I just returned from The SITS Girls #BBCSTL and it was amazing. I am on a quest this year. I am attending both the Bloggy Boot Camps hosted by The SITS Girls, one in St. Louis which just took place and another in Atlanta in October; and the two Women Get Social events as well. I attended Women Get Social San Diego several weeks ago. There is another one in Philadelphia in September and I already have my ticket and room booked. You can read about San Diego here: Women Get Social-San Diego.
#BBCSTL was held at Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Charles, Missouri. My husband took the trip with me because our anniversary was three weeks ago and we just so happened to be moving to our new house that day. We decided to take a mini-vacay after the conference. The plans fit right in with my Route 66 obsession.
I gotta tell you, though Embassy Suites in St. Charles where the conference was held. What an exceptional place is was. Checking in was quick and pleasant. The staff was excellent. The room was spacious and nicely decorated, along with being clean which is a major must for me. And get this, they had a social hour from 5-7 every night where they provided drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, plus mixed snacks and popcorn.
The atrium and elevators, what a beautiful setting.
If that’s not enough to make you flip your lid, (sorry, throwing in a little Beach Boys’ lyrics) they also provided breakfast. Not just any breakfast mind you, a breakfast with a made-to-order omelet, and/or pancakes, with or without chocolate chips. But that’s not all!. Oh no, they offered fruit, a variety of breads and pastries, yogurt, eggs and breakfast meat too, along with hot and cold beverages. There may have been other things that I’ve forgotten about but you get the picture, right? A very pleasant stay indeed with lots of extras.
Now a little about the conference itself.
How can I say just a little, I wonder. So many take aways for sure. Danielle Smith talked of the Top Ten Tips for Blogging Success. She is a gifted speaker and knows her stuff. At the last conference I bought her Social Media Engagement for Dummies book which was filled to the brim with tips galore. This time I bought Mom, Incorporated, which is proving to be full of insight and just as valuable.
Then there was Cynthia Wheeler @Napwarden. I loved talking with her. She had some stories, oh yes she did, and boy does she know web design. I want her to re-design my blog. I want her to make it pretty. She likes pretty. She knows pretty. It’s on my list.
Then we learned about Pitching Like a Pro from the pro herself, Allison Talamantez. I loved her. She reminded me of Tiffany Romero. She is a very knowledgeable woman who I want to sit and listen to until the cows come home. Since she is from Texas that could be awhile.
Holly Stanfield was a hoot! She told story after story of personal experiences, funny stories, true stories. She gave us all hope as we laughed our way through Engaging Your Readers: Finding Your Voice.
I love Francesca Banducci. I. Just. Do. She and Allison gave us some awesome sauce Tips and Tricks to Rocking Out Sponsored Content. They know what they’re talking about and I’m all ears.
And then there’s Facebook with it’s ever-changing algorithms. No one knows exactly what Mark Zuckerburg is up to because it all can change in an instant. That’s the nature of the Facebook beast. Fran and Cynthia helped us crack the code…or not…it all depends on Mark.
And we ended with Fran and Danielle talking about Powering Down. It is important to take care of yourself, I don’t care who you are. You only get one shot at this life, at raising your kids, at living each day. Just do it. It’s up to you.
We ended the day with a gathering hosted by David Mirassou of Mirassou Winery. What an interesting man to talk with. He is one of the sponsors of these conferences and he so graciously provides us with food and beverage after a long day of learning. I’m a huge fan of Moscato wine. It is delicately sweet and light.
I wish I could live there in that environment of learning, listening to those who have gone before, to forge a way for those of us who are in the trenches, making our way to where we want to be.
I don’t want to miss the journey and I’m glad for the insights I gleaned from these intelligent, caring and humorous women who so unselfishly share their time and pass along the wealth of knowledge they have worked hard to acquire.