Category Archives: Blogging

No Sofa-Bacon this year, just #SoFabUOTR

I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone.

Last year, I headed to Bentonville, AR for my first Social Fabric blogging conference. It was so exciting to me – even though I had been to other blogging conferences – I was going to finally meet up with some of my favorite bloggers – those who I was friends with and those who I looked up to. I was unsure what exactly to expect out of this smaller conference but everyone was as nice as can be, and I had a great time. It was also the first time I finally got to meet my bloggy BFF, Censie (Building Our Story). The people, the sessions, the events – it all was a blast. You can read my recap of #SoFabCon14 here.

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This year, Collective Bias / Social Fabric has put a new twist on their conference and are now having SoFabU on the road – #SoFabUOTR – and I can’t wait to attend here in my home town! Social Fabric is on the road to many major cities across the US, but in just a few weeks it will be here in Dallas / Fort Worth at the Gaylord Texan!

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The Details:

SoFab U On The Road – Dallas Blog Conference
May 30 – Gaylord Texan
Grapevine / Dallas, TX
Registration – http://ontheroad.socialfabric.us/locations/5

Keynote Speaker:

Unlike other blog conferences – this isn’t a conference with a big expo, a big agenda or even 1000’s of people. It is a smaller, more intimate learning environment where we can learn from our peers and network among each other. There is however one keynote speakers. Each location has a different speaker, and for Dallas it is Randi Dukes! 

Randi Dukes is the founder and creator of Dukes and Duchesses, a craft and DIY blog that has grown from a hobby into a business over the last few years. Randi loves creating sponsored content for companies and has worked with many large brands including Better Homes and Gardens, Michaels, and The Home Depot. Randi is passionate about using social media to promote and monetize her site and has developed strategies that have brought consistent growth in her social media platforms and steady, increasing traffic to her site. She has over half a million combined followers on her various social media channels. Randi has previously spoken at Haven Conference and loves sharing with and encouraging other bloggers. Regularly featured on sites such as Today, Country Living, and Buzzfeed, Randi enjoys inspiring people with simple seasonal and everyday projects. Randi lives in Dallas with her husband, five kids, and a very dirty dog.

Sessions:

How to Use Social Media to Drive Blog Traffic: Attendees will learn the secrets of using social media platforms {Facebook, twitter, google plus, pinterest, and instagram} to build an audience and drive traffic to their site. Whether a brand new blogger or a proficient user of social media, you’ll learn tips and tricks for branding your social media platforms, finding your voice, increasing social media followers, enhancing engagement, and forming a lasting social media strategy and presence on all platforms.

Sponsors:

Last year, there were lots of amazing sponsors and this year there are some great ones as well. The national sponsors are:

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I can only imagine what yummy treats these companies will have to share with us! I’m sure they will treat us well. 

The fun part is that there are also local sponsors! Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.48.18 PM

Next Stops:

So pack your bags and head to the closest SoFab U On the Road event during 2015! Here are the stops that are still left on this years tour!

May – Dallas
June – NYC
July – Chicago
August – Minneapolis
September – Atlanta
October – Bentonville

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About Collective Bias and Social Fabric

Collective Bias® is the only shopper social media company that solves shopper marketing problems by weaving together organic social content with engaging, real-life stories to generate millions of impressions, increased share of voice, SEO and retail sales for brands and retailers. Top brands such as Tyson, Nestlé and Duane Reade rely on Collective Bias to sell their stories socially. Based in Bentonville, Arkansas, with satellite offices in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Cincinnati and London, Collective Bias was named one of America’s 25 Most Promising Companies by Forbes and a part of the Inc. 5000. Social Fabric® is Collective Bias’ proprietary community of nearly 3,000 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multichannel reach in excess of 130 million. For more information, please visit Collectivebias.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Blogger Bash Coffee Talk

Thursday I am so excited to be heading to New York City to meet up with a bunch of other bloggers for the best new conference, Blogger Bash! At #BBNYC I will get to check out this years Sweet Suite too – which last year at #BlogHer13 was awesome, so I know it will be a highlight again this year.

Blogger BashOne of my friends, Steph over at A Grande Life put together a link up and I wanted to join in! If you are headed to Blogger Bash as well and haven’t joined it – go ahead and link up before you head to NYC too! See you there!

