Remember back in September when I wrote about the fact that I’d be facilitating a round-table at the Mitten Moms Michigan Blogger Conference and Retreat?
Well this past weekend, the hubs and I headed up to Petoskey (MI) to attend the conference – me as a blogger and facilitator; him also as a facilitator and the event photographer. Bonus – we went sans kid.
This was my first blogging conference, and I am so happy it was this one, and not one of the bigger ones – which I totally plan on attending one of these days.
The conference was slated to start on Friday at 1 p.m. Unfortunately, parental responsibilities prevented us from making it to the Friday conferences. But, we did get there just in time for dinner (awesome cake for dessert) and the GHOST TOUR. Y’all, I was so excited about this aspect of the conference/retreat! I’m an October baby, and I love all things scary/horror/supernatural/Halloween-related.
Despite the cold, damp night (which was perfect for a spooky ghost tour) – I had an awesome time. The tour guide told us a bunch of true stories about haunting in downtown Petoskey. It was an excellent mix of history and the paranormal.
After dinner and before the ghost tour, we all went over to the beautiful Odawa Casino Resort to gamble for a bit. We didn’t win big, but had a great time, none-the-less.
From 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. the group participated in Petoskey’s Annual Shopping Scramble. This was a super-fun event that allowed us to check out downtown Petoskey and meet some really nice people. Plus, we were put into teams and got to hang out with some of the other attendees. (Side note: Downtown Petoskey is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. We’ll definitely be taking a trip back there in the spring/summer with the kid.)
After the Scramble, we all hustled back to the hotel, so the ladies could get ready for the photographer their headshots. Since the hubs already took mine, I played assistant for the session.
Once the headshot sessions were done, it was time for the Fireside Chat & Expo portion of the conference. After Sommer welcomed us to the conference, Dina Freeman, senior manager for social programming at BabyCenter served as our opening/keynote speaker. She gave us all kinds of juicy tidbits on being better bloggers and on working with brands.
After the opening, we had out “fireside chats.” Topics included:
- I’m new to blogging where do I start?
- Creating a Media Kit and Working with PR
- Money/Tax Matters
- Blog Monetization
- Legal Matters
- SEO, WordPress Plugins and Traffic Tips &Tricks
After the fireside chats, most of the ladies went to the night club at the casino. I, however, was beat. So I just went up and went to bed.
Sunday morning dawned, and it was a beautiful day. The hubs facilitated a session on photography, as we walked along Lake Michigan. He was on hand to provide tips, tricks and advice for taking great photos.
He did such an awesome job, and I am so proud of him.
As this was the last session of the conference, once it was over, we all parted ways.
I made some awesome friends on this trip, and it was really good to meet some of my online friends in real life.
I really hope Sommer does this again next year, because I had an excellent time and learned so much.
Here are the links to the wonderful people I met this weekend – both bloggers and sponsors.