Photo-A-Day #2220

Today I attended Bloggy Boot Camp in Boston. Collective Bias took care of my ticket to the event. The event was nice, a good place for people who are starting to get into blogging to go and network with each other. It is geared toward women and that was evidenced by me being one of three men at the event. It is okay I didn’t feel outnumbered or intimidated. I don’t fit the typical husband mold anyway so I am used to the jokes and jibes.

At each blogging event that I go to I learn some ways to do things and some ways not to do things. Do stick to a schedule. The talks ran a little long and lunch was nearly an hour late because of it, then it was pretty rushed to get us back on track. I would have really enjoyed much more time to network with people at each table rather than sitting down and flipping cards to everyone like a black-jack dealer. Time was scheduled too cramped and things ran too long. I suggest that breaks get scheduled in. If one of the things to do is network then build in more time to do that.

I did like the assigned seating, this was great to get me to a number of tables with different people, however many times it was the same people. there has to be some sort of way to break things up better to people don’t end up at the same table with the same people over and over. There were something like 125 people and four or five table changes, it could have been done. That is just nit-picky and for the most part the moving to different tables was a welcome change from other conferences where you can spend much of my time with people you already know. I did meet many nice people even if it was just for a minute or two before the next session.

More snacks. Maybe it was because lunch was so late and I was pretty hungry after having a light breakfast. I got irritable but didn’t tweet it, that is tacky. I do think that some snacks would have been a good idea to have at the tables or in the back. I was thankful for the coffee after being up for 24+ straight hours but a cookie or something would have gone a long way.

The information I learned was good. I especially liked the talks by Carol Schiller and Katja Presnal. They had some amazing information and stories that were very helpful personally to me. I’ve known Katja for a while now and she helped me very much in the past. It was nice to learn more about her past and how she has become successful. It was very inspiring.

Another very inspiring session was from Mommy Niri. Her talk about how we can use Blogging for Social Good was excellent and something that we should all do more of.

The session that told me not to be scared of Legalities of Blogging probably should not have been right after lunch. I think that Charlene Deloach Oliver and Sarah Visbeek are fantastic and had a lot to offer. The session would have been better suited for us when were were fresh and awake in the morning, not drowsy from the delicious Mirassou wine.

I was tired and needed to head home right after the event which was fine because there really wasn’t a closing event where people could talk with each other in a more relaxed way. I figure that if you go to one of these events that you personally have an opportunity to connect with people and bring the conversation out somewhere after it is all over. I’m sure many people stuck around and did something, I would have liked to but was too tired after working all night to go anywhere.

I enjoyed being able to connect with brands. The sponsors of the event were very nice. I loved hearing the story of Mirassou wine, I had never heard of them but will look at buying their wine in the future now that I know more of their story. The Arm & Hammer folks were great and I have toothpaste to last me a real long time. Sony had some cool devices that I’d like to try out and review. Also I got to spend time with the folks from Collective Bias.

Randi, David and Kim were there. They had some fun things in the swag bag that will go great in the new house too. But, it was fun to talk about different campaigns and what we will do with Whrrl being gone. Man I hate that my work for CB was blown away with Whrrl picking up stakes on their product, that really stinks.

All in all I had a good day and I’d recommend going to a Bloggy Boot Camp if you’d like to learn the basics of the medium.

What is Drew Shooting with?
Model: KODAK PlayTouch Video Camera, Zi10
ISO: 80
Exposure: 1/30 sec
Aperture: 2.8
Focal Length: 3.9mm
Flash Used: No

I received the Kodak PlayTouch Free from Kodak. The opinions about it are 100% mine.

How Does Drew Protect His Photos?
Model: GoFlex™ Ultra-portable Drive
Interface USB 2.0 or 3.0
Capacity: 320GB – 1.5TB
Automatic Backup Software:PC & Mac:
Weight (typical): 150g (.33 lb)
Software: Pre–loaded backup software with encryption

Disclosure: I received a number of Seagate devices including the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB USB 2.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive, GoFlex Home, GoFlex TV and GoFlex Net. I’ll be talking about these devices in the coming months. The opinions about the devices are 100% mine.

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16 Responses to “Bloggy Boot Camp Boston”

  1. Cindy says:

    Nice write up, Drew. I have to agree with you on the lunch delay… I was absolutely ravenous (and very cranky) by the time lunch came along. I was also hoping the afternoon coffee break would have food. I liked that there wasn’t a huge sponsor presence but a snack sponsor would have been nice. I ended up going to the hotel gift shop for coke and m&ms. :)
    Look at what Cindy wrote blog post ..4 Things Blogging Conference Organizers Can Learn from Bloggy Boot Camp

    • Drew says:

      Thanks Cindy. I did have a very good time, there were just a few things that I thought could have been improved like being tighter to the schedule. I noticed a lot of hungry tweeters and that didn’t look good. I joked about there being some cookies because well, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.

