a list. And they did.

3. A focus on content, not sponsors. Imagine this: a blogging conference where learning is plentiful and sponsors are few. Refreshing. Sure, the swag bag was lighter than most, but after the Mommy Niri’s final presentation on using social media for social good, it made sense to go home with more knowledge than tchotchke.

4. A single day. Exhausting, yes. But much easier on the budget than your 2-3 day extravaganza. Because face it, most smaller bloggers go to conferences on their own dime. One day also means less time away from your kids, your home and your day job. Which (for most people) is a good thing.

Photo credit: Lindsey Garrett (modchik) on Flickr

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31 thoughts on “4 Things Blogging Conference Organizers Can Learn from Bloggy Boot Camp

  1. This is a great summary of key elements making this a terrific conference. While this is my first blogging conference I have participated in many business conferences and Bloggy Boot Camp was as good as any of them.

  2. Great post and summary of boot camp. It was my very first blog conference and I am still wrapping my head around all the information. I really enjoyed it and thought it was well done!

    1. You’d love it, Kate– and I know others would love getting to know you and your wonderfully written blog. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I am a baby blogger and have not attended a conference yet, but I have a tremendous passion in sharing my story.


    1. I highly recommend attending a blogging conference, Tahnie! They all have their strengths. You’ll learn new things, meet a ton of great people and be bursting with writing inspiration when you return.

  4. What great information! I am looking forward to going to my first blog conference when I attend Bloggy Boot Camp in Atlanta. I’m now even more excited!

    1. Yeah, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first. It can be unnerving to be pulled out of your comfort zone. But it ended up being such a positive experience.

  5. agree with you totally! especially how great it was to have assigned seats, keep hearing from folks how difficult it can be to be a first time conference goer – but didn’t feel that way at bbc at all, and it was my first conference.

  6. As always, great insights. but I am going to be a devils advocate. (You know I like to stir things up!) I like paper too, when it works. But it doesn’t help for link content. I am more apt to visit a website and click the link, rather than find the piece of paper and type in the url. So depending on the content, paper is great, but for some, referral to a blog or website is better. If I refer someone to my website for access to Twitter’s Terms of Service, then (in theory) the latest term of service will be there. A written url doesn’t get redirected. All in all, I agree with you. The presenters and the conference organizers thought it through to determine what was best for their content, and it showed. They also were willing to share their tricks of the trade, which I find is lacking at other conferences.

    1. Very good point, my friend. When I wrote about the paper I was thinking specifically about Lindsey’s (modchik) handout with dozens of mobile app names on it. When I got home I pulled out the paper, grabbed my iphone and ipad and started downloading. Very handy! But when URL’s are mentioned, yes, online is best. Ideally then, I’d like a blog post, section or pdf created specifically for the presentation that I can pull up on my screen that will have everything all in one place.

  7. Loved the assigned seating! And they gave us just enough time to talk and exchange cards at the table- awesome.
    It was my first blogging conference and I really enjoyed it. And of course I loved this write up on it 🙂 Well done mama!

  8. BBC is well done, that’s why I returned for my second. The big confs are so overwhelming and much harder to meet an array of people. Not sure if we met or not but I’m glad to read you had a good experience.

    1. I would definitely to a second BBC too. I’m not sure if we met either, maybe next time…. I checked out your blog and I love the look of it!

  9. I am so pissed that I didn’t go to this (know about this). It sounds like it would’ve been perfect for me. BlogHer was ginormous and though I’d jump at the chance (if given the opportunity) to go again, the fact that this was one day and local is VERY attractive. Maybe next year!

    1. I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you! I guess I assumed you knew. You’ve been just a little bit busy lately with that whole moving to Brooklyn thing so maybe it fell off your radar? Don’t let ME ever fall off your radar. 🙂

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