Monday, April 6, 2015

#SoFabUOTR Phoenix/Scottsdale

I was a lucky recipient of a SoFabUOTR grant. 
It helped cover costs so I could attend the conference. 
All opinions are mine.

I knew I had to attend SoFabUOTR in Phoenix. I couldn't afford to go to a larger conference because of the time or financial commitment. As a single mom, I am lucky to have 2 days to myself when my boys visit their dad, anything longer would be a scheduling nightmare. Plus the cost involved for a hotel, travel and meals would be a strain on my budget. A one day conference with the collective that has treated me so well was just what I needed!

I left early so I could splurge on a green coffee drink and go over my pre-conference homework. I wanted to be prepared for the speakers that day. Starbucks was across the street from the conference location so it was a perfect spot to sit and relax. I even met Courtney Rix Velasquez Lawless and  Debba Joy Haupert as they were in line in front of me! I felt like I was meeting celebrities. 

I headed over a few minutes before 8am with my laptop and green coffee. I wasn't sure what to expect. My anxiety kicked in and I got a little quiet and shy. (Yes, occasionally I am quiet. HUSH!) 
The tables all had topics on them. I found a table to sit at near the front that said "Working with Brands" and settled in. It was nice that the wifi passwords were marked and each table had power strips. I grabbed some breakfast and waited for the day to start.

This cutie rolled up and her mom sat down beside me. Turns out her name is also Courtney. It was fun to share the table with her and I loved getting to her hold her 7 month old daughter, Macy. 

Not sure how I missed it but besides the bag of snacks and swag from CBias; STI and #DriveMitsubishi was handing out selfie sticks in the lobby. I went and got one and hooked it up to my android smartphone. One quick change in the settings, I plugged it in and was ready for more closeup shots. Everyone was playing with them during the first hour of the conference.

So I still need a little work with the selfie stick but I still got a good picture of Carolyn West - I felt lucky to sit next to her and gain insight into my blog posts during the peer review. Thanks again.

And could I not add this amazing video clip:
We're getting this party started with some uptown funk! #SoFabUOTR Phoenix #cbias— SoFabU on The Road (@SoFabUOTR) March 28, 2015

The Featured speaker: Aliza Sherman “Harnessing Your Content with a Social Media Strategy & Editorial Calendar” was great. I wrote down lots of notes and now I just need three days alone with my blog to make changes. I can not wait to take the GRID she uses and put it into practice for my blog. I love my spreadsheets so this is a perfect way for me to organize my posts and stay consistent.

The afternoon speakers taught me more about food photography than I might ever use on my blog but I did file away some great tips for taking better photos for foodie posts and party posts. The main thing I wanted to do was shop for photo props. I plan to hit up some thrift stores soon for a few pieces to help set my photo shoots.

During our breaks we were encouraged to enter contests for conference attendees:

We ended the night with a cocktail hour where I got more time to chat with the other Courtneys, Carolyn and some bloggers from the valley. I had a great time. I am so thankful to Collective Bias and Social Fabric for starting my professional blogging career. I can not wait to grow as a blogger and use as a way to earn more money for my family.

Make sure to check back during April as I update some posts, make changes to my photography, and put new weekly posts on my blog. I also plan to host a new giveaway soon.