  2. Desiree says:

    Nice change of pace on this write-up. I liked Carol’s talk — her presence in front of an audience is amazing.
    Look at what Desiree wrote blog post ..Bloggers and wanna-bes- Have a wicked awesome time with Bloggy Boot Camp

  3. Hi Ben,

    Thanks so much for your insightful write up- I think I am going to start using a sign that says, “10 minutes left” and hold it up at the back of the room for the speakers! ;)

    We’ve thought a lot about the snack issue too- hotel rates for food are outrageous with close to 33% in service fees and taxes- a snack could run about $1,000 {especially at a upscale hotel like Seaport}.

    Do you think it’s worth charging an additional $10/ticket? I’m curious to know- as we’ve tossed the idea around, but keeping the ticket price low has always won out. Maybe its something we need to reconsider, as you aren’t the first to mention it. We’ve also talked about doing 2 shorter breaks- one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

    I agree with you about the time to hang out afterward- at all of our other stops the cocktail party is Saturday night, right after the event- which gives a great chance to finish up with networking- we changed it to Friday due to Mother’s Day on Sunday- thought a decent number of people would want to head home. I definitely missed the time to get to know people better.

    Thanks again for coming and for the feedback!

    Tiffany

    • Drew says:

      Tiffany,

      A snack through the seaport or any hotel is outrageous, they certainly do screw you for pretty crappy selection overall. Hotel cookies are never that good. What about a sponsor like Dancing Deer, they are local to Boston. I suppose that you would probably get charged anyway from the hotel for any outside food. I know that you don’t want to go sponsor crazy or anything at the event but maybe some local snack food company like that for a little something to nibble on.

      As far as the conference itself… The pace was very fast and breaks were few and far between so I didn’t totally feel like I could network very well. More breaks and tighter schedule really would have put that whole event at an A+ for me. I think that a snack after going all day long with a late lunch and no other food would be worth another $10.

      I really wish the cocktail party was the same night. I certainly would have gone to it but since I work Weekend Nights it only made sense for me to take one night off from work and drive into the city one day.

      I met some nice people but it was such a blur that I didn’t feel I got the opportunity to network long enough because of the rushed pace. I know you can’t please everyone, I did have a good time and learned some decent info.

      Were there feedback forms? I missed them if there were. Or will them come via e-mail after the event?

  4. If the hotels would let us bring the food in- I’d happily go to Costco and buy a bunch! But, I do think it’s something we need to bite the bullet and offer. Even if it is just a cookie.

    For pace, I agree- we’ve toyed with the idea of one less speaker and longer networking time, but were concerned people might feel they didn’t get enough education. Another idea was going to 6:00- giving us a bit more time. But the 6:00 time limits the hotels, as many have Saturday night events… The issues never end! ;)

    When we’ve done feedback in the past and asked these questions, we would often get opposite views- 50% on each side. I am working on a follow up email to go out this week- maybe I’ll stick a short survey in there….

    Okay- the conversation has been so helpful- thanks for taking the time!

  5. Glamamom says:

    Nice recap Drew. I have to agree with the lunch delay but as Tiffany pointed out, it was unforeseen. Also agree about snack and networking but since I was staying the weekend, I had ample time.

    It was nice to meet you, although brief. Hopefully we catch up at the next one.
    Look at what Glamamom wrote blog post ..BEANTOWN

    • Drew says:

      Glamamom,

      Thanks. I missed the part about lunch being late being unforseen. No worries about that, just thought it could have been a little tighter to the schedule. I was pretty tired after working the night before so I probably should have tried to do something else so I could have been fresher and would have stayed longer to network. There will be other networking events especially with people who are in the area.

      Great to meet you as well. Next time we can talk longer.

      • Glamamom says:

        Oh yeah, looks like that wasn’t addressed ;) I assumed it was unforeseen since it was scheduled earlier on the agenda!
        Look at what Glamamom wrote blog post ..WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE

        • I actually addressed it with a joke: “I think I am going to start using a sign that says, “10 minutes left” and hold it up at the back of the room for the speakers! ;)”

          We ask speakers keep their presentation to 25-30 minutes with 5 minutes for questions. They do turn their slides into us ahead of time, but there is no way to know if they will stay within their allotted time. When this doesn’t happen, there is not much we can do, short of interrupting, which I finally did. So, yes, unforseen….

          We occasionally walk into lunch 10 minutes behind schedule- Boston was not the norm for sure.

          Hope you are having a great weekend!

  6. Sarahviz says:

    Great feedback Ben – and it’s always nice to see a (now) familiar face like yours at these sorts of events!
    Look at what Sarahviz wrote blog post ..Why You Should Attend a Bloggy Boot Camp

    • Drew says:

      Sarah,

      Nice to see you again too. It is nice seeing people that I’ve connected with before. Always nice to see a friendly face. And calling me Ben is not a problem at all.

  7. Sarahviz says:

    And I KNOW, I KNOW your name is Drew, but I totally think of you as Ben! My apologies!
    Look at what Sarahviz wrote blog post ..Why You Should Attend a Bloggy Boot Camp