I recently went to a creative blog conference, SNAP – it’s actually my third year going – I just can’t get enough. I wanted to give you a glimpse into the conference by comparing it to something you might have experience with – Girl’s Camp!
When I was a youth (ages 12-15-ish) I went to a girl’s church camp each summer. Maybe you did the same? something similar? There are so many relate-able things…
1. DRINK WATER
– at camp, in the heat of the summer, the leaders told you to drink water or you’d get sick, etc etc. We were reminded more than once – cause it’s important.
– at SNAP, in the high altitude, Tauni preached to us more than once to be sure to drink lots of water so we didn’t get altitude sickness or headaches. See – just like camp! I guzzled water like crazy, and was making more than my share of potty breaks. Which worked out great for #bathroomselfies.
10. LATE NIGHTS, EARLY MORNINGS
– girl’s camp has a pretty tight schedule, and you have to be up and moving in the mornings. It seems like the only free time is at night, so you end up staying up way too late being goofy and having fun.
– don’t plan on sleeping while you’re at SNAP – we were up so late (seriously, like 2am each night – I’m too old for that!) but still were up to head to events at 8am. It was crazy. And Awesome. Like Camp. And like camp, it seems like you can learn TONS just in those late-night sessions, chatting with each other and sharing tips and tricks, all the while giggling over inside jokes.
11. AMAZING LEADERS
– if you’re a leader at Girl’s Camp, I know you’re awesome. To deal with all the planning and scheduling and on top of that deal with a bunch of teenage girls. Awesome.
– the SNAP leadership team, as you can guess, Awesome. Tauni and her crew did an amazing job planning, moderating classes, keeping us in line, making everyone feel welcome, etc etc.
12. MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS
– you can’t have a camp without motivational speakers, am I right?! at girl’s camp I probably didn’t appreciate the messages being shared nearly as much as I should have.
– the speakers at SNAP were great, and I was especially impressed with the Keynote Speakers. They did an amazing job, really expressed their passions well and inspired you to do the same. Top notch for sure.
13. CAMP SHIRTS
– Girl’s Camp had a shirt each year that everyone received. In addition to that, lots of groups would make their own shirts for fun (think tie dye and sharpie…)
– there weren’t official SNAP tshirts (oooh, but that’s an awesome idea – maybe next year?!) but I did grab a shirt from My Sister’s Tee that is one of my favorites – I love love love it.
– we had to wear nametags at camp, or have something to show which campsite group we were with
– SNAP provides you with a lanyard that you wear at all times to show you’re part of the conference. I’m sure the other people in the hotel saw them around our neck and tried to avoid us
– it’s hard to forget one another after spending a week at camp with them. I’m still friends with the girls I went to camp with – so fun.
– SNAP has a huge underling theme of friends – you’re all gathered together, and you all love blogging and creating – of course you’ll find a bunch of soulmates. I love getting to meet in-person friends that I’ve interacted with online. I love connecting with the friends I made last year. It’s such a fun side to SNAP.
– camp has a tight schedule of classes. You learn things you didn’t know about before, in a variety of topics. Some you love, some are just alright.
– this year at SNAP I felt like I kept picking the wrong classes – I’d go to one, but end up wishing I had picked another. I was able to exchange info from friends and we learned some great tips. There was a great variety of classes to choose from.
17. COMMEMORATIVE JEWELRY
– there was always a gift at Girl’s Camp from leaders – something to remind us of our time at camp. Often it was a necklace.
– SNAP had a necklace with the theme of the year stamped onto it – I really love it! So nice that we were each provided one! it’s pushing me to embrace gold
18. CAMP HIGH
– when you come home from Girl’s Camp, you are pumped up about everything!
– coming home from SNAP, I feel rejuvenated and pumped and ready to tackle my blog with new-found enthusiasm. After I get over the pure exhaustion I need a recovery week first!
– no one wants to unpack from Girl’s Camp.
– no one wants to unpack from SNAP. Seriously, I think I still had things in bags 6 months after-the-fact last year. Meh!
20. LEVELS – EVERY YEAR IS A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE
This is why I’ll keep coming back to SNAP. I have had a different, positive and gainful, experience each year. Again, it relates to my camp experience.
– at our camp you were know by your “level” – 1st Years, 2nd Years, 3rd Years, 4th Years. As a 1st Year, you’re pretty nervous – it’s a new experience and you’re not quite sure what to expect. Maybe your first time away from family. I was a diligent 1st Year – went to all the classes, did everything like I was told. I interacted with new people, but mainly kept to who I had known going into camp. As a 2nd year I was able to branch out just a little – I still went to classes and was there to learn, but I knew what to expect and knew people from the year before, so I was more comfortable. The 3rd Year I wasn’t so by-the-book – I really hung out with new friends, and enjoyed the experience.
–SNAP is just like that for me.
1st Year: My first year I was super nervous – I’d never even met another blogger! I was going into the conference not knowing anyone – except I was too nervous to go by myself, so I drug my cousin along with me. I was there for the classes. And never being exposed to blog-info, I learned a ton! I soaked it all in. I met people, but didn’t really make any BFFs. Instead of going to the closing party, we thought it’d be funner to go out to a movie, and so we did. It was a good experience.
2nd Year: I was a little less nervous my second year – although I did still room with people I knew. I was a die-hard on classes again – I was there to learn and I did. I was able to connect quicker with people I had met the year before, so the connections were easier and more stable. We had a fun time and really enjoyed the experience.
3rd Year: this year I went into the conference with a different goal – the previous years it was to learn and gain info. This year I went with a goal to connect with other people and brands. To have meaningful interactions with people. And I did! And I missed a couple of classes, and I was okay with it. I feel like a pretty seasoned blogger (I’ve been at it about 5 years) and so it’s understandable that I might not gain something out of the classes as much as I did the first year. But I can still gain from the experience. (and classes too – topics are different each year). I interacted. Connected with Brands. Connect with bloggers. And it was a great experience.
–I have gone to the same blog conference for 3 years. And I love it. And I’ll go again next year. The experience is what you make of it, and even though it’s the same conference, I have gained different things from it each year. Every year has been beneficial and awesome. Bring on 2015!
And a quick shout-out to how it’s NOT like camp….
we’re on our phones constantly (social media is a real thing!) AND we didn’t see the light of day for who knows how long – all the events were in one hotel, so we went from room-to-room, never gracing the outdoors with our presence.
A huge shout-out to Elmer’s, who sponsored the travel portion of my conference experience. Elmer’s is AWESOME and it was great working with them and spreading their brand awareness.
If you haven’t tried a Painters yet, what are you waiting for?! They are amazing, and I use them in crafts all. the. time.
Next year’s goal: Take More Pictures!!
In case you’re interested…
SNAP 2012 Recap (I actually went all out and did a recap of each class that first year – but here’s the master list)
and you can find lots of other recaps from this year from lots of other bloggers here:
SNAP 2014 Recap Link Party