We Came, We Saw, We Conquered

We’ve been pretty quiet since the event ended, but that’s just because we’ve been basking in the afterglow of our wild weekend in Austin, Texas. Whatever expectations we had for the event were blown out of the water by what actually took place in the Lone Star State. To say we had a good time is a serious understatement.

We heard the weather had been miserable in the weeks leading up to Blogger Interactive, but Austin must have known we were coming because it was absolutely gorgeous when we got there. The sun was shining, the smell of barbecue was wafting through the air, and music was blaring from every corner. It could not have been a more perfect weekend for our inaugural event.

During the planning of BI, we had wondered aloud how it would be when everyone got together. Would it be awkward? Would people find they had nothing to say to one another? Would we be unable to take our online relationships offline? Continue reading

Welcome to the Main Event

Blogger Interactive is next week. Let that soak in for a second. This event, which we’ve been talking about for nearly a year, is next week. To say that we’re excited to finally launch this event is a serious understatement.

We thought we’d put up a pre-conference post so that all attendees can see everything they need to know at a glance.

Itinerary & Getting Around

A full schedule of events, along with a map of the locations, can be found in this post.

The wonderful people (and sponsors of Blogger Interactive!) at the Austin Convention & Visitor’s Bureau were kind enough to provide us with links to help attendees explore Austin. This digital visitors guide will help you find things to do while this online map will help you get there.

Social Media

One of our goals going into this was to make BI the social event of the season. It only makes sense that we’ve created a handful of social media accounts to keep everyone connected before, during and after the event.

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

When posting to your own account, please make sure to tag us (either on Facebook, or using our Twitter/Instragam handle) and use the official event hashtag of #BI13. This will allow everyone to find status updates and pictures from the event.

Sponsors

All swag bags will be handed out during the Featured Guest Speaker Sessions on Saturday morning. We want to invite everyone to check out the Sponsors Page because some sponsors made their offerings available to anyone.

Anything not covered in this post can be addressed by e-mailing us at BloggerInteractive@gmail.com, or through our social media channels. We will be connected during the event, and will respond promptly.

We look forward to meeting everyone next week!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Can you believe that Blogger Interactive is only 5 weeks away? We’ve been so focused on putting the finishing touches on it that we didn’t realize how quickly it was sneaking up on us. We’re really excited to meet everyone, and leave our stamp on the Lone Star State.

Word on the street is that some of you would love to go, but aren’t sure if you can afford it. We don’t want that to prevent any of you from going to the Greatest Conference on Earth™. This is why we’ve put together the following list of sites for traveling on the cheap. We want to change all of you maybes to yeses.

Airfare & Hotel

Southwest Airlines – They always have specials, and your bags fly for free!

Kayak – Search hundred of travel sites and book flights, hotels, vacations and rental cars

Booking Buddy – Similar to Kayak, Booking Buddy lets you price comparison shop

Hotwire – One of the original discount travel sites

Booking.com – Killer deals on hotels that are unpublished anywhere else

Yahoo! Travel – Searches multiple airlines, and often offers competitive rates

Airbnb – Vacation rentals, often times for much less than what you’d pay at a hotel.

Couchsurfing– Feeling adventurous? Stay on a stranger’s couch!

Airport Transportation

You don’t even need a car! Austin Metro picks people up at the airport, and has stops all over the downtown area. The best part? It’s ony $1! Check it out: Austin Public Transit.

Sightseeing

There are a myriad of free and cheap things to do in Austin:

Austin on the Cheap

Free Fun in Austin

Do512

365 Things Austin

Good ‘ol Groupon and LivingSocial

Still unsure if you want to make it out? Why not join our Facebook Group and familiarize yourself with some of the attendees. Stop by, introduce yourself, and then RSVP ‘yes’ here.

We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

Free Networking Cards From Moo.com

If you were to ask us to pick a favorite sponsor, we couldn’t do it. From sticker manufacturers to small publishers, our sponsor pool runs the gamut. Today we’re excited to announce that Moo.com is offering FREE* networking cards for those who attend Blogger Interactive.

What are networking cards and why should I care?

Networking cards are similar to business cards, but they’re used exclusively for networking purposes. You can include things like your name, blog address, and social media handles so that those who meet you at Blogger Interactive will know how to contact you afterwards. One of the greatest things about events like Blogger Interactive is the ability to meet like-minded people to collaborate with in the future. Networking cards allow you to exchange your contact information more easily.

How many will I get, and is it really free?

You will receive 50 cards, and the cards themselves are free. There will be a nominal $4.00 USD processing fee. (Note: Add-ons such as nicer/glossier stock may result in additional fees.) Continue reading

Meet Our Sponsors

You’ve been getting acquainted with the new site, you’ve met our delectable guest speakers, and last week we released the tentative itinerary for the event weekend in Austin. We may still have a few months before the festivities start, but we hope that everyone is as stoked as we are to get the Blogger Interactive weekend rolling.

