Too many fabulous people in one place

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my first day in New Orleans.  The second day, Tiffany and I went on a city tour of New Orleans with Stephanie and Tauni.  It was an amazing three hour tour of the city, and I’m sooo glad that we took the time to go on the tour.  On my Wordless Wednesday post last week, I am posted my photos from the tour.

After our tour on Thursday, we headed for a great big pre-conference group lunch at Cochon.  I had some difficulty with looking at the menu.  I am a REALLY REALLY REALLY picky eater.  I ended up eating pork ribs, while Tiffany enjoyed some fried alligator (YES, Alligator), and even Danielle tried some. We had some great conversations at lunch and it was very mellow and relaxed.  I met Karen, Stacey, and Christine at lunch, and instantly bonded with them.  We talked about blogging, photographs, kids, and even PTA.  I love meeting brilliant people and having actual time to sit down and talk shop (blogging, photography, whatever) with them. Because I was too busy jaw-jacking (yapping, talking, gossiping), I took only a few pictures.  I know, it was a complete photo fail.

Lunch at Cochon in New Orleans

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for a kick nap (30 minutes lounging around the room), and we then headed towards the opening night cocktail party for the conference.  I loved seeing all of my blogging friends that I’ve made in the past few years, Karianna, Amy, Karen, Rachel, Jyl and so many others. Honestly, I’m still shocked that people even know my name.

After the cocktail party, I headed towards the speaker’s dinner with Jyl.  We walked there, because it wasn’t too far away.  I love that Jyl was wearing flip-flops to walk there, and then she switched her shoes back to some dressier shoes.  She is smart.  Of course, I had another food fail at the speaker’s dinner, sigh… Julie does not do well with fancy food. But I had some great conversations.  I guess my new glasses are quite a conversation starter.  They also help me actually see people too.

Can you imagine how tired I was?

Well on Friday morning, Tiffany and I got up and made our way over to the hotel for the Mom 2.0 Summit Conference.  We got there after the keynote speakers, and a little bit before the sessions were beginning.  I was able to make my way around and talk to some of the sponsors at the conference.  I also saw some friends and chit chatted for a bit. Tiffany and I sat down near Alli and Cassie for the first session. Don’t mind my photo below, it is a little blurry….I hate hotel lighting!

A little blurry but Allie with a little Cassie in the background.

Our first session that we attended was The Other New Normal: Entrepreneurial Strategy in a Post-Recession, Post-Web 2.0 World with Stephanie Smirnov, Erica Diamond, Shelly Kramer, and Gabrielle Blair.  It was a great panel of women, but unfortunately with a larger panel, time was taken up with them talking about themselves. and introductions. I wanted to get more information, and I was left hanging somewhat, due to time running out. After the session was over, I walked around some more before it was lunch time.  Once again, lunch time was a fail for me. Julie doesn’t do seafood. But even though I didn’t eat much, I have never laughed so much in my life.  Our dessert was served in martini glasses.  There was chocolate and almonds dripping over the side of the glass. You can see Danielle with the dessert in the photo below.  But the best part was Tiffany eating her dessert.  She attempted to remove some of the almonds and chocolate from the side of the glass with her teeth.  Let’s just say that she got a mouth full of glass.  It shouldn’t have been funny, but I think our whole table was rolling with laughter.

Project 365 104/365: I think @DanielleSmithTV really really likes her dessert at lunch. #mom2summit

I was also able to capture this fabulous picture of Mama Kat during lunch. Doesn’t she have the greatest “conference face” ? She looks so angelic.
Kat, with the proper, "blog conference face"....

After lunch, I headed off to How’d You Get That Sponsor? The Nuts and Bolts of Pitching with Erin Loechner, Liz Gumbinner, and Maggie Mason.  They spoke about reputations, brands, owning your niche, contracts, demographics, and oversaturation.  Once again, I did a lot of head nodding.  I guess I’m not doing so bad after all.  I try not to oversaturate myself with PR campaigns, ads, etc.  And well, my niche, photography or randomness, is pretty good right now.

And then I wandered around some more…before I went to the next session.

What’s With All the Makeovers: Reinvention and Site Evolution: Helping Your Site Change with You with
Asha Dornfest, Jessica Ashley, Karen Walrond, Heather Flett, and Laurie Smithwick. It was great to hear from these successful bloggers about re-inventing your site, keeping your readers, and even losing some readers.  I think we all need some changes in our design and blog after time.  I have been re-designing my site with a little help (a lot) from Nap Warden the past few weeks.

After the last session, I went and checked out the Microsoft Office room where I got to check out Office 2011 for Mac.  I fell in love with Powerpoint for Office 2011.  I love their features for photographs and editing. It was amazing.  I wish I had more time to play with all of the software.

In my signature color, turquoise and a little plaid in NOLA today! Yikes, I'm speaking later. #mom2summit

A little blurry but this is a picture of how I was dressed for the day.  I’m a little obsessed with matching. Can’t you tell?

My round table was one of the last parts of the day.  I was able to give out information about Online Privacy & Anonymity.  I think everyone had gotten tired at the end of the day, but the crowd was pretty thin.

Yes, I was exhausted at the end of the day.  I ended going back to the room and talking with Tiffany, Fran, and Kat for several hours.  We couldn’t decide on dinner so we ordered room service, a little bit of everything.  I think that night was one of the best moments of my trip.  Just laughing and chatting.

So really, here’s my bullet point recap:

  • Food needs to be well-rounded for everyone. I’m not a fancy food gal.
  • Less panel speakers.  It is hard to keep on topic.  Less self-promotion.
  • Too many speakers and panels going on at same time.  Hard to make choices.
  • Not enough time for dinner.
  • Best moments were actual conversations, not idle fluff.
  • The smaller the conference, the better.
  • Conferences are expensive: Conference ticket, flight, hotel, food, and whatnot add up

I promise, no more blog conference recaps for awhile…at least a few months?

16 comments
Jyl Johnson Pattee
Jyl Johnson Pattee

Best part of that fancy schmancy dinner we went to together? You hated your food and I got to eat doubles! Yayyyyyyyy! You are such a great friend :D. Hoping to see you at evo. Do you have your ticket yet? Get ready for the zip line of your life! xoxo

Andi
Andi

Great recap, I like your honest feedback and generally find the same thing at the larger conference, which is why I like the SITS ones the best. Love the photos!

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

Yea, I think I just get overwhelmed and overstimulated at larger conferences.

The Mrs.
The Mrs.

Great hearing about what went on. Never been to any of them and always wonder. Going to blogher?

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

Yea, conferences have their pluses and minuses. I'm going to BlogHer!!

Nikki
Nikki

I had a really hard time finding food I like in New Orleans too. I think I ended up eating steak four days in a row. Then I got sick of red meat. I have never been to a blog conference. I'm too chicken to try to make friends.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

LOL, I ate steak and omelets...and had desserts alot. You are not too chicken. I heard you recently went to a blogger meet-up in Utah. I have my spies.....

Mama Kat
Mama Kat

Great recap Julie! I practice that face everyday in front of the mirror so I was REALLY prepared for the conference. ;) So much fun, here's to many more nights hotel rooms with room service and funny people.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

I hope you are still practicing that blog face!!! I expect to see it next time I see you!

Stacey Nerdin @ Tree, Root, and Twig
Stacey Nerdin @ Tree, Root, and Twig

It was so nice to meet you and hang in your orbit for just a bit. :) I agree with all your takeaways, too. Great recap!

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

Hang in my orbit...oh please! You were fab to talk to and hang with. I had to bullet point my takeaways, because otherwise it would have just said, "Go see Stacey's blog, I agree..."