A couple weeks ago I flew to Vancouver from Toronto for a lifestyle and blogging conference hosted by Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators (yes, this woman is a blogger with her own business to run AND yet she still had time to plan and organize a conference across the country at the same time! #GirlBoss or what?).
The Blogpodium conference took place at the Pan Pacific Hotel. The place was a maze of conference rooms on three levels! I swear if I didn't know where I was headed I would have been super late for the opening remarks!
Jillian Harris was the Keynote speaker. I don't watch too much of Love It Or List It, but that small woman is a giant ball of positivity. Her speech was inspiring and funny. She spoke about not really knowing what she was doing in the beginning, but also knowing she wanted to keep pushing ahead and not being afraid of diving in head first. This resonated with me most, because unlike almost everyone else in that room, I was a beginner, with a lot of confusion and little ideas when it came to choosing my path, but knowing that I wanted to be there.
Up next was the Camp Tech Google Analytics course with founder Avery Swartz. I can't deny my love for the nerdy, so I was really engaged in this seminar. Funny & informative, I could have spent hours listening to Avery!
Learning the ins and outs of monetizing with Gemma Bonham-Carter of The Sweetest Digs was not only incredibly informative, it was (like everything else today) fun. I really appreciated her in-depth and serious topic with humour and light delivery. She didn't say "don't do this, do this", but gave us options, told us what did work for HER and what may work for us.
Everyone who knows me well knows how much I love food. Lunch, catered by the hotel was amazing! Chicken, steak, veggies, pastas - you name it, delicious! I did a great deal of overeating (in preparation for drinks with some old friends later that evening), and man, was it worth it.
After lunch I sat in on the Spark Sessions "The Power of Visual Branding" with Gloria Chik of The Urbanebloc and Tania Yan of Olive + Piper. They offered so many beautiful visuals and the importance of staying true to your brand with visuals on both the blog and your social media platforms. I learned a lot from these two stylish women!
After a short break, I sat in on Jenna Herbut's seminar "Make A Living Doing What You Love". She taught me that if your first ideas don't pan out, don't give up. You have to keep plugging away until you find something to grow with. I valued that above all else from her talk.
I have to mention now, there were tables FILLED with desserts ALL DAY! I couldn't resist!
The last session of the day was with Poppy Barley's Kendall Barber & Caroline Gault (who by the way, laughed at all my jokes about being an adult with a retainer and a penchant for being hungover when I shouldn't be. Thank you Caroline for having a wonderful sense of humour towards this awkward girl!).
Firstly, if you haven't seen their shoes & boots before, GO NOW TO THE ABOVE LINK. Custom shoes for every foot? YES! YES! YES! Their story is a true Canadian success story of some wonderfully talented women that wanted to bring custom, quality product to women and men everywhere.
Kendall and Caroline spoke so deeply about dealing with road blocks, bumps, hitches and overcoming the people who act as "seagulls" and "shit on you" (Kendall's words, I swear!). I loved the idea of knowing that YOU CAN be you and succeed. You don't reflect the negatives that come at you when you're not quite getting things right yet.
I'm really glad I took a chance on myself and flew across the country to participate in this event. Although I didn't know a single person in the room beforehand, it was truly incredible to see people with similar personalities (re: taking pictures of EVERYTHING like I do - see friends, this isn't just something I do! Others take pictures of food, centrepieces and expertly arranged papers etc!), I sat with some crazy talented mom's, designers and lifestyle bloggers who were very positive and offered some great advice to a newbie like me. I left with a full notebook & a head full of ideas.
Lastly, the SWAG! Oh man! I wish I could bring it all home with me (sorry spray paint, you weren't allowed in carry-on or checked bag. But I do hope the mom ticket agent has fun with her kids and you!), I swear it added POUNDS to my baggage!
I'll leave you with two images of the positive words that were on the floors when we arrived! I can't wait for next year's Blogpodium!