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