When I booked my ticket to attend Problogger 2016, I did so because of an announcement of one of the speakers. And of course a fear of missing out (FOMO).
To be honest, there weren’t a lot of topics that took my interest and when the said speaker was no longer speaking at the event I did consider selling my ticket.
But then one of my friends was announced as a speaker and that FOMO was pretty strong. Plus I was sharing a room with my blogging buddy Lauren from Create Bake Make and her baby, so even if the conference wasn’t going to meet my expectations, I was going to hang out with some pretty cool people who I don’t get to see often.
I’m not sure why I thought I wouldn’t get much from the speakers because I would say this year’s event was the best out of the last four conferences I’ve ever been to at Problogger. The speakers were motivating and captivating.
The atmosphere was relaxed. Bloggers I wanted to connect with were approachable. The networking opportunities were plentiful and varied. There’s also something that can be said for space amongst a crowd. I didn’t ever feel crowded. This year had an amazing amount of space.
Sitting at tables in the conference auditorium made the hugest difference in being able to engage with the speakers and other bloggers sitting at the tables. It sort of reminded me a bit like my wedding reception where you could get up and start hugging and mingling with people at different tables. This is not an easy thing to do when you’re packed in rows. There were jugs of water and lollies on the tables to help keep focus and it allowed those with laptops to set them up easily to type notes.
Some of the key things I really wanted to get a good handle on was getting my backend of the blog sorted out. Kelly Exeter shared her nightmare story of losing her blog last year and not having a backup. Kelly recommends we back up our blogs manually at the end of each week and store a copy on a hard drive and virtually. I’ve yet to do this but it’s been put on my list for today.
The next session I attended was about SEO. I have a lot of work to do in regards to this and I’m going to have to listen to this session again.
Daniel Flynn, the head of Thank You blew me away with his story of how Thank You came about and the struggles they had for 2 years when launching their Thank You Water. As a result of hearing their story I want to buy everything Thank You because I love the philosophy of the brand. I also need to buy their Chapter One book which is definitely something I encourage everyone to buy and read. Check out the video on why.
Emily from Write Styling (and also Have a Laugh on Me) gave fabulous tips on how to find topics to write for blog posts. Emily actually blew me away with her knowledge. I knew she would be good but I didn’t realise how good.
Darren Rowse’s keynote at the start of the conference and towards the end were what got me thinking the most. What have I been avoiding? Usually these are the important things to get done or make time for. I’m so glad I had last week to go away and spend time thinking about what those things that have been on my forever-to-do list but have kept being avoided because of the time and investment they will take in achieving.
I only caught the end of Dan Norris’s presentation and he encouraged everyone to do something BIG. Duly noted Dan!
I think what made the biggest difference for me this year was I chose to only go to half of the sessions available and I didn’t feel overwhelmed with an overload of knowledge. I’ve kept my to-do list small and achievable. On my to-do-list is to listen to sessions I didn’t get to and make actionable steps as I listen to each.
Of course my Problogging experience was only amplified by the bloggers that were at the conference. Networking is by far my favourite part of conference and it is the main drawcard of attending. I tried to get a selfie or photo with everyone I met. I put together a Shoebox Timeline slideshow because there were A LOT of photos.
I also had a few embarrassing tales which I may or may not share over the coming weeks. Some things that happen on conference need to stay on conference, right?
How did you find PBEVENT this year? What have you been avoiding that could make all the difference to your life or blog if you made time to do something about it?
I’m linking up with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.