Yesterday I returned from a four day trip to the beautiful Gold Coast for Problogger 2014. Conferences are great fun to present at but this time I was going as an attendee to a non-musical conference. I knew several acquaintances who were going and was looking forward to meeting lots of other attendees. In my experience at conferences, just as much can be learnt from your fellow attendees as from the presenters. So here is a wrap up of my experience at my first non-musical conference!
Thursday morning was an early start to get the children off to school and get to the airport in time (It is always a joy having to arrange things for the children while I am away, but as they get older it is getting easier.) My ever-loving husband chauffeured me to the airport and by 8.30am we were off.
Once we (a group of Adelaide based bloggers Tatum and Nat from Make It Look Easy and Sally from Lessons in Online Shopping) landed, it was straight into a taxi to get to the QT Hotel to get to an accelerator afternoon with Shayne Tilley. Then on to check into our beautiful rooms.
What struck me most was the diversity in attendees. There are people from all manner of industries and with all different levels of experience. Some had only considered starting a blog and wanted to come to learn more before starting, others had extensive experience. I wish this were the case with music conferences. It is such a great opportunity to meet others in the industry, network, learn from each other, hear fabulous speakers and having focused time to consider that aspect of your life.
After a moment to freshen up the Adelaide bloggers made a bee-line for the restaurant. Oh my the food was delicious. 4 days of no cooking or cleaning, yet another reason that conferences are awesome.
Day two, the first official day of the Problogger conference was a gorgeous morning.
In the main keynote session we saw some great presenters. Pat Flynn and Rand Fishkin were very engaging!
Donna from Socially Sorted certainly got me sorted with some new tips and great app suggestions! Here are some take away quotes from the sessions.
It was a jam packed day. Hot tip for young players- take thermos mug, don’t lose said thermos mug. Oh, and make sure you take a good quality power pack AND cable for charging your phone when you are at a conference!
On Friday evening we headed out to the Ahoy! themed party. It was a good night. Great to mingle and discuss the days events. One of the highlights for me at this conference was getting to spend two days with Elissa. It was great to have a fellow music education blogger to chat to and just generally have fabulous company.
An early breakfast with Kylie and Sarah started the last day of the conference beautifully. We were all up so early the restaurant was all ours! We made sure to check the quality of the buffet for the other attendees. It was top notch!
Once we had filled up with goodness we headed into the final programmed day. The opening speaker, Matthew Michaelwicz was one of the highlights of the conference for me. Great to see such engaging presenters deliver an effective message. Another huge bonus for me on Saturday stemmed from how accessible the presenters were. Shayne Tilley was generous enough to answer my growing list of questions, something I was very grateful for!
It was a fabulous program and well curated. There was something for everyone to attend and was very well organised. Prior to attending, I had read others suggesting for you to make a list of several bloggers you would like to meet at the conference. I thought this was an interesting concept and set about meeting all ten bloggers on my list. Right at the end of the conference I didn’t think I was going to make it, I was yet to meet The Gin Queen. Then bless him, Darren Rowse, Mr Problogger himself pointed her out to me.
After the close of the conference it was time for everyone to wind down. Sunday meant a day for a beach walk and traveling home to my beautiful family.
And straight back home to these smiling faces.
It was a great experience. One I will do again. There was another quote from Matthew Michalewicz that was memorable “You think Education is expensive? Try ignorance” and that pretty much sums up my philosophy on continuing to invest in my education by attending conferences.
Do you attend conferences? Have you considered coming to the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference next year?
Tomorrow I start teaching again and am just getting everything sorted to celebrate International Piano Week! Come over to the Facebook Page to chat with us about what you will be doing to celebrate!