There have been a few people and businesses who couldn’t wait until October, and have been cheering us on since the idea for this event was conceived. We think it’s high time to bring our sponsors out from behind the curtain, and into the spotlight.

Without our sponsors, Blogger Interactive couldn’t have come so far in such a short amount of time. We also wouldn’t be able to brag that each of our attendees will go home with a swag bag full of treats. Naturally, we owe them a proper introduction. Without further adieu, meet our sponsors!

WordPress

wordpress-v-logo

WordPress.com is one of the largest blogging platforms on the web. At the beginning of this year, the updates about Blogger Interactive were executed through our personal WordPress.com blogs. While we had a wonderful handful of enthusiastic attendees, we weren’t gaining much speed. That’s when we received an e-mail from one of WordPress’s Story Wranglers, Michelle Weber, regarding our idea. We both proceeded to tootsie roll our pants. Michelle not only praised the idea, but offered to support Blogger Interactive by helping us launch this site as well as sending goodies for our attendees.

The Indie Chicks

the indie chicks

The Indie Chicks is an online magazine that focuses on self-empowerment, self-improvement and embracing your inner badass. The creators and their community have always been incredible blogger supporters, and the inspiration they provide is immeasurable. So it was no surprise to Blogger Interactive when The Indie Chicks reached out to help us reach out to you! CEO Chiara Mazzucco not only offered to come give us all some pro tips on blogging and more, but she also designed our sharp looking official logo. The Indie Chicks have also helped us tremendously to reach bloggers outside of WordPress. Just check out the post they wrote about us yesterday!

Powell’s Books

powells

Powell’s Books is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world, hailing from Jen’s turf in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1971, Powell’s Books has built its reputation on being a bookstore for writers and readers alike. With their commitment to authors of all kinds, as well as the written word, it’s no surprise they offered to support us by donating items for the attendee bags. Looking for a used, new or out of print book? Want to engage with other word lovers? Make Powell’s Books your go-to spot.

Scout Books

scoutbooks

Scout Books, another Portland, Oregon institution has also said, “Yes, we’re in!” when they heard about our event. Powered by Pinball Publishing, Scout Books is a publishing platform that allows you to create custom book and notebook projects. They also sell regular notebook packs because what writer doesn’t need at least 50 of those at any given time? Their books are 100% recycled and sourced from the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, and are made with vegetable-based ink because, like us, they think being environmentally friendly is sexy. They’ve graciously agreed to give Blogger Interactive attendees (and BI admirers!) a discount on their products. Details forthcoming. In the meantime, have a looksie around their site.

Moo

sponsors_moo

If you’ve ever been in the market for business cards, you know who Moo is. Their motto is, “we love to print” and they live up to it by offering an assortment of business cards, facebook cards, greeting cards, postcards, stickers, and other accessories. We’ve ordered from them before, and have been blown away by the speed and quality of their service. Because Moo realizes how important it is to network at events like Blogger Interactive, they agreed to give free business cards to any attendee who wants to grow his/her brand. Details on this will be outlined in a future post, but be sure to check out their website while you wait.

Stickermule

sticker mule

Sticker Mule boasts clients such as Google, Twitter, Adobe, Coca Cola and GitHub. Their business model is simple: send them an image, and their creative team will turn it into a sticker or skin for your electronic device. You can choose from a variety of shapes and sizes, and the best part is, their employees do all of the reformatting for you. Who hasn’t wanted their blog banner to become a bumper sticker seen on cards around the world? Sticker Mule was kind enough to donate custom stickers we’ll be using for Blogger Interactive. Make sure to visit their site and show them some BI love!

TheChowderhead.com

the chowderhead

The Chowderhead is another proud sponsor of this year’s Blogger Interactive meet up, and a welcomed addition to our growing list of blogging superstar sponsors. He is already using his quirky and unmistakable humor to help us promote our event. Be on the watch for a hilarious PSA regarding Blogger Interactive in the next few weeks!  Additionally, Blogger Interactive attendees will walk away with Chowderhead swag sure to impress family members at their next Thanksgiving dinner. We’re absolutely geeked to have his support.

A sincere thanks again to all of our sponsors!

To our attendees and prospective attendees, please remember to RSVP by clicking the RSVP tab at the top of our page. This is very important so that we know who exactly is coming in order for us and our sponsors to share all kinds of goodies with you!

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for Blogger Interactive, whether you are a business or a blogger, please contact us as soon as possible. There is always room for more!

