Friday evening started off with checking into the hotel room with my roommate @ReeseSpeaksBlog at the Courtyard Marriott on Dalhousie Street in the Byward market. It had been a while since I had been on the market, especially on the weekend. It was nice to see the hustle and bustle, get out a bit in my own city.
After getting settled we headed off to lobby to meet up with other committee members and bloggers to kick off the BConnected Tour, Sip, and Socialize with Ottawa Tourism & Haunted Walks!
Attendees had two tours to choose from. My group took a spooky tour through the Old Carleton County Jail, apparently one of the most haunted buildings in North America! I couldn't believe the size of the jail cells inside, I would not survived as a criminal in those days! Our tour guide did a spectacular job of telling a tale of the man who may have been wrongly hanged for the death of D'Arcy McGee and haunts the converted Hostel today!
Day one of the BConnected Conference began with an early Bodygym class by Fitness with Jules. Although I didn't participate in this (I'm not much of a morning person some days) it did look like fun!
After registration we had a special breakfast inspired by Ford's sustainability. You will be able to read more about this here. It was a good breakfast and we learned a lot about how Ford is keeping things green and how they are keeping their voice while building the brand with Paula Roy.
The day went on with some very informative sessions:
Periscope: It's Time for Your Close-up with @cyngagen - I have dabbled with Periscope but my big problem is being camera shy. I don't like my own voice, I think I look weird etc (you know!) but after Cyn's session, I may just try Periscope again. She talked about Periscope and how to really get use out of this live video social media tool.
"Be Authentic". I can't even count on my fingers how many times I have heard that phrase since I began blogging in 2009. @joeboughner gave us a lesson about what it really means to be authentic with his session Authenticity Means Never Having to Censor Your Curse Words. Now, mind you I may curse from time to time in my personal life, I try to keep those away from my blog because well, we are family friendly here people! I really enjoyed Joe's speech, it was raw and it was real - just how we all should be here in the blogosphere and everywhere else.
Lunch time came with a special Keynote that was inspiring, brave, amazing and all of the other good things. Change: You (And Your Audience!) Can Handle It with @MayvenOfMayhem. Amanda Jette Knox gave an incredible speech about her own journey and changes in her own life, in her family and in herself. She deserved that standing ovation X100! I read her story online but hearing her speak it was something else.
The afternoon continued with an informative session Trademarks, Copyrights and Image Consciousness in Content Creation by @ari_FYW which is something everyone who works in social media and blogging has to know. It was great to hear what we have been doing here on AME has been good!
@JordanDangerInc gave an insightful workshop about how we portray our image, message and brand through staying "on message", losing the audience's attention and our self of direction, called Your Image and Brand: How to Look, Talk and, Walk With a Message. It reminded me to not let things go so easily and keep on it.
After a break checking out the sponsor booths and selfie booth, we headed in for roundtable discussions. We chose our tables ahead of time and mine were: Community Management 101 with @commoncentsmom, Rock Your Photography with @LifeOverEasy and Can My iPhone or iPad Satisfy all of my video needs? Yes, if... with @DoMoreVideo.
I can say I am very pleased with the selections I made for attending the roundtables. Each expert had some great information for me to take away and use in every aspect of my own blogging from what tools or apps to use for creating great video to DIY backdrops for taking those product shots.
After day 1 ended we headed off for a bite to eat at the Rideau Centre again, this time poutine at Big Smoke Burger before getting ready for the BConnected Social Blowout Party.
The party was hosted by Derick Fage and included a silent auction where proceeds went toward The Canadian Continence Foundation. The party was spectacular! On top of the silent auction there was music, a dance floor (and let me tell you some of us really got our groove on!), drinks, a candy bar (so yummy!) plus a very amazing demonstration by @Ottawa_Pole_Fit! We finished off dancing the night away! I think the best part of the evening though were the amazing people who were at the party, you guys are what made it happen! I had a great time!
After somewhat of a night's sleep in the hotel room, we were ready to take on BConnected day 2! Breakfast was provided by Egg Farmers of Canada along with our morning Keynote with Julie Cole of Mabel's Labels! You may have seen my Mabel reviews over the years here on AME, love them!
Next up was a panel session hosted by @Sab_Media featuring @joeboughner, @finding_joy, @DoMoreVideo and @larawellman discussing Next Stage of Blogging and Social Media. They had some expert information to share with everyone.
@ImFreckles talked to us about creating kickass content - remember that grammar, people! I think she may have a thing or two to say about my writing sometimes here on AME, I try! :)
Lunchtime came with a great session, Shared Roots & Rubber Boots, Connecting with Canadian Farmers by @amyemathe. Amy explained to us just how her farm works, how the cows are treated like family and she even debunked some milk-farmer myths for us.
We learned more about how to make our videos work better for us with Tips to get your video found and viewed by @DoMoreVideo. Anthony Wong really knows his stuff when it comes to videos! He had some good tips and introduced us to some useful tools!
The last session of the day was Email Marketing with @larawellman. Here at AME we have a weekly blast and sometimes send the odd surprise and that is how we keep our readers updated and in the know about what's going on here at AME! Lara gave some great tips to maximize the use without overdoing it.
I didn't stay for the Blogging Concentrated workshop although I am hearing wonderful things about it. I had to say my goodbye's after the closing remarks to go get my daughter from her weekend at her grandmothers. It was time to get back to reality!
I had a great time being part of the BConnected Conference 2016 team and am so proud of everyone who worked so hard to make it happen, again.
It was a wonderful weekend of learning, networking and connecting. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces and meet so many new. If we didn't get see each other, I'm sorry! :-(
For those who couldn't make it for one reason or another, we missed you BUT it was announced that the BConnected Conference is heading to Toronto next Spring!
I can't wait to see what the next year will bring us!
Posted in participation with the BConnected Team. Opinions and comments on this blog are honest and my own.