This weekend I had a chance to attend a blogger/brand conference in Chicago from Social Revup.  The event is called BBSummit12, and it is a one day conference bringing bloggers and brands together to build successful relationships.  As I’m at the event listening to the speakers and my mind is wandering, as it often does, I got to thinking; these events are important for me as a blogger because it is important to build relationships with brands, which in turn allows for more opportunities for me, but is also important for me to do these things because of my readers (aka you!).

You come to my site to find information about brands and products that work, and those that don’t.  Sometimes you learn new things about tried and true products, find products you have never heard of before (as do I), or learn a trick or two that you didn’t know previously, and you wouldn’t be able to do that if I didn’t have the opportunity to do these networking events, work with brands on partnerships and/or sponsorships, and build relationships that allow me to continue bringing you valuable information.

Once I started thinking about the products I try and how I really like to present things that I think you will like, I also got to thinking about how I’ve really only worked with products that I think I will like and use.  This is great for you because I typically have a good experience if I am trying out a product I already have an inkling I will actually use and enjoy, but it is also good because I know that my writing will be relevant, and will be from my voice.  If I start picking out products to try just for the sake of trying them, and then I end up not liking it or really not having anything good to say, you will see that in my writing.  Sure it is great for me to tell you when I don’t like something or if I don’t like a certain feature, and I will always do so, but I have to be sure I’m really into trying the product in order for my review to have any meaning.  If I am not really invested in trying out a product I truly think I could use, I know you are smart enough as a consumer to see right through me because I won’t have much to say.

I hope that as I continue to try out products and write about them that my writing continues to reach your expectations of what you want to know about a product, and that I am able to help you make informed decisions.  If you ever read about a product and you’ve had a different experience please share it with us in the comments!  Believe it or not, brands DO want to know about what they are doing wrong just as much, if not more, than what they are doing right.

With that being said, I wanted to take this time to say THANK YOU to my readers for loyally following me and my reviewers through our trials and tribulations testing out products so we can give you our viewpoint.  I really appreciate that you come back to visit us time and again to read about all the new products that are out on the market, and occasionally get a few recipes and crafts from us too!  It means a lot that you trust what we have to say, and even if you haven’t been visiting us for long, or haven’t read much of what we have written, we still appreciate you coming to visit once in a while!  It is through your loyalty that we are able to work with brands and continue to provide you with the latest and greatest things out on the market.

I also wanted to take time to say THANK YOU to the many brands and companies we have worked with over the last year, and in the years to come.  We truly appreciate that you understand how beneficial working with bloggers can be, and appreciate the time and effort involved to develop a relationship via product reviews, sponsored posts, or even ambassadorships.  I would also like to say a special Thank You to Verizon, who agreed to sponsor me for this conference.  I have been working with Verizon in their Midwest Savvy Saver program, and it has truly been a pleasure to work with such a wonderful brand that not only has great service (I’ve had their cellphone service for a couple of years now), but also great customer service!

I don’t want to forget to mention THANK YOU to my fellow bloggers as well!  There are many of you who have answered my questions, helped me with troubleshooting, and just steered me in the right direction as we work together to grow our own brands.  If it weren’t for the great community of bloggers whom I have come to know over the past several months, I certainly wouldn’t be as far as I am right now.  I truly appreciate the community and camaraderie we have developed, even if I only get to meet a few of you in person once or twice a year.  Some of you I may never meet, but I still enjoy talking with you each day!

BBSummit12 was a great event for me, not only did I learn a lot from the panels of speakers, it really got me thinking about what is important for my blog, and for you my readers.  I truly hope that as I continue to develop and grow with my blog that you will grow with me, and we can enjoy the journey together along the way.  Since my trip was sponsored by Verizon, I had the opportunity to drive down to Chicago Friday night, and stay until Sunday morning.  This allowed me the opportunity to explore the city a little, as well as talk to a few bloggers I haven’t seen in a while.  I also had my Xyboard with me that I received from Verizon, and good thing too because I could not for the life of me get the hotel wi-fi to work and I had to use my mobile hotspot, which I have to say is lighting fast.  I even let a few other bloggers connect to it while at the conference and we all enjoyed really fast internet speed using Verizon’s 4G LTE service.  This was the first time using it with other people, so I was unsure how the speed would hold up, but it was awesome!

Here are some fun pictures from the event, the hotel, and even my twitter pic (embarrasing!) that won me $50!

The Hard Rock Hotel, where we were on the 30th floor all the way up in the tower!  Only one set of elevators serviced the tower and I have to say it made us nervous on more than one occasion listening to all the squeaking and moaning in the old elevator shaft.

Here is the view out our window.  If you like spiders this was the room for you.  They were all over the outside of the window, and were big!  I am not a spider fan…the curtains were shut quite often.  :-)

Here we are hard at work, tweeting away while listening to the speakers.  I am the one in the back of this picture with the brown shirt on.

Here I am fighting off zombies at the PopCap vendor display.  They were one of the sponsors of the event and have some awesome new games, like Plants vs. Zombies!  I can’t wait to try this one out!

Here is the @Thisisgmc Our Town Our Heros display.  I got to be a superhero for a day, well in this picture anyway, lol.

Here is the pic I tweeted with me in the back seat of the GMC Acadia showing you just how roomy those back seats are.  Big enough for a nap after a long conference, lol.  This is the picture that was selected to win $50 from GM!

Here I am with my sister-in-law at the after party.  She came along with me to the conference to keep me company on the trip and we had a great time!


Written by Jesica.


Disclosure:  The Mommy Bunch was provided a free hotel stay and conference pass to attend this event.  No other compensation was provided.