Blogger

Blogger Bash Coffee Talk

1. Name: Heather

2. Where are you from? Originally from Cape Cod, MA but now live in Fort Worth, TX

3. How long have you been blogging? I started my blog around the time I got pregnant with Lennox and joined the bump (of course!) – so that would have been 2009ish.

4. What is the meaning behind your blog name? When we have family days and go out to do something fun, my husband Kyle would always call them Family Fun days, so that is where the blog name came from!

5. What are you most looking forward to at Blogger Bash? I don’t even know – so much! I am really looking forward to seeing some bloggy friends again and for the first time face to face. I’m always really looking forward to Sweet Suite and all the other goodies that the Blogger Bash team has in store for us!! Also – I am really interested to see what Yotel is all about!

6. What three words describe you the best? Reliable, Hardworking, Creative

7. Got kids? How many? We have 1 daughter, Lennox who just turned 4!

lennox

8. We all have a pet peeve. What is your #1? Indecisiveness probably and I have a weird fear of hair… ew.

9. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Hmm, I’m not sure. I think it would be great to have a family dinner with Kyle’s dad as he is no longer with us and I never got to meet him!

10. Show me your face! Here I am!

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So if you see me wandering around Blogger Bash, make sure to stop me and say hi! I can’t wait to meet everyone!

My #SoFabCon14 Recap – Part 2 – The People & Events

Yesterday I gave you an overview of my thoughts on the sessions at #SoFabCon14. I will be putting together some posts on the tips and tricks I learned, but before that, I want to share my thoughts on the people and events of #SoFabCon14.

But first – I have to show off our door at SoFabCon14! There was a small door decorating “contest” and we decided to go with #TBT / Welcome to the 80’s! It came out so great and it was so fun to come back to each day!

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THE PEOPLE

The People. This community is simply amazing. I didn’t realize there would be as many familiar faces as there ended up being – but that is great!

I of course, was a little nervous to meet my roommates for the first time. One of them (Censie from Building Our Story) is an online friend of mine who I spoke with daily but the other was a new contact (Jacquline from Creative Outpour) – so I have no idea what to expect. I think we always worry that someone will be somewhat crazy or weird – but trust me – neither of these girls are weird or crazy! It was so great getting to hang out with them and get to know them even better.

friends-sofabcon14

I am really glad that Censie and I got along well – as I’ll be in her neck of the woods in just a few short weeks for Kyle’s graduation and I look forward to spending more time with her and meeting her family (and her, mine!). As Jacquline put it – she would have never guessed we hadn’t met each other before and that we were meant to be friends!

Other than my roommates – it was fun to connect with others who I have followed online for quite some time. Not one person was rude, mean or stand off-ish – no matter what size their blog was. I love that!

THE EVENTS

Thursday: You can’t have a conference without some fun events! The first night we headed to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. On exhibit was A Taste of Modernism featuring Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and more. We had a cocktail hour and were able to wander around, mingle and start networking!

crystal-bridges-sofabcon14

Friday: The second night, Tyson did a neat thing – instead of hosting a dinner – they gave each person a gift card to head out to dinner and make friends! Censie, Jacquline and I decided Houlihans would e a great spot to go and we ended up with a pretty good size group. We had a great dinner, full of fun conversation and then a little shopping afterwards.

sofabcon-tyson-dinner

Once we got back – it was time to get into our pajamas and head downstairs to the nickmom sponsored pajama dance party! Prior to dancing the night away, nickmom’s very own Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. She was hilarious and nickmom has some great programing for parents!

nickmom-sofabcon14

It was a great night full of karaoke, fun dancing, drinks, snacks and friends!

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Saturday: Saturday night was Collective Bias’ 5th birthday bash. It wasn’t just any birthday party though, it was a masquerade ball! It was fun to get all dressed up, put on our masks and head downstairs for a dinner, the most yummy chocolate cake and dancing/mingling. I think everyone was a little tired by Saturday night from the weekend though, as it seemed to be an early night. But Censie and I still stayed up LATE talking, laughing and watching Bridesmaids! What a funny movie.

masquerade-party-sofabcon14

By Sunday morning, we all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. It was fun to see familiar faces around the airport and on the flight. I was happy to only have a 50 minute flight home – so I could finally get home to Lennox – who conveniently was sick the WHOLE time I was out-of-town! Ugh!

Keep an eye out for some more posts about what exactly I learned at SoFabCon!