Event Itinerary Now Available

We’re amazed how far we’ve come in the few months we’ve been planning Blogger Interactive. What started out as a small group of people hanging out has since turned into an event that will be both fun and educational.

While we had many of the major details figured out early on, there were still a few lingering items we needed to check off our list. The question we’ve been asked most as of recently is, “We know it’s in Austin, but where?” We’re happy to announce that we finally have a schedule of events for you.

Drumroll please…

Meet and Greet

Location: 508 Tequila Bar

Address: 508 East 8th Street, Austin, TX 78701

Date: October 25th

Time: 8pm-10pm

Featured Guest Speaker Sessions

Meet the speakers

Location: Faulk Central Library

Address: 800 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78701

Date: October 26th

Time: 11am-1pm

Send Off Party

Location: HANGAR Lounge

Address: 318 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701

Date: October 26th

Time: 7pm-10pm

The map below shows the location of each venue. Click on it to be taken to the interactive version.

BIMap

For the future, you can visit our Itinerary page (located under Event Details in the menu) which also contains the event schedule.

Need help planning your trip? Our Plan Your Trip page (located under Event Details in the menu) has information on where to stay, where to play and how to save a few bucks while doing it.

Still haven’t RSVP’d? What are you waiting for? Do that here.

We’ll continue to update all of you the closer we get to the date, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please free to contact us.

Meet Our Guest Speakers

We want to start off by thanking everyone who helped us kick off the Blogger Interactive website launch last week! It was exciting to see our hard work come together, and to receive the support of everyone who stopped by, commented and shared.

We know things have been kind of quiet on our end, but that’s because we’ve been busy securing sponsorship and venues, and more recently, we’ve been working with our guest speakers. We’re happy to announce that two experienced, and dynamic individuals have graciously agreed to lend us their expertise for this event, sharing experiences which can help you take your writing to the next level.

Chiara Mazzucco

Our first guest speaker is CEO and Editor-in-Chief at The Indie Chicks, Chiara Mazzucco. One of her mottoes is, “Reach for the sky and when you reach it, keep going.” In addition to her roles at The Indie Chicks, Chiara also does graphic and web design for bloggers, freelancers and start-ups. She believes in the power of the self, entrepreneurship, and giving yourself the life you’ve always dreamed of. She is also the author of “The 9 Mirages of Love”, and a lover of teen dramas.

As someone who started off as a blogger herself, and who now orchestrates some of the best articles on the net (including her own), Chiara can fill us in on what makes a post stand out in the vastness of the internet. Get ready to hear some pro insight on how to captivate your audience and build a sense of community around your site and its readers. With her background in graphic design, she will also be able to share a little bit about the importance of branding your blog through such designs, and answer questions regarding her work.

Julian240Our second guest speaker is New York City writer/musician Julian Gallo. His body of work includes poems and short stories published in about 40 magazines and journals throughout the US, Canada and Europe, and also has 14 books to date: 9 poetry, “Standing On Lorimer Street Awaiting Crucifixion” (Alpha Beat Press, 1996), “The Terror of Your Cunt is The Beauty of Your Face” (Black Spring Press, 1999), “Street Gospel Mystical Intellectual Survival Codes” (Budget Press, 2000), “Scrape That Violin More Darkly Then Hover Like Smoke In The Air” (Black Spring Press, 2001), “Existential Labyrinths” (Black Spring Press, 2003), Window Shopping For A New Crown of Thorns (Beat Corrida, 2007), “My Arrival Is Marked By Illuminating Stains (Beat Corrida, 2007), A Symphony of Olives (Propaganda Press, 2009) and Divertimiento (Propaganda Press, 2009); as well as 5 novels, “November Rust (Beat Corrida, 2007), Naderia” (Beat Corrida, 2011), Be Still and Know That I Am (Beat Corrida, 2011), “Mediteranneo (Beat Corrida, 2012) and “Europa” (Beat Corrida, 2013).

Are you unsure of how to begin a freelance writing career? Have you considered self-publishing, but don’t know where to start? Do you worry about criticism, and how you’ll handle it? As a seasoned professional in this arena, Julian will discuss ways to kick start your writing career, and how to put your written word into book form. He’ll also offer up his opinion on the state of self-publishing, and how he thinks it’s changing the publishing landscape for independent writers everywhere.

We’re delighted to have them on board, and know that the attendees will benefit from their panels. Want to know a bit more about our guest speakers? You can find them all over the web using the following links:

The Indie Chicks website

Chiarra’s Twitter

Julian’s Blog

Julian’s Twitter

Are you interested in speaking at Blogger Interactive, or know someone who is? Reach out and touch us at BloggerInteractive@gmail.com. We’ll be posting venue and events information soon, but until we do, head on over to our Evite page and RSVP ‘yes’.