Getting together

I noticed at Press Publish Portland that we had a real mix of conference experience amongst our attendees. Some attendees had been to many different kinds of conferences, some were experienced conference organizers, and some were attending a conference for the first time.

I remember attending my first conference and feeling really overwhelmed. I didn’t know anyone, and I wasn’t sure I belonged there. At first, I wandered around by myself, avoiding eye contact and feeling like an imposter. About halfway through the morning, I attended a talk that really connected with me and saw other people nodding and laughing at the same things I was nodding and laughing about. It finally occurred to me, “Oh! Some of these people are just like me!” And then I was able to strike up a conversation with someone at lunch, chatted with some one or two other people before/after sessions in the afternoon, and left the event with some great new ideas and feeling pretty pleased with myself.

If you’ve attended a conference in the past, what’s the best experience you had — did a presentation inspire you? Did you make a new friend, learn a skill, or have a great conversation? If you have a conference coming up (Press Publish Phoenix is on April 18, to take an example completely at random), what do you hope to get out of it?


  1. I agree. Conferences are such great opportunities. At the same time as your one was going on, I was attending the Scottish Association of Writers annual weekend conference here in Scotland. It was wonderful. I met old friends and made new ones. I attended useful workshops and enjoyed a fantastic keynote speech. I even blogged about it here on WordPress.

    1. How great that you had a good time at your conference! I think blogging about events that you attend is a great way to give feedback to event organizers, and also to help other people understand what to expect from future events of that kind. Kudos!

  2. Conferences usually motivate me and get my wheels turning again…and that’s exactly what I’m hoping for at Press Publish. I used to be much more constant with my blog and I’d like to get back to that energy and commitment. I’m also looking forward to hearing more about audience building and monetizing a blog. And I’m fairly ignorant about the technology so that info will be great too. You can’t go wrong with me; I want all the information!

    For the record, I’m friendly and love to interact with all kinds of folks, so I’m really looking forward to meeting other attendees and hearing their stories.

    1. We’ve got a lot of information in store for you in Phoenix, Meg! 🙂 Meeting new blogging buddies is another great way to get motivated to blog more often. I know a few attendees at our Portland event got great ideas from other attendees, over lunch conversation. Can’t wait to meet you next week!

  3. Please allow another Livestream, for those who cannot travel to Phoenix (elsewhere I gave you three tips to tell the remote viewers about pause, DVR and Live and scrolling) or post the original ones for the next month. Just too much to absorb.

    1. Thanks, Tracy! We’re not going to be able to livestream the event in Phoenix, but we’ve definitely got lots of thoughts about livestreaming in the future. 🙂

  4. The best conference experiences for me are the ones where I walk away with something I can do new or differently or better. I like to set goals and usually have a minimum, primary and visionary goal for conferences as I head into them. Last fall I attended a conference where I learned about the joys of Tweet Chatting (and then the conference organizers followed up the conference with a Tweet Chat of their own to keep the learning going). A new concept/skill that I was able to put to use right away.

    At the Portland Press Publish, I walked away with a new blog post which I formed in my mind as I was attending the sessions. I met some new people whose blogs and Twitter feeds I follow and who can help inspire new ideas. I was inspired to change the (tired) theme of my blog. And I learned some new things I’m planning to try in order to build my audience a bit more.

    I guess for me, it’s all about the take-aways. Whether that’s new knowledge, skills, inspiration or contacts.

    1. I love it when a new idea for a blog post bubbles up in my mind, at a conference or anywhere! 🙂 And it’s so cool that you were inspired to refresh your blog’s look by trying a new theme! It was great meeting you in Portland.

  5. I just spent the entire day making changes to my blog based on things I learned at Press Publish in Portland. It was a combination of little things I didn’t realize I could do, but I’m very pleased with the results. I almost felt a little overwhelmed the day of the event, but after I had a little time to process I realized how much I really came away with!

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