Attended the #MittenMoms Blogger Conference and Retreat – Had a GREAT time!

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.

Friday

For the four hour drive up to Petoskey, Kia provided me with a cute-as-heck Rio SX (post and review coming tomorrow).

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.

  

Saturday

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

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.

Kalamazoo Rocks

Momma of 4 Cutiez

Mom to Mom Deals

Flint Mommas

Great Lakes Art Jewelry

A Mitten Full of Coupons

A Worthey Read

Stacey Says

Dexter’s Super Savvy Mommy

Sarah’s Deals

Northern Michigan Coupon Girl

Green and Clean Mom

Shawn Ann’s World

With Just a Bit of Magic

The Big Binder

Networking Witches

Odawa Casino

MenDale Glenn Design and Photography

Fine Design Group

Revision Legal

Hudsonville Ice Cream

Ecostore USA

If you’re a Michigan blogger – or would like to be – I wholeheartedly recommend you attend the Mitten Moms Blogger Conference and Retreat next year.

Comments

  1. says

    It was a wonderful weekend! Aside from learning a great deal it was just nice to get away for a little bit without kids!
    It was great to meet you & your husband too!

  2. says

    It was such a pleasure to meet you, Bree! And I’m so glad your husband made the trip with you. He was so kind to take our headshots and put up with my shenanigans while trying to get a good shot of me :)

  3. says

    Oh thank you for such an amazing recap and I’m so grateful to you and your husband for attending! It sure was fun! Did you like the stuff in your bag? Be sure to ping me if you write a post about any of the goodies! Tell MenDale I said hello!

  4. says

    awesome, Bree! I’ve heard that going to something smaller is the way to go first…and I agree. I went to that Blogher writers conference, which less blogging more books/ebooks/publishing but it gave me a good feel for how it’s all done…next year I am so so so wanting to get to the main Blogher ballyhoo! We should try and go together! Anyway, so glad you got to teach, use your giftset and make some new like-minded peeps –sounds like you had a great kid-free time!

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