I know that many of you that read this blog are not bloggers and I love that! But I also have to admit that the only reason I am still a blogger and have more than 10 readers a day is because of the bloggers that have supported me along the way. There is nothing I want more than to give back to bloggers like they have given to me. So how could I do that? By starting a Blog Conference, Blog Elevated, with my friend Lisa Stauber to educate and support bloggers in their journey.
Our inaugral Blog Elevated Conference happened September 19-21st here in Houston and it was simply amazing.
Now when you’re planning a conference you go over every single possible disaster and try to work out the ways you could handle those scenarios. Hurricane? Check. We had event insurance to cover it. Major technology meltdown? Check. My personal and extremely handsome IT guy, Mr. Byrd, was on hand. What if one of the speakers can’t come at the last minute? Check. Extra presentations prepared. But none of that was needed, everything flowed seemlessly.
Every single speaker hit the nail on the head and people raved about them. My mind was so set on the behind the scenes aspect that I was not able to sit and listen to any of the speakers. Seeing all the amazing recaps now about the speakers just kill me. I would have loved to hear them speak but I couldn’t sit still. My mind was going a million miles an hour about the next event and how it needed to be set up. So I would sneak out of the room to go prepare and set up but almost every single time the amazing staff at Norris Conference Center or our wonderful volunteers had already done it.
I met amazing bloggers that I have quietly stalked online over the past few years such as Karen Walrond, John Saddington, Heather Sanders, Stacy Teet and Bridget Edwards. Ok so I chickened out of introducing myself to Bridget but I did stand within five feet of her. I’m going to consider that a win. Plus we were able to bring one of my blog crushes, Jenny On The Spot, down from Washington State. I used a lot of self control and did not drool on her. Personally I think that’s worthy of an award.
We also had some amazing sponsors that believed in us. It’s hard to ask a company to back you when you can’t prove anything. There was nothing to show them to prove that we could sell tickets or that the “bloggers” there wouldn’t really be cats dressed up with glasses and computers. We didn’t have any type of proof that we could put on a half way decent conference. So the companies that supported us this year – Kroger, Imperial Sugar, The Woodlands Resort, Lemi Shine, Tillamook, and all the other companies really took a chance on us. You know a company is simply amazing when they go to the average joe that has a dream and supports them in that dream. In the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing more about all of the sponsors and highlighting them for you.
So what did we not have? Sleep. The week before the conference my average working hours were 8am-2am. I went from sun up until it was almost time for it to come up again. I would work from early morning until mid afternoon while the girls played and then I would take a break for a few hours to spend time with them, clean the house and prepare dinner before I started working again after dinner and didn’t stop until the dogs started talking to me sometime past 1 am. The week of the conference…. well that’s another story but with even less sleep.
What was the biggest take away from the conference for me? I have two huge takeaways. One is that moms can do amazing things. I’m a stay at home homeschooling mom of three. My partner Lisa is a stay at home homeschooling mom of 10. Yes, 10. And you know what? We made it work and the conference was a huge success. If you’re a stay at home mom you can still be a trailblazer and set a life changing example for your kids. Second is that we have started laying down the foundation for an amazing blog community that will support and educate bloggers and that excites me. My goal in life since I became a mom has always been to encourage other women. I hope that I encourage you guys every single day to be more creative and less perfect. And now I’m blessed that I also get to encourage other women (and men) bloggers to blog better and bring better content to their readers which might include you.
So thank you for sticking around in the past month when posting has been sporadic. Thank you to my kids for not totally destroying the house (somewhat) and thank you to Mr. Byrd for letting me sleep for an entire day after the conference was over.
There will be a Blog Elevated 2014. When and where? We’re working on that now. If you want more info or if you’re a company that would like to sponsor feel free to email me at Bobbie@BlogElevated.com.
All these amazing photos were taken by Heather, a homeschooling blogger that you might know as Sprittibee.