This post may contain affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything, but earn me a small commission. Thank you for supporting Becoming Bailey!
When I first heard about the Military Influencer Conference, I knew it was something I just had to attend. A conference for military bloggers and influencers? Yes, please! I bought my tickets in February, way back before we even knew we would be moving to Iowa. When I accepted my current job offer, my reply before I accepted was that I needed time off to attend the Military Influencer Conference (and FinCon). Thankfully, that request was granted!
I am so thankful I attended this event last week! I had a wonderful time!!! It was a great “work-cation”, and yes, an escape from the cold in Iowa. (It was snowing when I was down in Texas for the conferences. Snowing, y’all!) Here are some of the lessons I learned from my first, but hopefully not my last, Military Influencer Conference experience!
The military community is close-knit.
Recruiting is so lonely sometimes because we’re one of 3 active duty families in our town and it feels like I’m always “on display”. Here, I didn’t have to explain to anyone about our lifestyle; they just knew. They “get it”. I could be honest with them with how tough Recruiting can be sometimes because I wasn’t trying to “sell” the Army to them. It was refreshing to feel like I belong there, and I already miss that connection with “my people”. I have never made such quick connections with people before in my life! I guess that’s one of the perks of military spouses…. they know how to make friends fast! 🙂
I was able to make connections with influential people in the military community. I got to meet people whose blogs, websites, and businesses I have admired for so long! I met someone for one of my favorite military spouse websites that I would love to write for, I met someone from a company I would love to work for when I have my BBA degree, and I met companies that I would love to partner with for Becoming Bailey. And, of course, I got to meet a lot of blog friends turned real-life friends!
There’s room at the table for everyone.
Literally and figuratively, there is room at the table for everyone. If a table was crowded, people would invite you to pull up a chair. Likewise, it sometimes feels like there’s too many bloggers and not enough room for all of us. Not true at all! Yes, we’re all in the same niche, but we all have a different perspective. Some people are military craft bloggers, some are military finance bloggers, some are military professional/career bloggers, and some (like me) are lifestyle bloggers. We’re all different people, so we all see things in a different light. We all have a different take on military life. We all belong in the blogging/influencer world.
I felt inspired to work on my blog.
I have had goals for my blog, but with the busyness of everyday life, I haven’t been able to work on them as much as I’d like. Taking time off from my day job and from my college classes meant I actually had the time to do just that. While in Dallas, I wrote plenty of blog posts, scheduled social media posts, and even joined an Instagram pod (I had no idea what that was before!) I plan on scheduling more “blog time” into my weekly routine when I return home and establish some clear goals before #MilBlogging18!
I was able to rest.
Oftentimes, conferences are go, go, go 24/7. For me, I opted to use this conference as a time to work and rest. I skipped on lunch with others so I could have some “me time” with a good book and some Tex-Mex. I spent a day sightseeing around the city, just because I wanted to. I went to bed early and slept in for a bit (if a 0745 wake-up counts as sleeping in!) I even got a massage (thanks, in part, to the sore neck I woke up with one morning!) I definitely needed to rejuvenate after the craziness of work and life lately!
I fell in love with the city of Dallas.
I have only been to Texas once in my life: as a child, I visited family in a small town in the Texas panhandle. Needless to say, 9 year old Bailey was not impressed. This trip, my perspective on Texas totally changed! I fell in love with Dallas and the state of Texas as a whole. In fact, it’s on our short list of potential places to move when Andy leaves the Army in somewhere between 3.5-15 years from now 😉
With Sarah from Servant Mama. She is such a sweetheart! I am not anywhere close to motherhood, but she has welcomed me into her Facebook community with open arms! It’s such a great Christian/military wife group!
With Kristine Schellhaas from the blog USMC Life and author of the book 15 Years of War. I was so nervous to ask her to sign my book, but Heidi wouldn’t let me leave without getting my book signed! (I’ll be doing a non-sponsored book review of 15 Years of War on my blog in the next few weeks!)
With Rheanna from Cammo Style Love. Funny story: we both ended up at the Bush Presidential Library at the same time and Instagram-stalked each other until we finally hung out in person at the library!
I had such a wonderful time, in fact, that I bought my VIP Ticket and reserved my room for the 2018 conference before I even left Dallas! This time around, it will be in Orlando, Florida! I’ve even managed to talk Andy into joining me for a portion of the trip, since he’s never been to Disney before! I hope to see you in Orlando next fall! 🙂
Have you ever been to a blogging conference?
Will you be attending the 2018 Military Influencer Conference?