A little over a week ago I made the journey into Toronto to attend the ShesConnected Conference. A social media conference bringing together 200 of Canada’s digitally connected women and an amazing group of forward thinking sponsors. This is a conference I have been living and breathing for the last four months. First as an advisor, then as a newly appointed Community Manager. I’ve been chatting it up as the “Bloggerwomen~Steph” on twitter and become someone truly obsessed with the ShesConnected Facebook page. I’ve loved every second of it.
As the big day rolled around, I had high expectations, big hopes and a sort of strange sense of responsibility. I am a very small, but excited cog, in a huge wheel driving forward this fascinating social media machine and could hardly wait to see what was ahead.
After all the planning the long awaited for event went by in a blur, kind of like a wedding! How do I begin to summarize all that is, and was the ShesConnected Conference? I’ve seen some incredible posts on connections made between brands and bloggers, panels that were loved, twitter friends who were met in real life for the very first time, and of course pictures galore. I’ve even seen posts on “What I forgot to Say” at ShesConnected. So has it all been covered?
Do I want to recap the entire exhausting, exhilarating, enlightening day and half conference down to the teeniest detail or do I want to talk about the spirit the feeling and the vibe?
I could cover all the specifics from the incredible Keynote speeches and speakers, to the fabulous panels:
- Product Reviews vs. Blog Tours vs. Brand Ambassador Programs
- Social Media Rock Stars: Veteran, New and Rising Stars
- What Brands Want From Digital Women
- What is a Blogger Worth?
- Rate Cards, Guidelines, and Disclosure
- The 10 Rules of the Road, Putting it All Together
I sat on the Panel “What is A Blogger Worth” and have some pretty strong opinions about this! This is a panel I am certain could have gone in many different directions and been discussed by the hour. Did I get my points across? Some, not others. I will admit to feeling a wee bit overwhelmed at some moments, frustrated at others. I was even misquoted a couple of times! This is new for me, and I don’t enjoy it. (Hubby’s says get thicker skin). I hope that people know that in order for bloggers to be valued they have to value themselves.
I could rant on about my beliefs:
Be yourself. Be authentic. Value your work.
I believe everyone starts as a “little” blogger. Actually, I don’t think there is such a thing as a “little” blogger. Words are powerful and there is value in all types, styles and sizes of social media presence. As bloggers I believe in our power but I also believe in being generous, being nice, valuing all relationships, working hard, playing fair, being honest and having fun.
I could talk about the vibe:
Yes, I pick the vibe! When you walked into that conference hall you could feel the buzz. Brands were connecting with bloggers. Digital women were making old friends. There was warmth, laughter and a sense of comradery.
ShesConnected Conference 2011 left me feeling inspired, empowered and excited about the future of relationships between bloggers and brands. It left me feeling all “girl power”. It left me with my hands full of business cards of brands who actually want to work with me, and my heart full of memories with old friends met for the very first time.
I can’t wait to do it all again.