Monday, October 22, 2012

back from the Bliss

Once again this year, I was fortunate enough to attend the Blissdom Canada conference in Toronto.  Last year was my first time attending and I think I had already planned to sign up for 2012 before I'd left Blissdom Canada 2011.

I got home yesterday afternoon, exhausted but very happy.  My brain and my heart are full from everything I experienced and absorbed during Blissdom.  It may take a few days to process it all.  I felt like an emotional mush ball for most of the day yesterday.  A weird but very good way to feel.

The format of the conference had changed significantly this year.  Last year, I think we had almost 2 full days of sessions, round tables, panels, speakers.  This year, we had "micro sessions" in the morning (which were like the roundtables from last year) and there were "TED Style" speakers in the afternoon.  It was a lot of information to absorb in one day.

If I had to chose, I would pick last year's format over this year for one reason.  The two-day format gave us a fair amount of time between sessions to process and reflect upon the information you received, at least that is how I saw it.  I know that this format changed to allow the conference participants to have an excursion/experience on Sunday morning.  From what I saw on twitter yesterday, the excursions were a wonderful success.  I opted out of those and spent the time with friends and family and headed home in the early afternoon.

Again, the "Bliss Chicks" outdid themselves with securing amazing sponsors who I felt treated us all like royalty.  As a person who has a lot of experience in event delivery, I know how much work goes into something like this and I felt that there is a lot of heart and soul involved as well.  I feel like the Bliss Chicks really care about everyone who participates in the conference, whether you are a speaker, sponsor, community leader or just a sponge, like me absorbing all of the awesomeness.  They are working to ensure that Blissdom is a rewarding experience for everyone.

During the Blissdom Canada conferences that I have attended, I have challenged myself to step outside my comfort zone and participate in things I normally wouldn't do. These small risks have big personal payoffs and I can't say enough about how much fun I had. On that note, I'd like to thank Annie and Dee for inviting me into their picture on Friday night.  Honestly, I feel a bit like I photobombed them but they were very sweet and lovely to include me.

Thanks to them and all of the other amazing ladies I had the great good luck to speak with over the weekend.  You're all beautiful and wonderful and so inspiring.


Julie Harrison said...

Hi Peggy! I think I might have preferred last year's format too. Also: I thought your name might have been Julie like me by your julep67 handle! I saw you at one point and recognized you from your avatar pic but I'm glad I didn't shout out: HEY JULIE!! :)

Ministrytomotherhood said...

I wasn't able to attend last year but I like the sounds of that format. I found this year to be crammed with information and I wanted a little time to breathe between the sessions to process and digest everything. Nevertheless I learned a lot and am looking forward to next year!

Rae Notjustclutter said...

I was glad to meet you at the breakfast Saturday morning. Interesting to hear about last years format...I think I would have liked that a lot. I'd rather have more content than the excursion, personally, but thought it was so fantastic to meet people like you.

Peggy Shanks said...

Oh Julie - sorry I missed you, the twitter handle / name thing is confusing.

Rae, it was really great to talk to you too. Please keep in touch with me about your venture, I talked to Mark and he's happy to have his brain picked!

This Mom said...

I agree - it's interesting to hear about last year's format, as I have nothing to compare Blissdom 2012 to. But I know I found the microsessions too micro...and I wished there had been more of them, and fewer guest speakers. But I did really enjoy my Sunday excursion, so I'm glad that was incorporated.

Shannon Fisher said...

I didn't realize the format had changed; interesting! It was a lot to take in all at once.

They really did put a lot of heart into this event. I felt so welcomed from the moment I registered.

Will you be back next year?

Peggy Shanks said...

I will definitely go again Shannon, if I'm lucky enough to get a ticket again next year! Do you think you'll go back again?

Shannon Fisher said...

Next year is far away... but I don't see why I wouldn't go!

Canadian Dad said...

With nothing to compare it to, I did enjoy the one on one time the micro sessions offered. That said, less speakers and more micro sessions would have been good for me as I got some great info from them.

As for stepping out of your comfort zone, I totally agree! I did everything against my mind's direction and had a great time!

Rebecca said...

It was so nice meeting you while we were getting pillow!! ;)

it's a pretty great event isn't it?

I agree on format - the panels last year were really great but the microsessions this year were a direct result of last year's survey and I think the intimacy of the tables leant to good conversations and snap shots for the topics.

Keep an eye on the twitter stream - when tickets go on sale next year, many of us sit around our computers to grab early bird - ha!! :)

Peggy Shanks said...

I actually did that this year :) I booked myself out and sat at my work computer, hitting refresh like a mad-woman until the early bird tickets went on-sale - I wasn't going to miss it!

I really liked the micro-sessions this year and the roundtables last year, I think they were my favourite part because of the opportunity it gave us to pick each others brains, in person. I would have liked to seen more of that but overall, I felt that everything was well organized and simply wonderful!

Shashers Life said...

I'm glad I got to see you when you registered! I felt a little awkward after I totally screamed your name after I saw you get your pillow and leave, "she's gonna think I'm whacked" :) lol

putting these on is a lot of work, sleepless nights and grey hairs but it's so worth it to see everyone again and to read awesome posts like this!

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

I hadn't even seen that great picture of us until now. Thanks for your comment on my blog, which led me here to find it. :)