Melbourne ProBlogger Event Recap, LinkUp and Looking Forward (#PBevent)

Last Friday was the second Melbourne ProBlogger Event, and I thought I’d take a moment or two today to create a bit of a summary of what happened on the day for those who weren’t able to be there.

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Wow, what a day it was! A total of 271 bloggers descended on Melbourne from around Australia (as well as a couple from overseas).

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Attendees were a real mix of people, with around a third flying in from interstate. The male to female ratio was 25% men to 75% women, and the niches of those in attendance was quite mixed—although a fairly large segment run parenting or personal blogs.

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What encouraged me most about the attendee mix was the number of bloggers who had made the leap to generating a significant part of their income from blogging.

My hope with this event was to pack the day full of teaching, storytelling inspiration, and networking. While it was a big challenge to fit that all into one day, I hope we came close to those goals.

This year’s event we departed from what we’d done in the past by having a few “break out” sessions, which ran at the same time in different rooms. My hope was that we’d create a day that could be a little more tailored to individuals needs. The risk was of having some over full rooms and others a little empty—something we did see in one session (apologies to those who couldn’t squeeze in the “finding readers” session). Otherwise, I think this approach worked well.

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Speakers were amazing—Chris Garrett and Sonia Simone flew in from overseas, but other than that, it was all local talent in the limelight.

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The quality was high. I am so proud of the glimpses we saw of the Aussie blogging community, which is on a par with anything I’ve seen in other parts of the world.

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We attempted to mix up the speakers at the event in terms of their niches—there were parenting bloggers, motor bike bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers, and more.

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The surprise guest of the day was Tim Ferriss kindly dropping by. I had heard that Tim was in town for another conference and shot him an invitation a couple of months back, but due to his schedule, I didn’t think he’d be able to make it. That was until ten minutes before he arrived, when I got an SMS message that he was on the way. Tim kindly gave us 20 minutes of his time for a quick interview—a highlight for many, and the perfect way to break people out of the stupor most people feel in afternoon sessions at conferences.

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The two-hour networking drinks event at the end of the day was fun. Loads of bloggers hung around to get their fix of blogger talk. Quite a few apparently went on for a little Karaoke at the end of the night too!

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Check out what attendees thought

Perhaps the best way to get a feel for what happened on the day is to read some of the posts from attendees. There are more going up all of the time (apologies to those who I’ve missed) but here’s what I’ve found so far:

Next time…

The most common feedback I got after the event was people asking about next time. Actually that question started before the event began—there does seem to be a real thirst among attendees for more!

I have many ideas for future gatherings, but it is probably a little too soon to make big commitments about what’s next.

All I can say at this point is that I’d like to do it again and that the day we’ve just had taught our team a heap about how we’d approach “next time.” While this was a huge improvement on our first ProBlogger event (which we pulled together in a few weeks), I know we can improve a lot more.

We learned a lot about venues, scheduling, ticketing, and a lot of other logistical issues. We’ll also continue to ponder ways to get the balance of networking, teaching, story telling, and more, right. Of course it’s hard to meet everyone’s expectations, but it is something I’m keen for us to keep working on to provide gatherings that serve our attendees the best way we can!

Thanks!

Let me finish up by saying a huge thank you to all those who attended on Friday. The group of bloggers in attendance really made the day so special. The vibe in the room was overwhelmingly positive, friendly, and encouraging—I came home Friday night feeling really inspired.

Big props also to my team on the day. Jasmin and Nicole worked for weeks on this with me, in particular, and were supported on the day by a great group of others.

Also, thanks to our sponsors: Citrix (Go To Webinar), Sensis Yellow Pages, Coldflow, Nuffnang and Zendesk, as well as our charity partner World Vision.

Lastly, thanks to our speakers, panelists, and case study bloggers—you all rock! We worked hard to present a large variety of bloggers and the feedback on all of you was excellent. Special thanks to Chris Garrett and Sonia Simone, who flew in from North America for the day! Also to Tim Ferriss whose surprise pop in for a quick interview caused quite the stir in our afternoon session.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Melbourne ProBlogger Event Recap, LinkUp and Looking Forward (#PBevent)

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