We’ve been busy behind the scenes working on the details for our first two events in Portland and Phoenix this spring, and I’m happy to announce that our Portland lineup is confirmed! We’ll be rolling out session descriptions and speaker spotlight posts over the coming weeks, but here’s an overview of what to expect in Portland.
On Friday, March 27th, we’ll open the weekend with an evening mixer for conference participants. You’ll be able to pick up your registration packet to save some time on Saturday morning, and can start meeting some of the speakers and your fellow attendees. The mixer will include entertainment in the form of a storytelling/reading event by Longreads. Longreads is part of the WordPress.com/Automattic family, a site for finding and sharing outstanding storytelling. I like to think of it almost as our magazine, and the similar storytelling event they put on in New York was great fun and received excellent reviews from attendees. This evening event will be open to the public, so feel free to bring a friend or significant other!
On Saturday the 28th, we’ll have speakers all day in the ballrooms, a mix of successful bloggers sharing stories of how their blogs helped them get to where they are today and members of the Automattic crew giving practical tips and instruction on how to make the most of your site. We’ll also have a smaller classroom running smaller hands-on classes and clinics, and will have Happiness Engineers on call all day in the Happiness Lounge to help you with your own blog if you have any questions or site problems in need of solutions.
I’m especially excited about the breadth of experience we have among our featured blogger speakers. They range in scope from Kathy Cano-Murillo, running a virtual crafty empire, to Cecilia Gunther, running a farm in her own backyard. They come from as close as our backyard, like Portland food blogger Kelly Bejelly, to travel blogger Erick Prince-Heaggans, who’ll be coming to Portland during a break in his Europe/Asia/Africa spring tour and flying in from Bangkok. They are writers and published authors in a variety of genres — memoir, humor, fiction, non-fiction — like Ananda Leeke, Christine Lee, Mary Laura Philpott, and Jerry Mahoney. We believe each one of these speakers has an inspiring personal story, and their successes can provide conference attendees with a guide on how to grow their own blogs.
We’ll be putting together the schedule grid, including each speaker’s topic, over the coming week and posting it here on the Portland event page. If you want to be inspired, want to grow your blog, or just want to be around other people who enjoy blogging as much as you do, get your ticket now!