A few years ago I was at a conference, and I was doing a special session where attendees got 15 minutes to ‘Ask an expert’ about their blogging questions. A girl came up to me, and told me about a problem she had with her blog at work. She slumped as she told me the problem, and her body language screamed ‘I have no idea what to do!’
So she told me her problem and I said ‘Here’s what you should do:’, and she immediately perked up, sat up straight, and grabbed her pen. I started telling her exactly what to do, and she started scribbling furiously. I gave her the exact advice she needed, and after about 2 mins of furious writing, she announced ‘Ok…thanks!’, and got up and left.
As soon as she started writing, I made a mistake. What I should have told her was ‘No, put the pen down, and listen to me. Because you aren’t going to understand what I am telling you otherwise.’ This is the mistake that most people make when they attend conferences, they go, take copious notes, and come back to work on Monday with pages of hastily scribbled chicken-scratch that makes no sense to them because they don’t have the speaker there to interpret the mess for them.
The first social media conference I ever attended (and spoke at) was SXSW in 2008. It was ah-mazing. Actually, the conference itself was terrible. The sessions were boring and I got almost no value from them. But what made the trip so valuable for me was the conversations I had with other attendees, either in the hallways, or at dinners, parties, etc. And not just the attendees, I got to speak with speakers as well. All along the way, I was getting to talk to experts and peers about my exact problems. I got exact advice on the issues I was dealing with, and I was able to share advice as well.
‘The magic happens in the hallways’. That idea always stuck with me. Attendees seem to get the most value from an event when they put down their pens, stop taking notes and actually listen to the speakers and their fellow attendees. And the event creates more value when its less about lectures, and more about interactions among the speakers and the attendees, and especially the attendees themselves. Then about it, if you have a blogging question, what solution works better for you, listening to me tell you how another company solved a similar problem, or having a group discussion about how we can solve your problem?
We took this into consideration when we designed the agenda for BlogHOT. We wanted the focus to be on teaching you how to be a better blogger. The agenda is set up so the majority of the time you will be in a session where you are interacting directly with the speaker, and other attendees. That means you will be getting specific solutions to your blogging problems. It also means you will be interacting directly with other people that have dealt with the exact same blogging issues that you have. So you’ll be getting the exact solution to the problems you are facing today, but you’ll also get advice on how to avoid tomorrow’s problems as well.
The goal of BlogHOT isn’t to tell you how to be a better blogger, we are going to teach you how to be a better blogger.
What typically happens when you get back from most blogging or social media conferences? You probably take all your notes, type them up, and distribute them to your team to discuss at the next marketing and/or social media meeting. And then you remind everyone of the blogging issues that you went to the conference to get help with, and then ask them to refer to a particular paragraph of your notes that covers the solution to that problem. Right?
The difference with BlogHOT is that when you return to your office after attending, you are going to show your team what you learned. You aren’t going to give them notes, you are going to teach them how to solve the problems that your team needed help with. You are going to open up the blogging dashboard and show them how to write a more captivating headline. You are going to go to Google Analytics and show them how to determine if the blog content is creating engagement and leads.
You are going to be the teacher, not the note-distributor. That’s why your boss is going to thank you for asking to go to BlogHOT 😉
Now BlogHOT is not cheap, it’s a big investment. But it’s just that, it’s an investment. That investment is going to pay off because you are going to get the exact answers to your blogging questions, and the blogging efforts of your company will immediately improve as a result of you attending BlogHOT. And as a bonus, if you register by Friday the 15th, you’ll get a $100 discount off the regular registration price.
Need help convincing your boss? No problem, we’ve even created a Letter to Management, just download it, fill in the costs and your information, and send it on!
BlogHOT is March 25-27th in Los Angeles, I hope to see you there, if you’ll be attending please leave a comment so we can connect, and make sure to follow the #BlogHOT13 hashtag on Twitter to see who else is going plus keep up on the latest event news!