This was my first “real” blogging/ social media event, I’ve done some wine related tweet ups and a meet up in San Francisco at some point, but not a conference like this. We did not attend any of the sessions (talks, and there were a ton) because my goal was to explore the expo (where all the booths were) and meet people in person that I have known via social media for some time.
I feel like I left Blog World with expectations met and exceeded, so that’s a great start. I met many people that I had been trying to meet (mostly from Twitter) like Josepf (@Josepf), Mila (@milaspage), Brandie (@lttlewys), Sherree (@Sherree_W), Reenee (was @rubymarcom but is now @reneemmartinez), Chris (@ifficiency) and his fiancé Sara (@theigirl), as well as Ric ( @RicDragon). I also met a few others that weren’t necessarily planned like Bruce (@BruceSallan), Garick (@ilovegarick), Mack (@mackcollier), Kirsten (@kirstenwright), and last but DEFINITELY not least, Amber (@wordsdonewrite).
All of these meetings met expectation and went beyond; I enjoyed hanging out with and chatting with each one of these people and hope to continue those conversations into the future.
Regarding the conference itself, I went in expecting far more booths on the expo floor, but I will say many that were there did a fantastic job (Ford Yahoo, Radian6, Meeting Burner, hipswap, livefyre, Zemanta, and so on). Although we did not attend any sessions (talks), I heard from many that there were too many and a lot of them seemed to be pretty basic, as in there wasn’t a lot of new information. However, I also heard from others that the sessions they went to were amazing…opinions, everybody’s got ‘em.
In regards to the general population at Blog World, everyone seemed very nice and happy/ excited to be there. There was great people watching as there is any time you get a decent crowd together. There were many of the “BIG social media/ blogging” people there like Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Jason Falls, David Armano, Guy Kawasaki, Scott Monty, Mari Smith, and Marsha Collier…I tend to keep my distance because you never know who has the egos, and who doesn’t. I suppose that’s true with people of any level, but these are the people that have groupies and I simply refuse to look like one.
We stayed at the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel (711 South Hope Street -7th Street and Hope Street), and that exceeded expectation for sure. I had preconceived notions about “Sheraton” but the room was awesome, the customer service was great, and the bar/ lounge area was a blast…kudos to the Sheraton in downtown L.A. Another quick note on restaurants, we ate lunch one day at Rock’n Fish (800 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite A160 in L.A.), this place was so cool. Annie and I talked about how, if we lived down in that area, we’d hang out at the bar there a lot…great vibe; and Jeff, the manager, was super cool. We chatted about wine…which as you know, we tend to enjoy. Another place that our new friends Chris and Sara (mentioned in paragraph 2 of this post) found that was amazing was Yojie Shabu Shabu Japanese Fondue & Sake (501 W. Olympic Blvd & Grand Ave. in L.A.)…the four of us had a blast at this place, great food and service without question!! As Annie called it, it’s interactive food…love it.
At the end of the day, all went very well. I did walk away with new thoughts and ideas for my future in blogging, online branding, and social media. I do enjoy reading and hearing about what and how others are using and doing things in this space…but I always tend to do my thing regardless. Sure, what I read or hear may impact what I do, but I always put my own spin on things. I’m not going to try and copy what Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, or anyone else does. I have my opinions and beliefs on what works and what doesn’t. My best piece of advice is this, no matter what you do for a living, or what you are trying to do; listen and learn always, but have more faith and confidence in YOU. Don’t put others on a pedestal…and don’t let others think that YOU are less than they are. Cheers folks!