In the beginning there was Blog World Expo. A conference held on the west coast dedicated to bringing together the most successful New Media content creators in the world in the areas of content creation, distribution, and monetization, and the opportunity to learn from these leaders. As demand rose for a similar conference on the east coast Blog World Expo East came to be.
I had never attended any of the conferences on the west coast so coming in to Blog World Expo East I had no expectations whatsoever. In fact if anything, I was comforted knowing that this was the first time the conference was to be held on the east coast and there was a lesser chance of being overwhelmed by the multitudes of people, exhibits, sessions, parties, and general craziness.
On May 24th, The first day of the conference I arrived with no real agenda. The exhibit hall was not open until the following day so until then I was free to attend sessions and to see what BlogWorld Expo had to offer in terms of education. The sessions I attended were all at or near capacity and featured speakers who were well seasoned and spoke to the crowd as if they were educating one on one. Even though I felt as an outsider going in to the sessions, being that none of the sessions were geared towards affiliate marketing, I was still able to take away several valuable lessons. Before attending the Keynote to close out the day, I took advantage of the free access to the BEA (Bookexpo America) show and spent some time walking the main floor in the Javits Center. The BEA exhibit hall was huge although it definitely seemed to be lacking in terms of giveaways (One of the main reasons to attend a conference).
The last daytime event was the Keynote entitled Social Media Game Changers featuring Gary Vaynerchuck (aka Gary V), Jeffery Hayzlett, and H.P. Mallory. After about 2 minutes it became clear that they knew their stuff, and every single person in that crowd of approximately 1000 walked away with not only a copy of Gary’s new book, but with an honest look at what it takes to be a success . As the day closed the night began and if there is one thing I can say without a doubt, Blogworld knows how to throw a networking party. The party that night was at 404 NYC Restaurant, and lasted a bit longer than the appointed hours. Gary V was on hand shaking everyone’s hand and signing copies of his book and did not leave until all requests were met. Quite classy if I may say so myself, and so ended day one with a train ride back to Long Island.
Day 2, or May 25, began for me with the opening of the exhibit hall. The exhibit hall was quite Small when compared to the size of the BEA exhibit hall, but was definitely not lacking anything in terms of exhibitors. The day started off slowly with people trickling in, but around lunch time it picked up a lot. Many people were coming over saying “I have heard of affiliate marketing but I don’t know much about it, and many similar questions. Over the next few hours I came close to losing my voice explaining to many how affiliate marketing worked and who all the players were etc. Overall though it was a very productive day, and I could not be more pleased with the way it went. Night time equals party time in NYC and the party that night at the Hudson Terrace was definitely no let down. It was clear that after two days of this conference that those who were in attendance were there with a real sense of purpose, and like myself were finding their time well spent.
Day 3/May 26 Proved to be much of the same as day 2 although with more of the attendants from the BEA making their way downstairs to the BlogWorld exhibit hall. Comments like “The people upstairs are actually more interested in what is going on down here, and “ In just a few years you guys will be upstairs and we will be down here” seemed to come naturally to the lips of those who had made their way downstairs. As day 3 came to an end I was quite tired but not tired enough to skip one last networking party at Marquee. I stayed later that night than at the previous 2 parties and based on what I was hearing from the attendees was that the overwhelming consensus was that this conference was really a tremendous success and that people can not wait for next year. The crowd may have been a bit smaller than those held on the east coast but the attendees seemed to be those who were really interested in attending and were really impressed with what BlogWorld had to offer. In my humble opinion BlogWorld is a great event for all those who are involved in content creation, distribution, monetization, and new media, and if nothing else it proved to me without a doubt that blogging is far from dead.