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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Blissdom Canada 2012 recap

Well, I am back from Blissdom Canada 2012. Did you miss me? I promise that I will get back to my regular blogs about Halloween on Thursday (and then some!)

I had a great time in Toronto, and better still my kids had a great time without me! My house is clean, I am renewed and refreshed and I got to spend the weekend with 500 other women (and a handful of men) that speak my language.

Love Marilyn!
Sitting in the Chair! My dream!!
I came in early for the conference as I won tickets to the Marilyn Denis show. This was a dream come true for me. I have been watching Marilyn for years with my mom and so to see her live and get to talk with her one on one was so great. She gave me a big hug and I got to sit in her chair…it's the little things you know….

Town Hall
Spent the rest of the day just walking around the city. It is SO big, and so so much faster paced than Calgary. I have to say that I actually got quite overwhelmed and had to retreat back to the hotel just to have a little quiet time. I love the city, but it also scared me at the same time.

Not even a 1/4 of the mall!!
That night I was waitlisted for the Road Rally (think Amazing Race), but in the end I got to go. (thanks Brooke!) We ran around Toronto being chauffeured by our wonderful driver Patrick and took many different pictures, videos and tweeted the whole time. It was so crazy and I am glad that all 3 of my team mates were from Toronto (lucky that way).

Next was the kick off party where we had Microsoft show us some neat things and I watched many women dance the night away with the Kinect dance challenge. (it was pretty funny)

It was at this party that I met Annie of PhD in Parenting. I felt like such a nerd and fan girl, but she was so nice and made me feel right at home. (thanks to Mara for introducing us - and thanks to Candace for showing me that she was there.)
Annie and I
Ann and I
Saturday was the first real day of the conference. It started with a welcome breakfast and we had a presentation by Dove. Next we had 3 micro-sessions to talk about things that we really wanted to learn.
The micro-sessions were by far my favourite part of the conference. I learned about analytics with Annie, How to Be an Expert with Candace, and How to Write a Book with Ann Douglas.

After lunch we had the opportunity to listen to the keynote speakers. While all of the talks were amazing in their own right, my favourite by far was Bonnie Stewart. Here is a post that she wrote that has some of the key ideas of that talk. It is something that we really have to take to heart as the internet is really just an extension of us in the real world and we must always be aware of that.

Jian and I
I was able to get my book signed by Jian Ghomeshi, the Sh*tty Moms, Andrea Nair, and by Amy McKay. (Bliss for a book lover like myself.)

So cute!!
Saturday evening my blogging girlfriends and I went to get our hair done and we dressed up as Mad Men Women for the karaoke costume party. We had planned this group costume for over two months and it was great to see it in action! It was too fun and I looked so cute! I could be a 1950's housewife every day! The party also gave me an opportunity to connect with other really neat people. I met Kyla from MommysWeird and I swear we were best friends in another life! I love this conference for stuff like that!

Hope I don't crash!!
The next day I went to the GM plant in Oshawa and learned all about the new technology that they are putting into their cars. It was pretty neat to see the "behind the scenes" and I really like how they listen to the consumer. I actually talked to them about integrated carseats and they discussed it with me. My favourite new feature that they showed us was that they have sensors that see the lines on the road and if you go over the line it vibrates your seat to alert you. How neat is that? I think it is for rumble strips (since there is talk about getting rid of them due to cyclist commutes).

Pretty Sweet!

I got to drive a Camaro (a new souped up edition) and do a slalom course, a doughnut course, and a fast breaking course. It was pretty neat and I joked with the drivers if they knew the Stig (since they all spoke french).

After the excursion was over we were whisked VIP style back to the airport to await our (delayed) flight to Calgary. The drive was great and I have to note that out of all the sponsors at Blissdom, GM were my favourite as the always had cars and drivers waiting for people, and if you were from out of town like me, that service was really invaluable.
My Ride

I learned a lot, not only about Social Media, Marketing, Books and Branding, but also about myself. I learned that I need to really look deep inside of myself and see what I want to do, apart from being a mother and a wife, and to take more time just for myself.

My kids survived, my house survived, my husband is capable.

Blissdom Canada 2013?? I think so.


Becky said...

I'm in for Blissdom 2013!!!! I'm glad you had such a great weekend. I loved my time at Blissdom and am looking forward to next year already. :)

Tammy inRdream said...

Looks like a blast! I attended SCCTO still trying to recover on sleep! LOL thanks for sharing!


Merry said...

I'm so glad that we got to hang out at Blissdom. Though I see you quite a bit here, it's always in little bits. Great post that really captures the great time we had!

This Mom said...

It's so fun to check out what everyone else did at Blissdom (Marilyn, Road Rally, GM Plant, etc.) as it was impossible to take everything in!

I love all the photos I'm seeing of the "Mad Men women" costumes. Nicely done!

Glad you had a great time too...and maybe I'll see you back again in 2013!

I posted my thoughts on the weekend here:

Anonymous said...

What a great recap! Totally enjoyed hanging out with you in Toronto!

Melissa said...

Glad to hear you had a great time and to see your pictures! Can't wait until Blissdom 2013 to party with you again ;-)

Shannon Fisher said...

Oooh! I remember stopping you in the hall the night of the party and asking if you did your hair or got it done. YOUR COSTUMES WERE AWESOME. So fun.

I was born and raised in Calgary. :)

Shannon Fisher said...

Gah. I hate signing in with google.

Can you add name/url to your comment options?

This is me:

Canadian Dad said...

"I felt like such a nerd and fan girl". This described my entire Blissdom experience (except insert fanboy). I tried to explain to my wife that it would be like her meeting Victor Newman from Y&R. I wouldn't care but she would be all excited, lol.

Rebecca said...

I'm so glad you had such a good time - it was nice seeing you in your costume, it was quite stunning ;)

I am already looking forward to next year!!

SamiJoe said...

I am so glad you had fun!! And thanks for being my roomie!

Heather said...

that yellow dress is stunning on you! I am so sad I wasn't there

zchamu said...

Love love love this post. So glad you had a great time, and I love that you fangirled Annie. I fangirl her all the time too. :)

Jen said...

Loved your costume! I had the same experience meeting Annie. No clue why I was so nervous meeting her but I am glad I walked up to her to say hi.

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