From the Blogging Conference Junkie About Where You Should Go in 2008

Many of you know that I spoke at / went to a lot of conferences in 2007. Each was great in its own way, and I’m trying to get back to every single one of them again this year, plus hoping to add a few if I can.

I think that the majority of readers of this blog are running an eBusiness at some level, and I wanted to highlight two conferences that I believe are kind of standing out from the pack this year – namely SOBCon and Small Business Marketing Unleashed (Elite Retreat too, but since it is sold out, I’ll keep that one out of this post).

I know that I’ve talked up the networking part of going to conferences in the past – and honestly, I believe that meeting intelligent, influential people is going to be the #1 benefit from going to any conference, period. What SOBCon and Unleashed are doing differently, though, is that they are focusing on being a true teaching/consulting experience. And you’d pay a heck of a lot more than the ticket price of either of these two conferences if you were to hire these consultants on your own.

I do have to say that all of the other conferences I went to were fantastic for learning some new things, but left me kind of scratching my head as to how I could fit that knowledge into my business. It’s not a putdown , it’s just they are a different kind of experience. But SOBCon and Unleashed are specifically formatting their sessions to enable participants to apply the theory of what is being taught to their specific businesses. They are both doing it in their own way, but both have an end goal of sending participants home with a plan of action that they can implement immediately. 

Honestly, I think that is a super-important distinction to make. You won’t get that at the trade-show style conferences that are coming up this year.

Maybe you already have an action plan – and you just need great contacts & exposure. Then maybe SOBCon and Unleashed aren’t the right conference for you. SXSW, BlogWorld, and BlogHer would be at the top of my attending list if that’s the case. SXSW is more entrepreneurish, BlogWorld is perfect for small bloggers/publishers, and BlogHer is a must attend if you are a ‘Her’.

Because I was a visible conference junkie in 2007, I get a LOT of people asking me which conference they should go to this year. If you really want to make your online business a success, or make it big enough to enable you to quit your day job and you aren’t quite sure how to do that, then the two I’d be looking at are SOBCon and Unleashed.

And don’t even ask me if you should go to conferences at all. By now you know you should. :)

*Disclaimer – I’m speaking at both of these conferences.

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  1. says

    An interesting distinction you make Wendy between Sobcon and Unleashed and BlogWorld etc conferences.
    I like the take home action style, although at this point Blog World is the only one on the Horizon for me in USA this year.
    We will have out 2nd Aussie on in August. I think I need a large windfall and higher profile so I get invited to speak


  2. says

    Thanks so much for the advice, Wendy.

    I’m trying to convince my Mrs. that we should go to SOBCon in ’09, as this year’s isn’t going to work for us.

    At any rate, you make a great point about a conference sending folks home with a specific plan of action. That’s a value add that doesn’t come about very often.

    Bob Younce’s last blog post..Banging My Gong – The Brand

  3. says

    Dear Wendy,

    Though I haven’t spoken at or attended either one of these 2 conferences, I agree wholeheartedly, and have posted you article on DIGG for one main reason:

    Attending 1 single conference changed my entire life within the span of 3 months … and now less than a year later I am an under 30 female entrepreneur with the exclusive promotion contract for one of the top Business and Universal Law coaches in the world.

    Entrepreneurs need to attend every conference possible – no less than 4 major seminars a year … and if you pick wisely, so much more can come out of these events than just the networking … which is phenomenal too!

    Thank you for your straight forward advice – this point needs to be made in just this fashion.

    Modern & Millions Maven
    Exclusive promoters of David Neagle

  4. Melissa Ingold says

    I believe you bring back so much from conferences. That is great that you were able to go to so many of them and walk away with so much information from them. And even better that you were able to speak at them also.