I’ve been dying to go to a blogging event (a conference, workshop, seminar, whatever) for months now. I actually purchased my ticket to BlogHer 14′ back in January (at that point I’d only been blogging for about 4 months). That however is not until the end of July so I’ve been on the lookout for other opportunities a little closer to home. I’m the type of person who wants to learn everything they can about whatever it is they’re doing…in this case, blogging. Well, the opportunity finally came up and I was able to attend an evening workshop in Seattle that was hosted by SITS Girls and Invisalign. Of course I packed up the family and headed over to the West Side of the mountains for the weekend.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never been to any sort of blogging event. I was super nervous going in and apparently a little too ambitious since I was literally the first one to show up. Weird!! On the bright side though, I got to choose my seat so I found a super comfortable spot near the front of the room so I could absorb every tidbit of information that was uttered in my direction. Finally people started filtering in and a couple pretty awesome ladies sat at the table I was at. It was pretty cool finally meeting other bloggers that I had actually been following for months! (You are awesome Erin from Parenting Healthy and Ruthy from Discovery Street! Thank you for making me feel like I wasn’t such a “newbie”!)
What Did I Learn?
In only four short hours (okay four and a half), I walked away with so much information on blogging, social media, and goals that I’m already implementing. You know what’s even crazier? I’ve already seen a difference in my follower engagement (detailed posts on what I learned to come soon so keep an eye out for that!) which is mind blowing. Am I the best blogger in the world now? Well, probably not…I still have lots to learn, but I can totally tell I’m on my way to super stardom…okay, well that may be pushing it a bit too, but I am very optimistic and more than happy with the knowledge I took home.
Swanky Hotels? Yes Please!
While we were out of town we decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue and let me tell you, it was uh-may-zing! I did give them a call when I found out we would be traveling and they were nice enough to give me a media rate on pretty short notice, but I certainly didn’t expect everything we received! The concierge actually outdid themselves by leaving some lovely wine and desserts and even a baby swag bag for my toddler! As you can see, she was super impressed with the service!
The room was super nice – it was considered one of the Executive Suites so there was plenty of room for hubby and I as well as the two kiddos. The beds were super comfy which is usually the downfall of every hotel I go to so that alone made me a happy camper. The hotel itself is actually connected to several shops and restaurants in downtown Bellevue, so would be the perfect place to stay if you were in town for some retail therapy! There are also some amazing attractions nearby including the Bellevue Botanical Gardens and the Bellevue Art Museum. While I was there I also learned that in 2013, the hotel was recognized by TripAdvisor as a ‘GreenLeader’ Platinum Level, the highest level awarded, and by Seattle Business as one of the Top 50 Green Leaders in Washington state which I thought was pretty cool. I would definitely stay there again even if the discount wasn’t available. If you’re ever in the area, you should definitely check them out.
Have you ever been to a blogging event? What’s your best piece of advice for someone who may have never been to one, or not very many? What’s the main thing you look for regarding hotel accommodations? What would make you decide not to go back to a hotel? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
Leslie saysJune 9, 2014 at 7:46 am
I’ve wanted to go to a blogger conference but I can’t take time of work yet. I’m scared to fly by myself too, so that doesn’t help. I do love the Hyatt though. That is where I stay when I go to the beach. I’m glad you had fun.
Heather saysJune 9, 2014 at 7:46 am
I have STILL not been to a blogging event. Le sigh. I really want to go to BlogHer, but we have my husband’s daughters for the month of July and into August, so I won’t be making it. That was awesome. I used to live in Bellevue (my ex-husband is from Longview) and I get up there on business from time to time. I know that Hyatt well! So glad you enjoyed it. -Heather, Life of a Traveling Navhy Wife
Laurie @Food is Love saysJune 9, 2014 at 7:49 am
Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? Well I just love it! Thanks so much for the peek into your trip. Cannot wait to here more about what you learned and how you implemented it! Great piece! Tell us more about how you worked with the Hotel to get a “Media” rate 🙂
Alison saysJune 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm
Thank you so much Laurie! That really means a lot to hear! As far as my experience with the Hotel, I basically just let them know I was going to be in town for an event and wanted to know if they would be interested in partnering with Horseshoes & Hand Grenades for a review. They were totally on board and gave us a great Media rate in return and Hyatt has been really amazing to work with.
Amber saysJune 9, 2014 at 7:57 am
Sounds like a fun and helpful event! That’s great the hotel was so gracious to you and your family!
Rhonda saysJune 9, 2014 at 8:03 am
How did I not know about a blogging event in my own backyard? Glad you had a great time, and I can’t wait for you to share all you learned – I think I need all the education I can get! 😀
Erinn S saysJune 9, 2014 at 8:35 am
It was a very useful event. Glad we got to meet! I have never thought to ask a hotel about a media rate! Great idea. I would love to travel to a blogger event, but can’t do the airfare and all the costs to it with everything else we have to do this summer. Maybe next year
Brooke @ Blushing Noir saysJune 9, 2014 at 8:52 am
I’ve gone to IMATS and The Makeup Show but I’d love to do something along the lines of this or BlogHer!
tara pittman saysJune 9, 2014 at 8:57 am
I want to so bad go to a blogging event but the cost is to much for me. Maybe one will come closer to me
Alison saysJune 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm
I totally get that Tara! If this hadn’t come so close and been free nonetheless, I wouldn’t have been able to go either but I really lucked out with timing and location!
susan quackenbush saysJune 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm
Now I want to go to a blogging event! It looks like you had a great time. I am located north of Seattle in Salem Oregon.
Winter White saysJune 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm
Thank you for posting about your experience ! I’ve been wanting to go to a blogger event since i started blogging about 4 months ago and hearing about your experience has made me want to go even more! I’ve been to a ton of work related conferences so I’m familiar with the way things are set up but to go for something that supports my passion would be amazing! Can you talk a little bit more about the conference you’re attending in July?
Alison saysJune 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm
I will definitely be sharing my experience once I attend BlogHer in July, but it’s truly my first major conference so I don’t know a lot about how it all works yet. I do know it’s big and I will admit I’m a bit nervous to go, but I’m super excited and really hoping to network with other bloggers and brands and learn some new tricks!
jbrobeck saysJune 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm
I need to see if SITS does anything close to me!
Pam Rote saysJune 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm
I want to go to an even too!! Most are just a tad too far… and I’m skerd to go alone and HONESTLY don’t want to pack up the family and go –BLOGGING is my away time…one day they will come–We have Niagara Falls right here would be a beautiful place but they like to go where is’t sunny and warm leaves Buffalo out =(
Alison saysJune 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm
I totally get it! I just got lucky that SITS came to Seattle which was only a few hours drive for me otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten to go either. Like I said I am going to BlogHer in July but I’m going with a great friend who has been blogging for several years and is a conference veteran otherwise I don’t know if I would have had the guts to go to that yet — not by myself!
Laura MyNewestAddiction saysJune 9, 2014 at 11:05 pm
i desperately want to go to a blogger event!
Lindsay saysJune 10, 2014 at 4:28 am
I look forward to reading the blogging tips from your conference. I won’t be able to attend a conference myself for the next 2 years while we are stationed in Germany so I will have to live and learn vicariously through others.