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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.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. It was just fantastic! I summarized the main points here, do check it out. :)

    http://writinghappiness.com/lessons-from-the-problogger-event-darren-rowse-chris-gerrett-sonia-simone-tim-ferriss/

  2. Yay! Thanks for organising it Darren plus the event team and for sharing the round up of posts including mine.

    You could really see the evolution of blogging compared to last year. So interesting to follow people’s stories and see how they’re progressing from year to year and reassuring to know that even you and Chris G didn’t get it right from the very beginning;) There’s hope for all of us and it’s great to be learning from your tips.

    The live blogging I did was full on so less time for schmoozing and taking photos, which I regret now, but a good learning experience with many bloggers who couldn’t attend appreciating the live updates.

    Also loved spending time in Melbourne and actually see your home town. I’m not a city person but surprisingly I loved it.

    Yes, I’ll be back next year. If you’ll have me;)

  3. Veronica says:

    Thank you Darren for hosting such a great event. I had a fantastic time and I’ve got quite a few things I need to do to my blog now to tweak it. I learned a lot.

    And thank you to your team, for all of the organisation that went into making it such a great day.

  4. I was at ProBlogger Event, and as someone who had never attended any kind of blogging event or conference before, it was a great introduction. Bloggers largely work alone and rely on social media and forums for engaging with other bloggers. At PB Event I got to meet lots of like-minded people face to face, including many I had known for some time online. That, and the case studies, blog critiques and other discussions provided a valuable impetus for me with my blogging. Thanks to you, Chris Garret, Sonia Simone and everyone else who was involved in putting together such a great event.

  5. Congratulations to you and your team Darren on another successful #pbevent.

  6. Kelly Exeter says:

    Thanks again Darren and team for an amazing day – there was something there for everyone to take away.

    Can I put my vote in now for Bali 2012 ;)

  7. Bree says:

    Thanks Darren, Darren’s team and special guests for sharing your blogging wisdom with us! I know many bloggers found the sessions particularly helpful, and I had such a great time meeting so many people. Bring on #pbevent 2012!

  8. 271 attendees at your Problogger event is awesome Darren. That is cool that Tim Ferris was able to make a surprise appearance. Do you video record the event so we could possibly watch them?

    I will have to read the posts from the attendees to see what they thought of the event.

  9. edenland says:

    Darren, it was a really great event.

    But, I still kind of can’t believe Tim Ferriss didn’t sing “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”

  10. Thank you for organising an amazing day. This was easily the best networking/education event I have been to. I have new found inspiration and ideas to develop my blog. Big thanks to all the presenters, especially Chris for the critique session on my blog.

  11. corrie says:

    It was such a fabulous day and for me what I loved was the mix of speakers and attendees. It was really refreshing to meet so many different types of bloggers and peoples and I loved the energy in the room. So much to take in, take home, put into action and help my blog!

    a great day and the best blogging conference I’ve been to out of 3 this year:)

    thank you for organising and can’t wait till next year, I really loved the special speakers that flew in from o/s for the event but will never forget having to turn to the person next to me to talk about my little blog and realise it was chris garret – talk about nervewracking!

    corrie:)

  12. Thanks again Darren for such a fantastic day. My head is still getting around it all, but I thought I should share this with you, which is one thought that came out of it all. http://leafjournals.com/topic/blog/personal-space

    I’ve written this elsewhere, so thought I’d let you know for “future” planning purposes. As a business blogger (although admittedly a pretty personal one) I’d love to have a bit more info on blogging for business (rather than as a business).

    I’m voting for Bali too, although I’m not sure how a biz blogger wangles sponsorship!

  13. Ling says:

    It was a fab day of learning!! And I’m still trying to digest everything I learnt that day :D

  14. Lisa Wood says:

    Thank you so much Darren and your amazing team for providing such a great event. I have learnt so much, and have expanded my thinking for our blog site (our other blog – New Life on the Road) and I can see how anything and everything is possible with the right knowledge/attitude/belief/passion…plus by blogging smarter!

    Cheers
    Lisa

  15. Steven Fogg says:

    Thank you so much Darren for the day. You all did such a super job. The thing I loved especially were that I didn’t see any egos – everyone was so humble. Which is such a healthy thing!

    I’m not a Problogger, I blog just because I love working in marketing and branding and want to share what I learn. I don’t consider my job work which is great and I really enjoy sharing it with those who want to listen.

    I guess I’m probably a more of a corporate blogger, which is a rather long winded way of saying the day was still as relevant for me as it was for those trying to learn how to earn an income from it ;-)

  16. Great shots and good stuff Darren. Events carry an energy that online meetings find tough to replicate.

    Thanks for sharing!

    RB

  17. Adam Garratt says:

    I wish I could have been there! I hope these conferences will continue into the future because I hopefully one day would like to attend one, I hope aswell that one day you might consider hosting one in another country maybe, I dont know how viable that is but would be great as I live in the u.k which happens to be the other side of the world! :).

    I have been blogging for about 2 years on and off, I sold my last blog for a 4 figure sum, and I am now in my 8th week of my new blog. As Darren once said before (if only I had known then what I know now) is so true, I have had such a big advantage with this new blog because of the experience I have gained from blogging in the past and probloggers help. Its nowhere near to providing me with an income but one day it will I’m sure of it. These conferences look superb fun though and enjoyed the photos, and karaoke!? ha bloggers singing karaoke could be an untapped niche Darren! :)

    I would like to also mention the reach of your blogging arm Darren, I was at work the other day (I work in retail) and a gentleman was asking about which magazine he should buy to give him advice on switching to digital slr cameras, I know nothing about photography and felt a bit embarrassed, anyway I got chatting and gave the best advice I could, but I also gave him the address to DPS!

    On a self promotion level, because my shop sells a few books on blogging I have managed to network with a few new bloggers from my place of work! I have even been giving out a few tips to beginners at the tills!

    Anyway I have gone off track here, so I shall bow out and just say thanks for everything Darren, and hopefully one day I’ll see you at a conference. chow

  18. Joan says:

    Sounds like you had a great event. Too bad you are not in Arizona! I’m going to check out the list of blogs – very interesting!

  19. Thanks for organising such a great event Darren. I have learnt so much and came away feeling inspired about where I want to go with my own blog.

  20. Jude says:

    Thanks for the information. Most of all, I like the clout of your website.

  21. sudha says:

    such a great event organizing by Darren

  22. Jo Castro says:

    Thanks Darren, it was a great day. It exceeded my expectations and I learnt such a lot. The sessions were amazing and the venue was perfect. It was also great to meet other bloggers in the flesh – putting faces to the names that normally just float around the blogosphere. Incredible though … I had to come all the way from WA to Melbourne to meet a blogger from Perth (who I’m sure will become a good friend :) . Sometimes these things are just meant to be! Thanks again. Don’t change a thing for the next one in….. BALI !!!

  23. Vince Thorne says:

    Thanks for this post. It is helpful for new bloggers liek me to follow what is going on in the field.

  24. If anyone had said to me two years ago that I would be attending blogging events I would have laughed at them! I didn’t even know what a “Problogger” was when I read about it on FB!

    Even though I’ve been blogging for nearly three years, it’s only in these last twelve months that I really “got into it”.

    It has been a fascinating and a very rewarding experience and frankly, I just don’t know how anything can top being mentioned in a Problogger post :D

    Thanks, Darren!

  25. Great summary for those who could’t make it … I had to cancel at the last minute. I’ll definitely put my hand up for next time though. I appreciate the huge amount of work that must go into these events so I’m so pleased to hear that you’re thinking of doing more!