Open and not-so-open. While I’d like to say that I spent the entire evo social media conference completely open to new experiences, making new friends left and right, it really was a mix. Here’s the run down…
Open: We arrivied in Park City, and not a moment too soon (it’s a loooong drive from Denver)! I was excited to learn something new and to make connections with like-minded women. The first session I attended was led by four incredible women, and hearing their stories made me think about moving out of my own limiting view of myself. Elke Govertsen, Dori Graff, Megan Faulker Brown, and Jana Francis each shared their unique stories of building businesses that have been driven by passion and social media.
The evening keynote session was even more inspiring – eleven speakers each gave five-minute “ignite” speeches, and each one made me smile for a different reason. I’ll profile some of the eleven women in upcoming blog posts because I don’t want to short change any of them here!
Not-so-open: There were so many women, all of them seemingly polished, well-spoken, and well-connected. And from my initial, somewhat closed-down point of view, all of them had already established conference buddies. And then I showed up at the newbie meet-up without enough business cards. Oh woe…
Open: Friday brought the high-point of the conference for me, literally. A group of us traveled by gondola to the top of the resort, for a hands-on photography workshop with Tracey Clark. Again, I’ll be writing more about this in a full post, but the downbeat is that the experience renewed by own wish to begin to take more time for photography. My new-to-me Canon SLR (a gift from Michael) has sealed the deal.
Not-so-open: I was surpised at how scared I was to take those gondola rides! I know they’re safety tested, I know that thousands of skiiers use them every year, but those are some skinny cables supporting all of us not-so-skinny people. I was thankful for distracting conversation with Wendy Copley.
Open: Saturday brought two amazing learning sessions for me. The first was about building on-line and off-line communities and was hosted by Allie McDonald, Amy Mascott, and Thien-Kim Lam. Each woman brought a different view of community building to the discussion and gave us great food for thought.
The afternoon session was focused on writing and publishing, specifically for magazines. Heather Morgan Shott and Ellen Seidman both gave an editor’s perspective on the world of publishing. We had time to work on writing leads, headlines, and pitches – great hands-on practice that I plan to use going forward!
Not-so-open: I have to admit that I’m sort of in a fight with myself about SEO, advertisements, and corporate sponsors. I don’t have a problem with other bloggers who take these avenues (if you want people to read what you post, it only makes sense, right?), but I don’t quite know how it all fits for me. But I’m still learning, and really trying to stay open. And I’m going to keep taking steps in the directions that speak to my heart.
I plan to return next year, and my family definitely wants to be included again, because staying at The Canyons was awesome! The people at The Canyons and the evo conference organizers really know how to make it work for families (hello washer and dryer, in our suite). We swam and hiked each day, and played in the central courtyard. By the time we left we’d taken about a thousand rides on the Cabriolet gondola, and I wasn’t scared at all (I’ve got a photo to prove that, somewhere).
Over the next few days, I’ll be writing about more of the celebration-worthy ideas that came out of the conference, including the power we all have to be philanthropists and the place social media can play in that process.
If you were at evo, what did you love?
If you weren’t there, want to join me next year?