Last month I traveled to Kansas City to attend Chopped Conference, an intimate blogging conference organized by the wildly talented and incredible Marly. With just 75 or so attendees, all of the sessions took place in one room at the totally modern and completely urban River Market Event Place.
I’ve attended my fair share of conferences over the years but hands down, this one blew them all out of the water on every level. In just one day, I gained so many practical tips, tools and specific strategies that have already improved my blog and my business.
On a personal level, I was able to spend precious face time with fellow bloggers who I now consider to be some of my closest friends.
Bev and the countless other women who attended inspire me to be better bloggers for so many reasons and on so many levels.
For example, Ali always inspires me to be a better food photographer. Admittedly, I don’t love the photography aspect of food blogging but it’s important for my photographs to be as high quality as my recipes which is why I continue to invest the time and energy improving my craft. If you’re a food blogger, you absolutely must check out Ali’s photography resources.
I also had the pleasure of spending time with these two beauties: Cheryl and Kristen. These ladies are constantly giving back to the blogging community by sharing advice and tips they’ve learned along their 7+ year journeys in the blogging world. They inspire me to pay it forward with the next generation of bloggers.
Speaking of paying it forward, whenever I attend conferences or any social gathering I try to be as inclusive as possible. As we enter the busy entertaining season, I challenge you to open your wings to someone who may need a little nudge of encouragement. If you see someone standing by themselves at a gathering, go over and introduce yourself. Welcome someone new into your circle or invite someone new over for dinner.
Believe me, I get it. I could have easily spent the entire conference talking to a handful of my closest friends like my girl Lauren. But the truth is, something magical happens when you expand your horizons and leave your little comfort nest. You open yourself up to new possibilities, endless discoveries and countless opportunities.
Even more importantly, you make someone else feel more comfortable in their own skin. You put someone else at ease. You help someone else feel valued. It’s amazing how a genuine smile and a simple hello can boost someones mood in a matter of seconds.
Have you ever experienced exclusivity at a conference or social gathering? How did you overcome it or help someone else feel included? I would love to hear from you.
Disclosure: A huge thank you to my dear friends at Bob’s Red Mill who sponsored my trip to Chopped Con. I am so lucky to work with brands who invest in my growth.