I think most bloggers are like me: introverts who occasionally need to be social in real life. Some of us lead quiet online lives with laid back editorial calendars (or with none at all-like me) and some have every single day scheduled with blog posts, social shares, live chats, Insta stories. The list of social shout outs goes on and on. I like my quiet voice. There’s no need to shout when you have a megaphone.
I’m talking about the conference formerly known as AWBU (of which I’ve raved about for years).
Megaphone Conference. Different name. Same great group of bloggers, speakers, and leaders and most definitely the same idea-gather, grow, connect.
See recaps from previous years here:
- 2012 Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (2012 was a big year, you guys)
- 2014…ummm…apparently I was in a rut as I didn’t blog about the 2014 conference at all. Nor did I blog for the entire month of September.
- 2015…and apparently I didn’t do much blogging this year either. Sad face.
I was fortunate enough to win a ticket this year by volunteering to write a blog post over at the Arkansas Women Bloggers site, so, thank you Stephanie!
You can check out my Megaphone Recap on Facebook LIVE chat over at my Desperately Seeking Gina Facebook page.
What I love about Megaphone
Chatting with like-minded bloggers in real life but also-with non-like-minded bloggers, too. Because, lets face it. We’re all there for different reasons: some of us are there for the social aspects; some to learn the technicalities of blogging; some to learn how to monetize. It’s okay. Those are all okay reasons to be at a blogging conference.
Besties. Or, rather, fan-girling. I loved Peg Fitzpatrick‘s keynote and Instagram session. I’d been reading her online and following her socials for a few months before it she was announced as the keynote speaker. I may have broken my play-it-cool rule and gushed a little. She was super nice in person, though, and even suggested we take several selfies together where the light was good.
On a more personal note, I have to mention a lovely sentiment I received via Twitter DM; an invitation to dinner with Sarah and her husband. Sarah is a talented crafter, knitter and author whom I admire online. We’ve met a couple of times in real life but hadn’t seen each other in person in a couple of years. I was so happy to spend a quiet evening and a lovely meal with her and her husband. Good, good people. Also good people: Talya and her husband graciously hosted me in their home for the weekend. Thank you!
What was good about Megaphone
Every year I take away good information from this conference; information that helps me better understand the social media world, the writer’s world, and it inspires me to take the leap I’ve been holding in my heart these last couple of years.
The sessions I chose this year were different than any session I’ve taken in the past.
I enjoyed Cassie Celestain‘s “how to grow your email subscribers list” session. Takeaways: offer freebies, write titles that stand out, share everywhere.
Jackie’s words are always inspiring and she’s someone I quietly fan-girl from afar. I’m pretty sure her “you are not a brand” message made me cry at the end of the session. Takeaways: like Jackie, I’m striving to be #RealHappy by just being me.
My friend Sarah’s “Brainstorming and Editorial Calendar” presentation was inspiring. Takeaways: look at old posts & comments for new blog post ideas. Make a calendar to get thoughts down and adjust if needed.
What could be better at Megaphone
Feedback is essential for any event. Here’s what I think could be improved or added to heighten the experience.
- More topic-specific sessions e.g.-Google analytics for dummies. WordPress Hacks for newbies.
- I would love to see sponsor booths where we can more easily connect with brands in a more formal setting.
- Niche-blogging sessions e.g. Craft bloggers, Food Bloggers, Photography Bloggers. I think it would be an easy way to connect with like-minded bloggers.
Megaphone is still a growing conference. I get the time and money it takes to put it together and I appreciate it and the opportunity every single year. Connecting with these bloggers played a tremendous role in my ability to deal with living so far from home all those years ago. Now, they are just as much my home as Arkansas is.