1) The Keynote speech by former Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Kate White
She has the BEST public-speaking skills - her speech was full of humor and inspiring life lessons. I loved her advice to schedule an hour-long coffee date with yourself once a week to look at the big picture with regards to your current job, your career path and your personal life. She mentioned she was 61 - which had everyone clamoring to know her beauty secrets (she suggested exfoliation and retinols).
|Kate White at the conference; Her latest book published by Harper Collins|
Blo Bar and iLash.me had the best booths EVER! Loved getting the Holly Would (aka Kardashian-style waves) and lush Mink lashes (good for up to 25 uses!)
|Why can't I ever style my hair like this myself?|
So many relevant and useful topics - my favorite were: 'Claiming Blog Income: Blogger Compensation' (Hello tax implications...nobody wants to get audited!), 'Killer Media Kits & Rate Cards' and 'SEO Strategies For Your Blog'.
4) The McCafe
McDonalds had set up a lounge with a live band, massage & manicure stations - and unlimited coffees and smoothies! What more could you ask for?
|I love my frothy cappuccinos!|
Learned about World Vision Canada, Food Banks Canada and Facing Cancer. Loved this beautiful turquoise bracelet - available through World Vision here - it would make the perfect gift: unique, hand-crafted and helping others!
|Love my turquoise arm-candy...am not taking this off!|
At the TELUS booth I was surprised to find my former neighbor (@enapolano) - we've had so many chats over the summer while our kids took swimming together - yet she had no idea I was a blogger and I had no idea she was in Media Relations for TELUS!
7) Ford Fun
Ford was the biggest brand sponsor of this event - and they had SO many activities for us - from toy racetrack driving to "loading the trunk" challenges....AND mini-movies starring US (against "Escape" backdrops to highlight the 2013 Ford Escape) - everything was so much fun!
|Screen shot from the video that made me a rockstar in my kids' eyes (Did you really jump Mommy?)|
8) Engaging with great brands
It was amazing meeting so many great brands that were eager to work with bloggers. Everybody was so friendly and interested - it was a great place to network if you are looking to build brand relationships.
9) Random chats
Along with all the lovely brand reps - I LOVED all the chats I had with fellow bloggers...I struck up so many fun conversations ranging from favorite mascaras to kiddy potty-training tips!
While you don't attend an event JUST for the swag - you have to admit it's a lovely benefit. Here's a peek at SOME of the amazing items I received: