The first Social Media and Blogging Conference I attended was BlogWorld which was last October in Vegas. That was my only experience attending this type of event so it set the precedence for what similar types of conferences might look like. Of course I allowed myself to stay open to the fact that there is going to be variations depending on conference, locale, etc.
Type-A Parent Conference used to be known as Type-A Mom. If you’re not a parent blogger you probably wouldn’t know that those that are classified as “Daddy Bloggers” like myself are few and far between. However, “Dad Bloggers” have been making more noise in recent years and are starting to make more of a name for themselves. With the onset of more talented male writers blogging about parenting, Kelby Carr decided to expand her conference to include us “little people” too! I will say from a male’s perspective and even though I have no problem going to a “Mom Conference” it was a nice feeling knowing I was going somewhere that had “Parent” in the name. Sometimes, as someone who blogs about parenting, you find yourself as second class citizen to the “Mom”. This is not a complaint but rather an observation. I’m not going to get into the politics of parent blogging here but let’s just say I was really looking forward to attending Type-A Parent Conference.
Overall, I thought it was a perfect mix of education, networking, and fun. In addition, everything was very well organized. I never felt lost or as if I didn’t know what was going on. Well, other than my usual state of confusion. Breakfast, snacks, and lunch were served daily (Food!!!), and the sessions were all laid out in such a way that you had a nice mix of downtime as well. There were usually several sessions going at once which made it a little difficult to pick and choose where to go but that’s the nature of these things and something you come to expect when you’re trying to pack in so much information in just a few days. I thought for the most part the folks presenting did a good job with only a few minor instances where I questioned how much effort someone put in to the presentation. However, as I mentioned that was certainly the exception to the rule. All the presenters were friendly, knowledgeable, and had an overall very positive energy to them.
There was one session in particular that really got me thinking about the direction of my blog. I went to the Parenting Session and was thinking this would have been one of the more popular ones to attend. I was surprised when the room wasn’t packed. It made me wonder if people weren’t so concerned with Moms and Dads in the parenting space what were they concerned with? Well, there were some other really great sessions going on. In fact, there were others going on that I really wanted to attend but I felt a sense of obligation to go as someone who always classified himself as a “Daddy Blogger”. It got me thinking if that’s really a title I needed and/or wanted to have. I started this site as a way for me to share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences on raising O and Jake. That can still stay the same but maybe I don’t have to limit myself? Perhaps I’m pigeonholing myself into a category that just doesn’t need to be there? At the very least it deserves some consideration.
Besides meeting some really great people that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know on Twitter and Facebook there were some great parties as well. I liked the fact that everything was at the hotel which meant you didn’t have to worry about taking cabs or shuttles anywhere. I also liked the fact that while the focus was on the blogger I saw quite a few children there. Of course, this only made me miss my children that much more but it was nice to see that the conference embraced family as much as it did “talking” about family.
All in all this was a great experience for me. It was a relatively small conference in terms of attendees and I know this is done intentionally. I think this is a conference that has something for everyone; whether you’re a first time blogger or one that’s been writing for years. Anytime you can leave an event like this with new found friendships, additional knowledge about your passion, and a sense of direction and purpose, it’s a good thing. I look forward to adding the Type-A Parent to my list of must attend conferences in the years to come.
The “lovely” photo above was taken from my new friend Christine Young of www.FromDatesToDiapers.com. Not only is Christine a great photographer but an awesome blogger and mom of 7 beautiful kids. Christine is just one of the amazing people I met at Type-A Parent.