The Blog Connect Recap

The Blog Connect Recap

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

PHLbloggers hosted our first conference (!!) on April 16, 2016. We had the pleasure of completely taking over Saxbys Headquarters in Philadelphia and made the space our own for the day.

Let me set the stage for the day. Liz & Angie of After Eight Agency showed up early to decorate the space with incredible flower arrangements. The high-ceilings, concrete floors, natural light-filled, industrial-look of Saxbys was the absolute perfect setting for the event. And each attendee arrived to find a swag bag filled with goodies on their chair. And there was unlimited coffee beverages all day.

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Each attendee also received a booklet with the agenda, speakers' and sponsors' social media handles, and a foreward written by the conference mastermind, Chrystina from Chrystina Noel.

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

The day started off with an hour of breakfast and networking. Attendees enjoyed bagels & schmears from Schmear It. And these were no ordinary schmears, the flavors were: loxsmith, philly roll, stuffed french toast, nutty naner, and veggie delight. Top off your breakfast with a delicious coffee from Saxbys and refreshing cold press green juice from Juice Dr, and you were sure to stay hydrated for the day - with very happy taste buds.

Photo by Chrystina Noel
Photo by Chrystina Noel
Photo by Tim Becker Straws above c/o Papermart

Photo by Tim Becker
Straws above c/o Papermart

The attendees also had the option of getting professional head shots taken by Mountain Gap Photography. Betsy & AJ found the best light in one of the conference rooms and took head shots and lifestyle shots for anyone interested. We loved getting to scroll through these images once they arrived - and seeing them pop up on people's social media accounts!

Our first duo of speakers was Sarah from smoorelovin' and Melissa from Skinny Affair. They talked about how to use word mapping & content mapping to create the best navigation for your site.

Melissa (left) & Sarah (right), Photo by Tim Becker

Melissa (left) & Sarah (right), Photo by Tim Becker

The first set of workshop breakout sessions of the day were Lisa of Lisli talking about Brainstorming Blog Post Ideas and Julie, The Storyologist, talking about Storytelling.

Lisa, Photo by Tim Becker

Lisa, Photo by Tim Becker

Julie, Photo by Tim Becker

Julie, Photo by Tim Becker

Our second session of the day was about Monetizing Your Blog. Our speaker, Bekah from That's Normal told us about how the book, Twilight was the start of her career & then showed detailed data on how she and her network of bloggers have made money from blogging.

Bekah, Photo by Tim Becker

Bekah, Photo by Tim Becker

After the first two sessions, we took a break for lunch. Snap Kitchen, a new one-stop healthy meal shop new to Philadelphia, shared their Indian trio, ginger chicken stirfry, and spinach & goat cheese salad. It was absolutely delicious.

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Before we got back to our sessions, attendees were able to grab a La Croix and some Pop Chips to satiate any afternoon cravings that may have happened. (Admittedly, the planning team's goal was to make sure that nobody was ever hungry or thirsty during the conference. #priorities)

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

The third session of the day was hosted by Kate & Jess of Philly PR Girl. They spoke about how to turn a blog into a business. Philly PR Girl was started in 2012 after Kate's personal blog took off. Since then, she has built an awesome team of people to plan events, manage social media, market, and run promotions for clients - all while still telling people about awesome events going on in the Philadelphia area.

Kate (left) & Jess (right), Photo by Tim Becker

Kate (left) & Jess (right), Photo by Tim Becker

Then it was time for our afternoon work sessions! Amber from Ember+March spoke about how to style and shoot for Instagram and Keyonna from Style Inc. Lifestyle facilitated a workshop where people could skill trade with each other.

Amber, Photo by Tim Becker

Amber, Photo by Tim Becker

Keyonna, Photo by Tim Becker

Keyonna, Photo by Tim Becker

Our final session of the day was a panel discussing how to build community. Gabby from Career & the City moderated the discussion asking question about what the best ways were to build community & what the bloggers had learned over the years. It was great to hear from such a diverse group of bloggers including (from left to right) Jess from Jessica Lawlor, Bekah from That's Normal, Rachel from The Crafted Life, and Emily from Her Philly. (That's Gabby on the right!)

Jess, Bekah, Rachel, Emily, Habby (left to right); Photo by Tim Becker

Jess, Bekah, Rachel, Emily, Habby (left to right); Photo by Tim Becker

We closed out our day with a happy hour sponsored by Philadelphia Brewing Company & Commonwealth Ciders to give the bloggers a chance to talk to people they may not have said hello to yet.

Photo by Tim Becker

Photo by Tim Becker

We hosted a book swap during happy hour so people could take some new reading material on the road with them when they left (and clean out their bookshelves!). AND we had a giveaway raffle for attendees thanks to XO Sarah, Blue Sky Planners, Jet Wine Bar, CorePower Yoga, P.S. & Co, & Smackaroons.

The attendees took swag bags home that were filled with goodies from FlyWheel, XO Sarah, Mally Beauty, Maven, Pop Chips, smoorelovin, and Chrystina Noel. The bags themselves were sponsored by Creative Business Accounting & Tax Service.

All in all, it was a pretty incredible day - and a fun first annual conference. The team has already gotten together to discuss plans for 2017, so make sure to be on the lookout! 

Thanks again to Tim from Tim Becker Photo for taking such great photos during the day and capturing some wonderful moments. Scroll through some of the photos below:

If you're interested in seeing what the attendees learned form the conference, what their favorite takeaways were, and to get to know our blogger community a little bit better, here are all of the blog recaps:

Also, feel free to check out our hashtag, #theblogconnect, on Twitter and Instagram.

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