Back in August I attended The Blog Societies 7thAnnual Conference: The Retreat (aka #TBSCon), which was held at the Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Georgia. This is the 3rd year in a row I’ve attended TBSCon and I swear, every year it gets better and better.
If you’re a blogger and not familiar with The Blog Societies then here’s a quick overview: The Blog Societies is a cultivated community for influencers founded by Jessica of My Style Vita and Cathy of Poor Little It Girl.
The past two years I registered for the conference as an attendee but this year I was asked to be a workshop leader at this year’s conference! More on that in my Day 2 recap. This was also the first year that the conference was open to non-members, which is also pretty exciting!
Day 1: Welcome Reception
Last year I missed out on the Welcome Reception due to a horrible travel delay with Southwest Airlines. This year I made sure to book an earlier flight to allow for ample time prior to the reception.
I arrived at the ATL airport around noon and was able to carpool with my friend and fellow workshop leader, Ashlee Hightower, to the Barnsley Resort, the location of this year’s conference.
The Barnsley Resort is beautiful. I had plenty of time to get ready before the welcome reception so I enjoyed a nice long shower and even had time to curl my hair. I even took advantage of the big comfy robes they have in every room.
The Welcome Reception was filled with so many brands, bloggers and cute photo ops. It was so great catching up with women I had met from previous years and meeting new attendees. The welcome reception is the reason the TBS founders tell us every year to come with extra luggage space. The gifting suite this year was phenomenal. A few highlights:
- Marc Fisher was a sponsor this year and gifted us loafers from their fall collection (I got a pair in red and I can’t wait to wear them!)
- The Kendra Scott team basically brought their color bar to the conference. I got to choose a pair of earrings and customize the gem color.
- The Drybar team was doing dry styles and handing out full-size products (I picked up a Detox Dry Shampoo because I am always in need of dry-shampoo!)
- Essie was doing manicures using Gel Couture colors and top coat treatments!
- La Croix had plenty of refreshments, including the new sparking water flavor, Hibiscus!
I also had the opportunity to be introduced to some new brands including Grayson, a line of comfortable and chic button-up shirts, and My Kind of Lovely, an online boutique for apparel and accessories.
Grayson was kind of enough to gift us with a button-up (I chose an adorable pink heart print that I ended up wearing on Day 2).
Day 2: Workshops
It was an early wake-up call on Saturday for breakfast (hosted by La Croix), workshops, lunch (hosted by Marc Fisher), and dinner (hosted by Yankee Candle).
As I mentioned earlier, I was leading a workshop on email marketing, so I had the morning to attend workshops or enjoy some free time prior to my sessions in the afternoon. I chose to attend workshops in the morning because as a blogger myself I am always open to learning for my own side hustle.
I attended Erica Ligenza’s workshop, Perfecting The Art of The Pitch, and let me just say: WOW. Every blogger (newer or established) needs to take her Boss Pitch course. As women, we are conditioned to think that we are not worthy of getting paid for collaborations (or if we’re not worthy, we’re terrified/scared to ask for money) and this workshop was so inspiring and hopefully a great reminder for attendees that every blogger DESERVES TO BE PAID! It doesn’t matter if you have 5,000 followers or 500,000. Time = money.
The second workshop I attended was Pricing Yourself For Profitability with Kate Gremillion of Work Well with Kate. This workshop blew me away too. If you’re a blogger looking to do less but make more money, her tools, tips and templates are a must-have. She will set you up for success!
We took a break to have lunch, which was hosted by Marc Fisher. Did I mention how much I love this brand? Marc Fisher has been so good to us bloggers. It was great getting a sneak peek of their fall shoe collection.
Now it was time for my workshop! I was a little nervous leading up to my sessions but more so excited to just share my knowledge and love for email marketing. I can’t speak for the attendees that came to my workshop but I would say it went really well!
Of course, I could go on and on about why email marketing is crucial for bloggers these days but I’ll keep it brief: SEO rules are updated constantly. Social networks rise and fall. But you know what? Everyone has an inbox and they check it almost daily. I hope the attendees that came to my workshop found my session helpful and hopefully they walked away with some actionable tips and tricks!
After the workshops, I had some free time for the rest of the afternoon before dinner with Yankee Candle. I decided to spend it by heading to the resort’s spa and enjoying a pedicure. I also did a mini photo session with the conference photographer, Hannah Lozano.
Dinner was sponsored by Yankee Candle and they had a beautiful brand presentation highlighting their fall candle collection, complete with a signature fall cocktail for happy hour!
After dinner, attendees gathered around fire pits stationed outside the cottages for s’mores—a nice little treat before heading to bed!
Day 3: Conference Speakers
I swear, this conference always goes by so fast! Day 3 was the final day of the conference and it involved breakfast and keynotes from a few different individuals.
Manu Muraro of Your Social Team did a fabulous presentation on Instagram and how to grow your following organically, plus tips on encouraging engagement. Matt Ragland of PODIA, shared creator success through online courses (I’m definitely thinking about exploring this more). Finally, Brittany Stevens of Lawyer Lookbook spoke about the latest FTC guidelines.
Between the reception, workshops, meals, conference speakers, and the resort itself, I would say this year’s conference was a huge success!
All Conference Photography by Hannah Lozano