It is hard to believe but this time last week, we were in the midst of our fourth annual Problogger Conference on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia.
It was an amazingly emotional, nerve-wracking and yet exhilarating couple of days – and by the end of the event we knew that we had created something pretty special.
People weren’t just talking about their plans for their blog. They were talking about how the event had inspired them to make bigger changes, and think on a much larger scale. It’s almost unthinkable that this is the same event I created in 2010 in a small hotel on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Four years ago we had just under 150 attendees, all packed into a single room for a full day. We had 5 sessions, 6 speakers (5 men and 1 women) and attendees were around 60% male. We had dodgy wifi, packed everyone in (there was not a spare seat in the room) and while we had the excuse of only 6 weeks to plan the event it was fairly basic on many levels.
This year we saw just under 450 people attend. We ran 3 streams simultaneously with a total of 31 sessions of teaching. 3 of our speakers were from the US (Amy Porterfield, Tsh Oxenreider and Trey Ratcliff) and two thirds of our 30 speakers were female. Not only that – this year 84% of our attendees were women!
Our attendees went into something of a frenzy of activity during the two days – they tweeted over 13,000 times on the #PBEVENT hashtag and they posted hundreds of instagram images too.
You can get a feel for the event from this news segment that was on the local news (not sure why they decided to caption me ‘Craig Rowse’).
We held the event at the amazing QT Gold Coast (one of the most instagramable hotels I’ve ever set foot in) and had some great support from Tourism and Events Queensland, Virgin Australia, Kambrook, Yellow Pages and some great sponsors in our Bloggers Market Place.
Friday night saw us hold a fun networking party that featured fire twirlers, Aussie animals (including snakes), Life Guards, photo booth, Austin Powers and much more. We also had special guests – including Aussie Actor and Singer Clare Bowditch, Samuel Johson from Love Your Sister and Aussie rules footballer Jonathan Brown.
The overwhelming feedback from attendees this year was that it was our best event yet. While we know there are ways to improve we’re particularly excited to see bloggers implementing things that they’ve learned, collaborating and already asking what we have planned for next year.
Want to get a feel for the event from an attendee perspective? You’re in luck – attendees from this years event have been writing a mix of posts, both sharing tips and their experiences. Here are the highlights from the many posts that were shared on our facebook page.
Tips + Takeaways
- Top 10 tips for Business Blogging from ProBlogger Event 2013
- My Top 5 Takeaways from #PBEvent
- 27 Things I Loved About the 2013 Problogger Training Event
- Problogger and Learning to BLog
- Lessons I Learnt at the PBEVENT 2013 + Action Points
- 3 Things Darren Rowse Taught Me at Problogger 2013 Event
- Inspiration to share from the ProBlogger 2013 conference
- ProBlogger 2013 Reflections
- Top Tweets from Problogger Event 2013 Day 1 #PBEvent
- PROBLOGGER CONFERENCE: THE 5’S
- 7 Things I Learnt at the Problogger Training Event 2013
- What I learnt about digital content creation at the Problogger Event #pbevent
- Important lessons from the Problogger training event
- Tips For Using Hashtags At Events: Case Study #PBEvent – Impactiv8
- Don’t think about the long way ahead. Focus on the next step
One thing I’m most proud of is how it helped people. Martine Oglethorpe said that the two days “summed up what a lot of us were thinking – “the importance of living in the now. Of not settling for something that doesn’t create memories. Of not letting the ‘haters’ beat you.”
Here are some of the ways it helped attendees change their perspective.
- Janina Lear: As I have been blogging for around 5 years now I found that I know more than I gave myself credit for so rather than learning much new I came away feeling inspired to do more and to keep being authentic
- Kellie Alderman: For me, it helped to crystalize, in my mind, how best to shrug off the legacy of legacy media and find a way of bringing what I love to do into a venue where people are going to be looking for it.
It became obvious at the Problogger event that many serious bloggers in Australia are becoming fully-fledged content creators, community builders and mini-media enterprises in their own right – they shoot video and/or photos, some produce audio content via podcasting, and most are hyper-connected across social networks. They are telling stories that resonate with their audience, growing their following organically through word-of-mouth not only through their blogs but also social networks, and building their brands in accelerated fashion.
I agree – and I believe that the Aussie blogosphere is pretty unique with the sense of community. Here are some more incredibly kind words attendees had to say:
- Dannielle Cresp: It’s like being surrounded by hope and believers. I feel like I have a force field of people who have my back around me now. And even a few days later, this couldn’t be more of the truth. We all need that force field.
- Pip Lincolne: If you hang out with the right people, all kinds of possibilities present themselves. Ideas spark all over the place and you can feel yourself being grounded and growing like a vine, all at the same time.
- Kathy, from Yin Yang Mother: Problogger taught as much about making a life as it did about making a living. They didn’t speak of success as much as service. Of getting offline, which would seem to run counter-intuitive to being well-known online. Of collaborating and cooperating rather than competing. Of community rather than markets. Of win-win rather than take-all. Of creating first, giving second, selling last. Of passion before profits (literally and always).
All up – it was an amazing couple of days on the Gold Coast (the highlight of my year in many ways) and since coming home I’ll admit to wondering around the house feeling a little lonely after having so many amazing bloggers to hang out with. I guess we’d better start planning for next year!
Speaking of next year – our team is already making plans for 2014 and hope to build upon what we did this year.
If you’re interested to hear more about our plans you can add your email address below and we’ll make sure to send you an update when we have that information ready to share.
Grab All the Teaching from PBEVENT Here
This year we recorded sessions (audio) at PBEVENT and have collected up all the slides used during the two days. These are available as awhich is now available for you to purchase and listen to at your leisure.
Pick it up in the next few days and you’ll also get an invitation to join a live Q&A call with myself and my team in the coming weeks as well as a webinar with Jonathan Fields.
The theme of this year’s event for me was one of realising what a lucky person I am. I am particularly grateful to have an amazing team work with me to produce PBEVENT. To Jasmin, Justine, Laney, Liz and Nicole – I’m indebted to you each and thankful for your hard work. Thanks too to Shayne for his advice, encouragement and support.
To our support team of room producers, social media team, volunteers, ushers – your positivity and spirit were infectious and helped make this a smooth running event in many ways.
To our speakers – both international and Aussies – I love this year’s line up. As I said at the event you not only were informative and inspirational – you are good hearted people who left us all better for the opportunity to hear you.
Lastly to our sponsors (particularly Virgin Australia, Yellow Pages, Kambrook), Venue (QT Hotel) and other partners (particularly Tourism and Events Queensland) – I appreciate the value that you added, the effort that you went to to be relevant and fit in with what we planned.