5/4/15

This past weekend I was away at the Doubletree by Hilton - Gatineau/Ottawa for BConnected Conference 2015! A weekend we had been waiting and preparing months for finally arrived and what a weekend it was! There was so much buzz and excitement even before the conference even started, amazing what a great community of bloggers and social media enthusiasts can do!
My weekend started early Saturday morning. I met fellow team member and my BConnected roomie, Lian from @ReeseSpeaksBlog, downtown (thanks again for the much needed coffee!) and we made our way to the hotel for the conference! Heading in was exciting and that was just the beginning! As soon as we arrived we were meeting and greeting fellow bloggers, familiar faces. It was so great to see so many come out to this event! 

Day one was such a whirlwind of events from amazing speakers and sessions to seeing so many familiar faces and meeting so many new. During the conference you had the chance to find a star buddy, which is someone who has the same colour star sticker as you on their BConnected pass. I thought this was a brilliant idea, thank you Cathy! It gave everyone a chance to meet each other and not be so shy. A reason to walk up and say hello. Plus, who doesn't like to take a selfie with a buddy! After all, this was a social media and blogging conference! I met five star buddies although I know there were more of you! 



The events kicked off with our awesome MC Chris Read (aka Canadian Dad or Father Canada, hehe) taking the podium, introducing our speakers of the day. Speakers on day one included Keynote speaker Tony Perez from Sucuri, Dino Dogan from Triberr, Nicolas Videto from Knifewear, Jose Lafleur from Outaouais Tourism, Vanessa Chaisson from Turnipseed Travel and Julie Harrison from Coffee With Julie. We also listed to a panel moderated by Dino Dogan with Crystal Duncan from IZEA, Kim Logan from Tales of a Ranting Ginger, Julie Elsdon-Height from SJ Consulting and Sean Beckingham from Branding and Buzzing on the panel. 



Every speaker and panelist brought us something we could take away from advice on how to engage with brands and dealing with Google Analytics to brushing up on our grammar skills (sorry for the poor grammar, Julie!), SEO and being awesome on Pinterest, plus so much more. I enjoyed every single talk, my brain is still swimming with so much information! I can't tell you which session was my favourite because to me, they all brought something different to each person. It all depends on what you want out of blogging and social media. I can say I will be applying much of what I've learned here on AME. 

The exhibitors hall included great sponsoring brands Outaouais Tourism, Sucuri, Shoebox Be Gone, HOSS Magazine, IZEA, headshots for attendees by Barnyard Studio du coin and free chair massages on behalf of Ann of Kickass Living! It was so great to network with everyone and talk a bit more to the brands we love face-to-face. 



The evening wine & cheese networking party hosted by Tourisme Outaouais was simply amazing. Everyone was full of energy enjoying the games (with prizes), the chocolate, the wine and the special furry guests who Parc Omega brought along to visit! There were prizes and also surprises for everyone!

Our Chief B, Lynne put her heart and soul into BConnected, we have always believed in this conference. We are so grateful and proud of all the hard work she puts into creating this for bloggers and brands. We kept secrets from her though, we had a surprise planned for her (thanks again, Lian!). BConnected cupcakes and BConnected necklace sets (thanks HeatherBoydWire!) as a token of our appreciation and celebration of BConnected Conferences "birthday". 



I caught her reaction on video but my finger got the better of me and I ended it before her speech and receiving her awesome necklace sets from Heather Boyd Wire. How many bloggers do you recognize? 



After the networking party we all gathered in the hotel restaurant for dinner. This gave some of us a chance to talk one-on-one and get to know each other over a yummy dinner. Next up was the infamous "Meow Party" by none other than Kristen from My3LittleKittens and Ann of Kickass Living! The party was already started when we arrived but I was so exhausted from the days events I just stayed a little while to chat with some friends and headed off to my room for the night. I heard Canadian bloggers play a mean game of Cards Against Humanity!

Day two continued including more incredible speakers with Dino Dogan as our Keynote speaker and a morning panel with Christy Laverty, Ian Mendes, Catherine Clarke, Andrea Tomkins and Katherine Dines. Our other session speakers included Elaine Lindsay from TROOL social media, Lisa Bishop-Spencer from Chicken Farmers of Canada, Certified professional life coach Tammy Plunkett, Chantal Bechervaise from Take it Personel-ly and Jennifer Pinarski of Now Get Outside. Again, so much information and great take-aways. 



It was such a great weekend getting to meet so many faces I usually see just in my Twitter, Facebook feeds and blogs I read and getting to see so many I hadn't seen for a very long time. I wish I had more of a chance to sit and chat with more of you. 

Thank you Lyne and the entire BConnected Conference committee for putting your hearts and souls into this. Ever since I got into blogging, I have wanted to be part of something like this right in our Ottawa. It's just amazing to be part of such a great team. 

Thank you to the Doubletree by Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa for hosting us this year. Thank you to the sponsors who contributed in the amazing swag bags, showed off your goods in the exhibit hall and connected with so many great bloggers over the weekend! Thank you to Quality Entertainment for keeping the sound in check! Thank you to the amazing attendees who made this the best BConnected Conference yet! We hope to see everyone again next year for BConnected 2016!


Posted in participation with the BConnected Conference Committee. Opinions and comments are those of the author. 



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5 comments:

  1. I am sad to have missed it this year - last year was great. Hoping to be back for next years!

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    1. Missed you this year :( Hope you come next year!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your review of this year's BConnected Conference! It was so great to have you as a roomie (thanks so much!), and to have shared this year's fab conference with you and with all who had attended. It really topped last year's event. I also loved the pics you posted. They are really great!

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    1. You are an awesome rookie and amazing friend! I'm happy to have been able to have the chance to get to know you better! This years conference blew last years out of the water! Let's make next year even better! :-D

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  3. I agree that the stars were a brilliant idea! It was a wonderful conference and so well-organized ... I can only imagine how many hours went into making it so fabulous. Please accept a huge THANK YOU for this fellow blogger!

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