As most of you know (unless this is your very first visit to Two Purple Couches, in which case – hello there!!), I attended the Alt for Everyone last week. While I learned and soaked up an amazing amount of information, I was also really impressed (and at times, overwhelmed) with the online-only format.
Now, clearly, I’m not pro at attending blogging conferences; this was just my second. But I found the similarities and differences between on-line and “on-location” to be pretty interesting. And so, you’re going to hear about them today! Aren’t you excited!?
Let’s start with a few Pros of an “On-Location” conference, like Haven conference, which I attended back in August.
– You’re face-to-face with other bloggers, from your fellow attendees to the session speakers, giving you the opportunity to connect and network in-person. Meeting in person allows for your personality and tone of voice to truly come through.
– This may only apply to me, but I feel that when I’m physically in a room watching a speaker, I can focus 100% of my attention on him/her.
– The feeling of community is apparent, especially when there are hundreds of people in the room with you!
On the flip side…
– Travel stresses me out a bit, and can throw a lot of variables and potential derailments in your way.
– A packed schedule of meals, sessions, speakers, and socializing leaves little room for “unplugging” and truly digesting the information you’ve just taken in.
– Swag is heavy! And you’ll need extra luggage to account for it 😉
Now for some of the Pros of an Online conference:
– You can attend from wherever you are! With a “come as you are” dress code! (As much as I would have loved to sit around in my yoga pants, or better yet, my cozy flannel pjs, I made an effort to shower and put on real clothes every day).
– Various sessions were offered each day, so you could spread them out, or pack them all into one day. I was viewing from home (taking vacation time from my day job), and had plenty of time to “unplug” between sessions, and from Day 1 to Day 2 to Day 3. I could really go through my notes, and even made some immediate changes/additions to my blog based on what I’d just learned. That’s real-time progress, people!
– Swag was delivered to my front door!
On the flip side…
– While you still have the opportunity to connect with your fellow bloggers and session speakers, it felt a bit silo’d. I’d much rather have a stack of blogger business cards to review that lists and lists of copied-and-pasted info, especially because I know there are plenty of duplicates in my list! I did “meet” some of the same bloggers from class to class, so it was nice to build a small community in that way; and then someone might find you on Twitter or Instagram during the session and we were like “Are you the person I was just chatting with during the session?”
– As awesome as the at-home-in-your-pjs idea is, it also almost bordered on lonely. The hour-long session would end; the video would cut out, and our chatting/sharing options would be disabled. So, you’ve just sat through a soul-moving discussion on branding your blog (i.e. your life’s passions), and suddenly it’s over; you’re just sitting in your quiet house, staring at your computer screen, and being jolted back to reality by the sound of the washing machine letting you know the cycle is done.
Would I do both of them again?
I got a lot out of both conferences. Haven felt like a reunion with the BFFs you didn’t know you had; Alt attracted all sorts of bloggers, from food to fashion and more, so it was cool to see how our ideas and experiences inspired each other, even if we aren’t in the same category of blogging.
What’s your take on online versus “on-location”? Have you participated in one or both? Do you have a preference?
Oh my gosh, kudos to you for putting on “real clothes”. I would totally be the nerd in my sweat pants donning my dorky glasses and sporting unwashed hair! Now I definitely need to check this conference out for next year. I’m glad you mentioned that you would do them both again….it’s helpful!!!!
Angie @ Angies Roost recently posted…That’s Our Old House In This Old House
It was a lot of effort, but it made me feel like I’d done something for the day. Weird, I know.
I’d definitely recommend it! Alt for Everyone was offered twice this year – in the Spring and the Fall, so hopefully they’ll do the same in 2014!
I’ve never even heard of an online conference. That sounds really awesome. I’m heading to BlogHer Pro in a few weeks (only because it is local to me.. so no travel) and I am also curious to see the difference between it and Haven. Should be a totally different crowd.. I am curious about the type of energy that will be in the room.
Great post by the way.. it is great to hear the perspectives on both experiences.
Kim (TheKimSixFix) recently posted…Kale Chips: Which Oil Works Best?
Thanks Kim! Alt For Everyone drew a pretty broad crowd, too, so it was interesting to see what sorts of topics others were blogging about, and how the session topics could apply to all of us! I hope you blog about your BlogHer Pro experience! I’d like to hear about it!
Wow, that’s really helpful to hear the pros and cons of each, and I can see how both would be beneficial! I might have to try ALT for Everyone in the future…clearly, it was chock full of inspiration!
Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…DIY Rake Necklace Hanger
There was a very good mix of classes offered at ALT for Everyone; I think I could take it multiple times and still get something out of it!
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I hadn’t really given much thought to online conferences before
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It’s definitely a different set-up! I still got a lot out of it.