My Highlights of BlogWorldExpo-LA, Pt 1

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I had a “Looney Tunes” start to my trip to Los Angeles for BlogWorldExpo-LA (#BWELA).The zipper broke on my suitcase resulting in me packing a smaller bag leaving behind items I needed (and bringing things I didn’t).

I missed my “crack of dawn” flight on Wednesday as a result of being very tired (after the repacking escapade, I didn’t get to bed until after midnight) and setting the clock for 3:00 PM instead of 3:00 AM. Huge props to the Mr for getting me to the airport in record time, even if I did miss my flight!

So many sessions, so little time

I have to say, there were just too many sessions for this first-time attendee. It was overwhelming. Many of the sessions I wanted to attend were held at the same time. It was a bit frustrating to know that I would miss sessions that I thought I should attend, but couldn’t.

I wish the tracks/sessions also had a “experience” level attached to them. While I consider myself an experienced “personal” blogger, I am still learning the in’s and out’s when it comes to business blogging. I admit, some of the sessions were too advanced for me…but I stuck it out. On a couple of occasions, I did “session hop,” and noticed they were sessions that had a panel structure. It seemed I was listening to various opinions about a topic, and not learning anything.

A few takeaways

  • From Liz Strauss I heard “You need a vision to have a mission.” That made so much sense in its simplicity. Liz is a dynamic, soft-spoken speaker and it was thrilling to see and meet her in person.
  • I learned there were great (free) Google SEO tools from Ric Dragon. Being new to the world of SEO (yes, really), his session was extraordinarily helpful to me, even if some of the information went over my head! I was particularly thrilled to meet Ric in person, as we have “known” each other for over a year via Twitter and had never met in person.
  • Marcy Massura’s session on Community Management was awesome. Although she spoke a bit fast for me, her content was spot on. From Marcy I learned the definition of a Community Manager is really “Ring Master.” Her “Strategy Planning Execution Analyze and Killstatement was one of the biggest takeaways for me. One of the coolest things — she remembered my whistle! Thank you Marcy!
  • Darren Rowse aka @problogger spoke about being a passionate AND smart blogger. His comment “A brand is what people say about you, when you leave the room” spoke volumes. I’m so glad I was able to attend his session.
  • I attended and participated in the live #Blogchat. There are no words to say what a fabulous hour that was. Mack Collier led a dynamic discussion that was different from the normal weekly twitter chat. How often do you get to sit in a room, ask questions and have feedback from folks like Mack Collier, Jason Falls, Judy Helfand, Michele Price, Tamsen McMahon, Mark Horvath, and Marcy Massura (among many others)? Priceless.
  • I especially want to thank Jason Falls. His insightful feedback to my question about having a blogging “identity crisis” was beyond helpful, and validated that I don’t need to create multiple blogs for the topics I write about — I’ve been doing the right thing (for me) all along. What a gentleman he is.
  • Aliza Sherman & Jill Foster’s Speaking session was something new for me. I am not a speaker and felt this session would be a huge help to me down the road. I had a couple of real aha moments in this session. I wish I had stayed for the second part.

Brilliant Keynotes

I attended the keynotes given by Peter Shankman and Amber Naslund. I am thrilled that I got to meet (and have my picture taken with) both. I took notes at both keynotes and everything was gold.

Peter’s keynote “Rules for Surviving in the New World: It is not about Social Media” was awesome. He was funny (hilarious actually), animated, and right on point. I think I tweeted out more from his keynote than any other time that day. Here are a few of my takeaways:

  • You don’t control the direction of your company, your customers do
  • Learn to write — (this is HUGE)
  • As much as you create good, you will screw up — own your screw ups
  • My favorite: Be aware of what you do in public, your reputation is your fault.

Amber’s keynote was also brilliant. Her topic “We are Wayfarers: Owning the Seas of Change” was inspiring. She was dynamic, funny and engaging. Some of her key points:

  • Wayfarers are instruments of potential (love this)
  • Stagnation is death — if you’re constantly doing the same thing, you are going nowhere
  • We need more audacity — you need to be brave and have a backbone.

Part two of this extended post covers people I met and the Expo. The Expo was so much more than t-shirts and bags for this first-timer.

Speaking of firsts, one of the things I had to leave behind when I downsized luggage were my tennis shoes. Lucky for me, Macy’s was literally attached to the Sheraton and I purchased these. My first pair of Converse All Stars, ever!

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  7 comments for “My Highlights of BlogWorldExpo-LA, Pt 1

  1. November 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm


    Just wanted to let you know that I love the new site. Thanks for sharing your experience at the Blog World Expo! Heard a lot of nest things about it from others too. Maybe someday, I’ll go check it out too. :)

    See you on Triberr!


  2. November 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Sherree I enjoyed our coffee with @RicDragon at the Biltmore, beautiful room and hotel.

    Loving your piece ( even though I got this first hand) I found myself chuckling again having done some of these same things.

    You have so much to give in our community and I am looking forward to you writing us more of your insights with audacity and unapologetically.

    • November 14, 2011 at 6:56 am

      Michele – I too enjoyed our coffee with Ric, wish you and I had more time to spend together. Seems we just weren’t in the same place long enough or at the same time.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and support — it means the world to me. I look forward to sharing much more in the future… as you said, with audacity and unapologetically.

  3. Denise
    November 13, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Judy, I think we should get Sherree to come to Arizona for visit!

  4. November 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I know we are meant to be friends. I, too, had suitcase issues the days preceding Blog World. Suddenly that case that had a lifetime warranty had two misshaped (flat on one side) roller wheels. I tried to get it fixed before go, but the repair place said “Lifetime warranty…are you kidding, and yes we might be able to replace the wheels but it will take a week or so.” Suffice it to say, my next stop was Costco and I purchased a new case.

    The alarm setting…I have done that, or better figuring out the night before that I thought I had booked an 8:00AM seats for a trip to Arcata, CA, but in fact it was made for 8:00PM. OMG!

    I love your recap. I wish I knew you were staying at the Sheraton. I took the train in from Tucson, it was relaxing and on $70 round trip, coach class, reserved seat! Since this was my 3rd year attending Blog World, I have heard Liz Strauss speak before, also Darren Rowse before. I agree with too many sessions…and I felt sorry for those who came well prepared to speak and then looked out into an audience of 10 people.

    I loved #blogchat…and all those wonderful people, meeting in person. It was just great.
    We’ll “talk” soon.

  5. November 13, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I tell, ya, I cannot wait until I can start going to a few of these here and there. I feel like I am so far out of the loop that I’m not 100% sure there IS a loop, lol!

    Glad you had a good experience. One day I may be picking your brain, Sherree!

  6. Denise
    November 13, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing your notes and take aways; so wish I could have attended. Love the shoes…

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