Thursday, June 6, 2013

Do You Really Learn Anything At A Convention?

I attended the Book Expo Blogger Convention kadt week, a one-day panel-session fiesta at the Javits Center in New York City, the publishing capital of America.

I have never attended a blogger event as a blogger, but I thought coming would be a good way to network with other bloggers and industry professionals, as well as learn something.  One’s ability to learn at such events depends certainly on a number of factors: Which sessions do you choose? Are you paying attention? Is any of this new to you? But the process of stopping our busy lives to listen to others all day helps us think and to let ideas flow freely.  Sometimes you come away from an event like this, not necessarily with new information, but with a fresh idea.

As for networking, this too depends on a number of factors: Are there opportunities to meet and greet others?  Are you good at just introducing yourself to the person sitting next to you or standing on line with you?  When you talk to strangers, do you ask good questions, listen well, and exchange cards?  You don’t have to meet 50 people.  Sometimes meeting 5-10 people and establishing several relationships can be a victory.

There were many session topics missing from this event.  As a blogger I’d want to know more about how bloggers can work more closely with publishers and authors to generate great content.  I would have loved to have heard what publishers are doing to promote and interact online.  A session about how to improve the book review or interview process would have been nice.  Even better, I would love to have seen a session that highlighted some online successes.  But I did enjoy a number of sessions about blogging platforms, ethics, and extending the reach of your bloc online. 

Most conferences like these are usually good for beginners.  Seasoned veterans tend to want to hear a level of content that can only be acquired through one-on-one consulting or special classes at a college.  Still, it’s always nice to gather and feel a part of a community and not just be a voiceless Twitter handle that only connects with others through clicks and links.  If I learned one thing at this convention, it is to never underestimate the draw and appeal of connecting in person with others. 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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