My First Conference: EVO ’10

by Jessica on July 2, 2010

in Events

Early last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the EVO Conference at The Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah. I had heard some buzzing about it on the internet in the previous weeks, but hadn’t put any thought into actually attending due to finances and, well, leaving my family. The stars aligned just so, however, and I was able to go to my first blogging and social media conference.

I cannot emphasize enough how much social media has changed my life for the better. Just as we were embarking on the biggest adventure of our lives, I decided to get on Twitter and start this blog. I wanted to chronicle our move and the ways in which we have changed individually and as a family over the years. I had no idea that through these forums I would make lifelong friends, cry on virtual shoulders, and feel a community bound in arms around me when I felt (and was in life) the most alone.

Attending this conference only solidified these feelings. Around three hundred people attended and of those some of the most passionate and inspiring speakers I have ever seen. It was an intimate group of bloggers and social media gurus, so much so that it was conducive to actually getting around to speaking to almost everyone.  I found some old friends and some beautiful fast friends, and times that I could never duplicate no matter how hard I try.

(Video of our ZipRide courtesy of Dawn )

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Heather, Heather’s Mom, Dawn, Me, Victoria, and Leslie

I even learned a lot.  The panelists were smart and motivating, willing and wanting to share everything they know as experts in their field.
Blogging happened to me by accident, more or less.  I wasn’t out to start a powerhouse business or get the most readers. I don’t do it for the “fame” or the “freebies”.  For me this was a way to express myself and has blossomed into something that I could never have predicted or expected.  This conference was the perfect venue for me to act as a sponge-it wasn’t overwhelming, there weren’t business cards flying around like snow. I was able to attend and digest all that I wanted and needed to-and I need a lot, being green behind the ears.  And to no surprise, the main message that I heard over and over was to be authenticBe inspiredBe REAL.

PhotobucketThe gondola ride to the Photography workshop.  The altitude sickness was the only downside to beautiful Utah. Well, that and the lack of readily available wine.

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Me and the glorious Room704 girls.

I had the most fantastic roomie around.  I was a little nervous about sharing a room or a bed with someone I don’t know, but Kristin (of Dine and Dish) was so great, I was actually wishing we had had more time to talk. I also got to spend a couple of evenings with some of my favorite bloggers and their babies- which was nice on all counts, as well as making me miss my own babies even more.

I left the conference fulfilled and inspired, and very grateful to Rachel, Jyl. and my sponsor Melaleuca, and looking forward to next year at Evo ’11.

I don’t know where blogging will take me, but I love where we’ve gone so far.  I accredit social media to be one of the number one ways that helped me get acclimated to this city in this new life of ours, and for helping me find something that allows me to be social in a very creative way.  I can’t wait to meet all of the rest of my friends at BlogHer ’10 in August!

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