Laura and Carrie really outdid themselves this year. The venue is spectacular! I can’t believe that during all my years living in, and traveling to, Miami that I’ve never beed to the Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne – I’ve been missing out. But not only was the setting amazing, the group of bloggers in attendance was impressive. And not in the sense that there were rockstars there (like Jenny and Kristen and Isabel and and Gretchen and Ciaran), but in the sense that everyone was so warm and down-to-earth.
Also – I enjoyed the sessions. I was expecially excited about the Stepping to the Front of the Line: Case Studies in Doing Things Differently session (more on that in another post) and the Setting Your Course in What’s Next: How Do You Even Do That? session. Neither disappointed. For several months, I’ve been feeling as though the blogosphere – and me personally – has been in a state of flux and lack of clear direction as to where we’re headed as a platform and as a community, so I was intensely curious to hear what the presenters had to say in these discussions.
Key takeaways from these two sessions for me were…
You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs
~ courtesy of Love Crunch
Live Hungry. Champion Good Ideas. Stand Behind Good Ideas.
~ courtesy of Living Social
Be Prepared to Adapt.
~ courtesy of Gabby Blair, Design Mom
Be Innovative In Responding to Challenges.
~ courtesy of Karen Walrond, Chookooloonks (more on this one in another post too!)
I was also very much looking forward to hearing Brene Brown speak for the very first time. I loved her. It was like chatting with a brilliantly in-tune friend.
That afternoon was the highlight of the day though – we had a 12×7 Anything-but-General Session. There was a lineup of 12 different speakers, myself included, who had 7 minutes to present on their topic. It was such a fun and interesting approach to solving the conference organizer challenge of providing lots of great content, giving people the opportunity to speak without packing the schedule and losing overstimulated attendees to, say, the beach.
And? My presentation went swimmingly! My topic was Channeling Your Awesome: Keys to Aligning Your Passions Into One Business Strategy - seemingly impossible to fit in 7 minutes! The audience was engaged and thanks to the sage advice I received from Karen, Anastasia and Monique, my content was well-received.
Saturday night I had the privilege of joining some fabulous ladies for dinner at Essencia on South Beach – I was in heaven being able to order an entire snapper and satisfy my yearning for saltwater fish. Then, I headed back to Key Biscayne to do a “poetry” reading at the Bounce and Hallmark Desserts and Delights Party – big fun.
My roomie Elena and I wrapped up Saturday staying up late and chatting; ahhhhh another good day.