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.
Wow, what a day it was! A total of 271 bloggers descended on Melbourne from around Australia (as well as a couple from overseas).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- official photos from the event from Simon
- Annabel Candy’s Live Blogging posts
- What people said about the event (Video) by Social Rabbit
- Dani Mezza (Great Video)
- Tina Gray
- Trevor from Blog Hub (with video)
- Martine – The Modern Parent
- Dorothy from Singular Insanity
- Jody from Lemon Rhodes
- Caz from Mojito Mother
- Lina from Mothers Love Letters
- Suzy from No Suzy Homemaker
- Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids
- Lisa from Learn How to Blog Site
- Courtney from Nobashake (vlog)
- Veronica from Some Day We Will Sleep
- Rhi from Hummingbird Song
- Kelly Exeter
- Mrs Woog from WoogsWorld
- Nikki from Styling You
- Karen from MiscMum
- Laney from Crash Test Mummy
- Norlin from Just Us Kids
- Jess from Epheriell Designs
- Caz from Y Travel Blog
- Corrie from Retro Mummy
- Eden from Edenland
- Lori from Random Ramblings of a Stay at Home Mum
- Also check out Nobashake’s growing list of posts about the event
- Also check this linkup post at Singular Insanity
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!
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.
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.