R&R Focus: Staying Current In Your Industry With Conferences- My Lavish Experience

Conferences are a great way to network with people in your industry and learn the latest on what can take you to the next level in your career. If you work from home or are in an industry that has it's "capital" somewhere other than where you live, conferences can be a great way to stay in the loop.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Lavish Unconference for Lifestyle Bloggers in Atlanta. Shameeka Ayers, the founder of the conference and creator of The Broke Socialite blog, created the weekend event in response to there not being a conference that was dedicated solely to bloggers who write about the elements of style (fashion, interior decorating, ect.).

Some of my favorite trinkets of advice from the weekend:

On building a brand-

First impressions are made in the first 3 to 5 seconds...Identify your passion purpose, Determine your path, Determine your audience, Design the optimal experience, and ensure that you deliver a consistent experience

Andrea V. Smoak, Brand Strategist and founder of Life Branded On using social media to tastefully promote your business-

-When using Twitter and Facebook, 1/3 of post should be personal, 1/3 business, and 1/3 resource sharing.

-Share projects and other things that you are working on.

-The most important thing is not to be afraid to let your business be relatable

Grace Bonney, creator of DesignSpongeOnline.com

On editorial integrity:

Think of your voice as your trusty steed, defend your content, beware of temptation, and keep your eye on the castle.

Jeralyn Gerba, DailyCandy.com

On maintaining balance in personal and professional life:

-Choose to get off of the hamster wheel

-Pay attention to your brand as a person

-Focus on how you want to feel ( As opposed to how you want to look).

-Comfort living is not about perfect. It's about the experience of life and it doesn't have to do with the trappings.

Christine Eisner, designer and creator of LifestyleDesign.org

I must admit that although there were some dynamic bloggers at this conference, one of my favorite parts of the whole event was the gelato bar that I visited in between sessions!

Twitter and sites like this one and this one are great places to find out about conferences for your industry. Conference registration and hotel costs can make attending every conference pretty difficult,so find two or three that you think are really tailored to your particular needs or that you think would have the most possibilities for meeting key players in your field.

Check out the conference's Twitter page or search for the hashtag show #lavishconf (I didn't know that's what they were called, yet another thing I learned at this conference!) for more on Lavish. Even if you're not a blogger, I'd consider going to Lavish 2011 for the basic advice about branding and running a business. And the gelato, of course!