For this post, I'm going to quickly just try to sum up the weekend with some thoughts on everything from a glance. But the meatier, more meaningful posts will be coming later.
The hotel was luxurious. Lots of shops, and lots of restaurants. The service was very good, and the overall feel of the hotel was warm and friendly. The hotel is fairly big, and our room happened to be on the opposite side than the convention area, so we had a nice little walk back & forth every day. But it wasn't terrible.
The Food.The food at the restuartns was all pretty good. No complaints there! At BlissDom, most of the meals were included in the cost of your ticket, and were provided by the partners/sponsors of BlissDom. Except dinner, kinda had to fend for ourselves for dinner, which wasn't a big deal. But I thought the breakfast and lunch options provided, were plentiful and I never felt hungry afterward.
Ok so this is the part that will be hard to summarize quickly, because there is a lot of information here. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the different sessions. There were four tracks to choose from for each breakout session: Business, Photography, Writing, and Life Development. So each time a session would start, I was always scrambling to try and figure out which one I wanted to go to. I ended up going to 1 business session, and the rest I attended were off the writing & life development tracks. So yes, I ended up going to ZERO photography sessions. I think when it came down to it, I felt that it would be a waste of time. I'm not perfect at photography, but I definitely know my way around my camera, and portraiture, so I didn't want to hear a bunch of redundant information.
I enjoyed most of the speakers. Some more than others, obviously. No need to go into the ones I wasn't fond of, because chances are, they won't be coming back to BlissDom. But what I will say is that Jon Acuff is amazing. I got to attend one of his Life Development sessions, as well as his closing keynote, and he is both hilarious and intelligent. He has a way of being funny without even trying, while at the same time, being extremely inspirational and motivating. I wish I could have listened to him all the live long day.
Another one of the speakers I really enjoyed was Megan Jordan. She was one of the speakers in the writing track, and I found her to be very relatable and easy to listen to. She also had some pretty brilliant things to say, some things that opened my eyes quite a bit and gave me some things to think about as a mother and a blogger.
The evening events both had plenty of "entertainment". The girls night out featured Chris Mann and some girl from Glee, I don't even remember her name because I don't watch Glee. Chris Mann was awesome and has an incredible voice. I was a huge fan of his when he was competing on The Voice a couple of seasons ago. So, I was very pleased with his performance.
They also had some soap stars from All My Children there, which I personally thought was kinda cool, considering I grew up watching these soap opera's when I lived with my Mom. And then they had some people from Suburgatory, I don't even know what that is. But I think I'm the only one cause everyone else seemed pretty excited about them. So needless to say, I didn't care about hearing from the actors that much.
The Handmade Marketplace.
The Shine Project.
There were definitely perks of the conference. NYX Cosmetics were there giving makeovers all day long (I went twice!), the VO5 peeps were there to do your hair, One-to-one network was giving free headshots, you could sign up for a free massage if you wanted, there were tons and tons of giveaways, none of which I won, though. BOOOO! There was quite a bit of swag (how cool it was, well, that's open for interpretation).
The People & Community.
Here's the part I'm going to skip a little bit for now. I think I need to dedicate an entire post to this. I have a lot to say, honest things to say. And I don't want it to get jumbled up with everything else!
But for now I will say this.
As a whole, the conference has a wonderful community feel to it. Even though we are all coming from different places, we all have things in common as well. Most people were extremely friendly and willing to put themselves out there.
Okay, so I know I skipped a few things, but I will be getting to them, I promise.
Overall, while there were definitely Pros & Cons of this conference, it was VERY WORTH IT! At least for me. I really did have a wonderful time. I left BlissDom feeling inspired and motivated. And I connected with bloggers I've been reading for a while, and made new friends as well. (more on this later!). What more could I really ask for out of a conference?
Stay tuned for part 2.