1. Chatting with Emily from Jones Design Company. 2. Listening to Casey Wiegand speak. 3. In a session with Andi of The Hollie Rogue & Nat from Take the Cannoli 4. My kindred spirit, Nathalie, from Afterbelly. 5. One of my new fashionABLE scarves! 6. Meeting my faves, Jami From Meet the Natos & Emily from The Anderson Crew. 7. Listening to Jami Nato bring it. 8. Reading Naptime Diaries eBook on the plane. 9. Hanging with Kacia of Kacia + Robot & Casey from Casey Leigh. 10. Photo booth at the Stripes Party. 11. Lunch with Erin of Living In Yellow. 12. My fabulous roomie Andi from The Hollie Rogue.
See Part 1 of my conference recap here.
So in case you haven't been following the #influenceconf tag on Twitter, it trended this week, just under #VPDebate and #JoeBiden. That is pretty cool. And it's also just a tangible measure of how much the attendees of this conference wanted to share what is happening to us as a result of attending.
I will be honest, although I am generally an extrovert and get energy from being around other people, I was skeptical that this conference would meet my expectations for making a lot of real life connection. I am well aware that bloggers can easily mask the things they don't want to put on public display. And by far my biggest concern was that I would get there and find a bunch of tight knit cliques that would inevitably send me back to my middle school days of trying desperately to find my place among an intricate sea of who's who. I prayed that it wouldn't be that way. I went in hopeful, but cautious.
Well, He answers prayer. And He has a greater vision for this community than any of us realized. I'm not sure I can really explain how warm and inviting this group of women really is. All I can say is that God is faithful to show up when you ask him to. Everyone left their stats at the door and just came to connect, learn and grow. My faith was deepened as a result.
Aside from amazing community, my other favorite part of the weekend was the sessions. There were a perfect blend of "Life" speakers who dove into topics on everything from Using Your Art for Influence, to finding your Identity in Christ, to pursuing your passion & purpose.
As if those weren't amazing enough, there was a whole other list of speakers who tackled the fun "Strategy" side of blogging. Topics included Branding & Design, growing your Blog, Defining business goals for monetization, and even how to get involved with Affiliate Marketing.
For me, this conference was all my favorite things rolled into one - Community, Faith Building, Blogging and Business Strategy. Yet the overall tone was very obviously that we not make business success or personal fame the thing that we seek. But rather, that we as a generation of intelligent, talented, insightful, business-minded women use our gifts for the greater good. And although our first and most important influence is within our own homes, the secondary hope is that we take our various online spheres of influence to the next level and speak truth and encouragement into the world wide web.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes."
I love this verse from Isaiah which was the theme verse for the weekend. It suggests that we not be afraid to make our tents (our influence) larger. Don't settle for the way things are. God has much more for us.
If you're interested in joining this community, the ladies who hosted this conference are now working on something called The Influence Network. It's going to be a place for continued learning, forums, and community. Sign up here to get additional information!