A couple of weeks I ago, I attended Australia’s largest and longest running blogging event, ProBlogger Training Event 2015. Held at the RACQ Royal Pines resort on the Gold Coast, the 2-day event brought together high profile international and local speakers, and over 700 bloggers, to discuss how to grow and monetise our blogs and businesses.
It was one of the most memorable, useful conferences I’ve ever been to. Based on my experience with this year’s ProBlogger experience, here’s why I’ll be attending the next Problogger Training Event. And the next…and the next…
1) The pre-event engagement was excellent
The ProBlogger “event experience” began months before we even got to the Gold Coast. Once registered, I was able to join the private ProBlogger Facebook group, and was welcomed into an already thriving, highly engaged community of bloggers.
The Facebook group has a couple of thousand members, ranging from newbies to Australia’s blogging elite, including Darren Rowse, founder of the massively successful ProBlogger and Digital Photography School blogs, and ProBlogger Events.
What I loved about this community was everyone’s enthusiasm to connect with each other. The ProBlogger team made it easy to connect with other bloggers in our own niche (or tribe), by using the photo gallery function within the Facebook group in a way I’d never seen.
You can read more about how the ProBlogger team delighted delegates and built near-fever pitch levels of excitement in the community using social media, in my recent guest post on the SEMrush blog.
The net effect of all the pre-event activity and in-person meet-ups, was an electric atmosphere when everyone arrived.
2) The line-up of international speakers was inspiring
One of the things that really drew my attention to this conference in the first place, was the speakers.
I’ve been following Darren Rowse and his blogs for years, but when I saw they were bringing out international speakers such as:
- Jadah Sellner – co-founder of Simple Green Smoothies
- Pamela Wilson – Copyblogger’s Executive Vice President of Educational Content and founder of the Big Brand System
- Ruth Soukup – founder of the LivingWellSpendingLess blog and Elite Blog Academy
- Heather B. Armstrong – “Queen of the Mommy Bloggers” and one of the most popular bloggers in the world with Dooce.com
…I knew I needed to be at this conference.
Having recently worked through the CopyBlogger Content Certification Program and the Elite Blog Academy program, I had some *very* geeky fan-girl moments when I actually met their creators in person. They were absolutely lovely and incredibly down to earth.
3) The line-up of local speakers was also stellar
For every session over the two days, I had a major dilemma in choosing which of the three presentations to sit in on. Talk about FOMO – and the sign of an awesome agenda! Thankfully, the ProBlogger team have made the recordings and slides for each session available to delegates.
Not only do I get to re-live the entire experience again, but I get to hear another two days worth of presentations that I didn’t hear the first time around.
There are not too many events in Australia where you can get up close and personal with speakers of this calibre. They mingled with everyone before and after the sessions, and at the social events, throughout the entire conference.
The speakers were to happy pose for selfies and were genuinely interested in what we were doing with our blogs. And, they engaged with us on social media too – what’s not to love!
4) The content in each session was invaluable
At this event, there was something for everyone – whether a new or experienced blogger; a hobby blogger or entrepreneur really trying to leverage their blog to build their business.
What I loved most, was that the content in every presentation I attended was practical and actionable. We heard real stories of everyday people who had started like every blogger starts – with zero readers and a huge dream.
I still have so many ideas swimming round my mind – my biggest challenge is choosing a few things to focus on for the rest of the year, and doing those things really well! You can read more about what I learnt about focus at the ProBlogger event on LinkedIn.
5) Meeting like-minded people
Despite the fact that the 700 delegates blog about distinctly different topics, we all shared a common passion for blogging, and getting our message out into the world.
That made for a lot of fascinating discussions, and ideas flying left, right and centre. This was a genuinely great bunch of people to hang out with for two days!
The conference proved to me that there’s always at least one thing you can learn from everyone you meet, and similarly, there’s at least one thing they can learn from you. We all experience life in our own way and through our own perspective – this conference brought together a bunch of people who love to share their experiences.
6) It was fun!
In amongst all of the learning, we had huge amounts of fun – from Darren Rowse arriving to his keynote on a Segway, to the Olympus-sponsored competition where we had to use the Olympus props to take photos representing the theme “spectacular stories”, to (many) drinks round the pool.
The ProBlogger team did an excellent job in making the event run like clockwork, and ensuring there were little surprises (like the macaron tower) throughout each day.
If you’re at all interested in blogging (and as I’ve written about before – I believe all marketers should run their own blogs!) I would highly recommend signing up to the ProBlogger Events email list to be notified about their future events.
This conference cost $399, including amazing morning and afternoon teas and lunches each day, as well as the catered social events. It was exceptional value and definitely worth getting on your calendar for 2016.