To be honest, most of my readers probably don't care what I learned at the MN Blog Conference. I could go on and on and make a list of all the things I learned, but I’d most likely bore you to death. My follow up findings are about the real Wizards of the conference...the PEOPLE.
So, follow me down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City called the Minnesota Blog Conference. No, I didn't sing happily with munchkins and meet Glinda the good witch. However, my adventure did take me down a road of many discoveries.
What I found REALLY matters are the interesting creative people I actually met face to face. The REAL personalities revealed from behind the Blogging Curtain.
My first acquaintance was with Amy, who sat at my table. At 8:15 a.m. she was already very bright and cheery. But, who wouldn’t be with a cinnamon roll and coffee in hand. After the introductions, she told me she owned a virtual assistance business www.amyshinkle.com. I learned that Amy is incredibly organized. She showed me her elaborate and creative planner book. She told me that planner groups, much like scrap bookers, gather to share creations and ideas for their planners. I had no idea! Her tag line “I’ll buy the coffee, you provide the details,” is pretty clever. So, as she commented on her torn jeans and that comfort and simple style was how she rolled, I couldn't help but wonder if I should be changing my personal planning approach.
Joining us later was a previous blogger connection of mine, Virginia. She’s an art inspired blogger at virginiajbailey.blogspot.com. She’s an artist, jewelry maker and business owner. Her doodle art is truly one of kind. I only wish my doodling came out so artistically. Virginia recently lost her pet dog after 15 years. Rather than getting a replacement pet right away they decided to offer their services as dog sitters instead. She said it’s a little bit like being a grandparent. You get to enjoy the fun for a couple days, but then send them home. The responsibility is on someone else. Doing this helped to fill the loss of their pet. Virginia said she loves learning and often goes to YouTube and Craig’s List to find new ideas and classes. I find her a joy to be around and she’s quite talented.
Also, in the mix was a fantastically creative photographer. Kellie takes photos of her subject in front of urban walls and murals. She does beautiful work and I was very impressed with this idea and it makes her photos very unique. You can see her awesome photos at www.kelliedueweiland.com.
One of our guest speakers was Erica with www.pukerainbows.com. She’s a video director, producer and editor along with her many other talents. She gave a great presentation, but it was what I spoke to her about afterwards, as we were walking out of the conference center to the parking lot that was very meaningful. Erica has a pretty bold presence with streaked blondish blue hair. She seems very down to earth with a fun and outgoing personality. I like that in a person. Our brief conversation was based on accepting yourself for the way you are and who you are. This was pretty random stuff for a 5 minute walk to our parked cars. She expressed that it wasn’t always that way for her, but learned that even with imperfections, if you don’t have a good attitude about yourself, it’ll show through to others. Couldn’t agree more! You see, come out from behind the curtain and good things happen.
The after party was at Urban Growler and a great wrap up to a busy day. It gave everyone a chance to relax and talk about the day’s activities.
I happened to squeeze my way in at an open table spot with husband and wife, Matt and Makenzie. They were probably 20 years younger than me, but the beauty of these events is that you have the same thing in common and it makes for a perfect ice breaker. They manage their own web design agency www.aktioninteractive.com. It was fun getting to know them and finding out what motivates people to bring their dreams to reality. Not to mention, as it turned out, MaKenzie just happened to have graduated from the same college that my daughter attends. Small world! Pretty cool connections can be made no matter what the age difference.
Thank you to the organizers and volunteers, who did a great job! All the meetings were informative, the conference was well planned and I was impressed with what they offered. For me, what really stuck out are the personal stories. It was great to be able to share insecurities, imperfections and knowing that others have the same ones.
So, by the end of a long day I clicked my heels and said “there's no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
When I arrived home and realized it wasn't all a dream and that the ones I met somewhere over the rainbow were genuine people that have Brains, Heart and Courage. They also have a passion for what they're doing and that was incredibly inspiring.
Minus the wicked witch and flying monkeys, this is my take away story from the MN Blog Conference.
Oh, and I guess I'll share one important thing I did learn. I'm not a blogger. I'm a writer.