This past weekend, a few sistahs, rolled into my hood! Honestly, I didn’t even see them coming! But, these sistahs look out for one another and I happened to have met one of them through my toddler’s play group. Cara from Land of Bean, who happened to take home #1 for best family blog in the Mobbie’s Awards last year, (just tootin’ her horn for her!) was kind enough to let me know about the Bloggy Bootcamp coming to Baltimore! Bloggy Bootcamp was hosted by one of the SITSgirls! And can I just pause and say here, that SITSgirl is quite the hostess! (Ok, I’m gonna toot her horn too!) Tiffany, AKA SITSgirl, amazed me from the moment I walked in to the restaurant on Friday night and she pulled out a chair right next to her and invited me to sit! I was made to feel immediately like one of the family! (In a natural, sister kinda way…not a creepy, tryin’ too hard kinda way!) About 30 gals shared dinner together at McCormick and Schmick’s. It was a blast! We exchanged stories, talked about our kids, drank Sangria and were attentively served by Derek!
Now, I have to take a commercial break here for a moment and give a short review of the restaurant, ’cause we are a food blog after all! I asked Tiffany how the restaurant was to work with. She said, “Amazing!” Tiffany set out to have a blogging conference with a low budget because she understands how moms typically don’t have a lot of extra cash to play with. So, she approached the restaurant with a pretty slim (in my opinion) budget. The restaurant had something double that price, in mind. But, being gifted with the ability to have others believe the SITS vision, Tiffany quickly had them seeing the benefits of keeping the cost affordable. She negotiated a three course meal for $25.
We had seafood chowder, a choice of chicken or stuffed flounder and an amazingly, generous slice of upside down apple pie.
Our server, Derek was thoughtful and on top of things. He doted on Tiffany, making sure her sangria glass was never empty for long! (Oh…the sangria! I’m still dreaming about it!) That night I met Jacob’s Cure lead twitter girl, Sarah and Dianna from Kennedy’s With 2 Girls. It was a blast and just a little taster of what was to come!
The next day was Bloggy Bootcamp! It was a day packed with great speakers and enough information to leave a red head dizzy! It was also beautifully orchestrated! With each new speaker, we switched tables so we were able to meet and network with tons of women by the end of the day! Did I mention what a terrific hostess Tiffany was? The first session was with Scary Mommy, MamaKat from Mama’s Losin’ It! and of course, SITSgirl! Unfortunately, the first table I sat at, was the last one in the room, so I don’t have any fabulous picks of the three of them…so, you’ll just have to take my word for it, they were fabulous! They covered so many topics, from branding to comments and communities to twitter.
We stopped for lunch and I met some more sistahs! I met Motherhood & Me gal! I know we will be blogger friends as she totally spoke my language! She went to pastry school at CIA Napa!! (drool!) I also met Francesca from Mayhem and Moxie. I swear she brought a bit of sunshine with her from Cali! A local pr rep who happens to blog, Numbers Not Invited. (Congratulations to you and your new hubby!) And totally adorable Today’s Cliche girl!
After lunch we heard from Resourceful Mommy. She took us on a little journey! She spread out a PR road map and walked us through each step…getting ready, hitting the PR highway with a plan, setting some directions by knowing our strengths, and troubleshooting should we hit a “Bad Pitch” in the road! This was a juicy session!
Just when I didn’t think I could pack in any more info in my red head, Tara from Feels Like Home, broke down SEO (search engine optimization) into terms that translated…somehow…into my non technical, all artsy, computer illiterate (ok, truth be told, that’s the old me) brain! (Somehow, Chris Ann and I are actually feeling comfortable with our PCs…or in Chris Ann’s case, imac.) Thanks to Tara, I now know the difference between good urls and bad ones. I know the power that a keyword carries! And I know she loves Sara Lee!
We had a little Jello break (no, there were no shooters!) Where we were given fun, stuffed swag bags! And I met Desperately Seeking Silence and am so glad she came and we met in person!!
Then there was serious business shared about FTC regulations! No, really it’s not as scary as you might think. We were given great advice from attorney Stacey Ferguson, found @justicefergie, on how to be responsible with product reviews and give aways.
Take away point…”Know Your Worth”.
New friends? Many, too many to mention!
Do I recommend Bloggy Bootcamp? Absolutely!