An Influence Conference Recap (from…a Man!)

An Influence Conference Recap (from…a Man!)

Last weekend I spoke at the Influence Conference in Indianapolis. My husband Will came with me for just one night, even though I felt kinda bad asking him to come along to a *women’s* blogging conference. I needn’t have. He had a blast. Today I asked him to share what the conference was like to an “outsider.” Enjoy!

This weekend I went to my first women’s blogging conference. This makes sense since 1) I am not a woman and 2) I don’t blog. I was there to support my wife who had the opportunity to speak at the Influence Conference on the messy and winding road of the 20s and 30s.

Anne Bogel speaking Influence Conference session

As a guy, it was a messy and winding weekend. But just like our 20s and 30s, that can be a really fun adventure.

Here are some highlights from the weekend:

This made me smile:

Guy time: 

Why I went. So proud: 

Besides the fun I had (see above) I also learned a ton.

First, I saw how well these women lived out this quote from Hayley Morgan’s session: “Even if you’re a rock star blogger, you’re still just a rock star blogger.” I don’t read a lot of women’s blogs so when reading a name tag, I didn’t know immediately if someone was a “big deal blogger.” And it never mattered. I met people who hadn’t even started a blog, one that I knew my wife read, but didn’t realize she had just started two months ago, and even some whose traffic ranks them as bona fide “big deal bloggers.”

Of course my wife was speaking, but I wasn’t “in” with any of these folks. In fact, during the Stripes Party–the social event kickoff–Anne got pulled away and many people didn’t even know I was with her. Yet everyone I met was so approachable.


They weren’t just approachable at the party though. I found all weekend that people wanted to help people. Whether this was picking someone’s brain over lunch or hanging to take specific questions after a session, I saw it in person and in the back and forth on Twitter. The beauty of a blogging conference over other conferences is bloggers don’t see each other as competition but community. They aren’t competing with each other, they’re investing in each other.

One guy who’s passionate about investing in others is John Saddington. In his session, he asked, “Who needs your help & who needs to help you?” (Which is what this non-blogger is doing next, offering help, so hit me up if you need a hand).

When we met the night before, he told me “if there’s anything I can do, let me know.” Which I thought was awfully nice. But then at lunch after his session, he asked again and gave Anne and I his attention right there and then. Not a “someday” offer, not a polite offer, a concrete I’m-at-your-disposal offer.

After spending some time with John, I had to get home to our kiddos. But I followed the conference hashtag (#InfluenceConf) the rest of the weekend. Honestly, Twitter made this event for me, both while I was there and when I came home. It immediately allowed me to connect with people I only met briefly between sessions and it carried conversations well beyond what’s polite while someone is giving a presentation. It even made some of its own introductions.

During one session I saw a tweet from someone I knew sitting behind me that said she was admiring another Twitter friend’s hair–it was a women’s conference. I scan the chair arrangement and realize I’m sitting with this person, but we hadn’t met yet. Perfect introduction after the session.

But for those of us playing at home (me on Saturday), Twitter was our real-time connection to all the great info coming out of those sessions. Now not everything makes sense from afar, but if you follow an active hashtag you can get a pretty good picture of what’s happening. I continued to make connections and learned a lot just by following the flood coming through my feed.

So all this to say, if you have huge dreams, get the right help, work your tail off, and ask the hotel to keep the coffee on all day you can accomplish more than you could ever hope or imagine. So a big congratulations and thanks to Hayley, Jessie, Casey, and Moriah.

Now what are you going to dream? Who are you going to ask for help? And are you willing to work to make it happen?

 *****     *****     *****     *****

Will’s been helping me the past two years with the technical, editorial, and business side of blogging. After this weekend, he’s planning on sharing some of what he’s learned/learning at Mr Darcy Designs.

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  1. Will, I’m going to take this opportunity right now to say — THANK YOU — for supporting Anne the way you do! Your generosity, flexibility, and encouragement makes you a rock star too!!!!

    Good to finally hear from you. LOVE what you are doing with Mr. Darcy Designs!

  2. SERIOUSLY salivating over your Influence Conference experience/kicking myself for not making it a priority to be there. After all, Louisville isn’t too far from Indy so I shouldn’t have any excuses! Next year, next year. Loved your recap, Will, sounds like it was a wonderful weekend full of connecting and community! What a beautiful thing.

    • Will says:

      I felt like I wasn’t taking enough notes I tweeted so much. But then I decided I was tweeting the best lines/thoughts anyway. So those are my notes.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this, Anne and Will! It was great to see/meet both of y’all. And it was great this morning to read a man’s perspective! Kinda wish my husband could have observed this way too! 🙂

  4. Kacia says:

    I already told Andy that he’s coming with me next year!!

    I am bummed I didn’t meet you, Will! But your wife makes me smile a whole lot.

    Y’all rock.

  5. Jessica says:

    I’m so bummed I missed this year! Everything sounds wonderful and such a balance. I told my husband if we were still in Louisville I would have gone 38 weeks pregnant and all! What’s 2 hours?! Hopefully next year. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Hahaha! Your cute pregnant belly would have been in good company last weekend! I would have loved to have seen you…but hopefully the timing will be better for you next year 🙂 (I hope so!)

    • Anne says:

      Happy to help! Not a widget; just a picture I whipped up in photoshop that links to a page. Not sure if that’s helpful or not, but feel free to email me if that doesn’t cover it for you. modern mrs darcy (at) gmail (dot) com.

  6. Amanda says:

    Was so glad to meet you, Will! Thanks for being a supportive husband and a dang fun fellow conference attendee. Even if you are a guy. 🙂

    • Will says:

      Dang fun fellow? You do have a way with words. Oh, wait you meant fellow attendee… Oh, well it was great meeting you too. Hopefully we can meet up again at Barista Parlor one day.

  7. chrissy says:

    I really enjoyed reading Will’s tweets and even bragged when i saw he started following me.. I finally made it to the big times! I look forward to seeing how God blesses you both after this weekend.

    • Will says:

      Hysterical how we view big times. I just got followed by someone Anne knows and felt the same way. I think its wonderful how twitter and the internet level that playing field.

      Now the pressure’s on to have tweet something amazing.

  8. I missed out on meeting you, but so fun to read your thoughts here. 🙂 This conference was the most comfortable ever when it came to getting to know people. Everyone was so approachable and always ready to talk substance. I think you’re right that “The beauty of a blogging conference over other conferences is bloggers don’t see each other as competition but community. They aren’t competing with each other, they’re investing in each other.” One of my pet peeves is when people compete when they could be collaborating…and I didn’t feel a hint of that this weekend.

    • Anne says:

      I know, right? The conference had such a wonderful tone, and I think that’s why: it was ALL about the collaboration. And I loved that.

  9. Bri says:

    What a great perspective! Loved reading this Will! I am so thankful for encouraging husbands who “get” what we were trying to accomplish and applaud it. P.s. Your wife is amazing! ~Bri~

  10. Adri {Food-N-Thought} says:

    Anne, I really enjoyed your session and could so relate with everything you said! Love this perspective and I think is such a beautiful thing that he got to experience your experience 😉

  11. Courtney says:

    Anne- I loved meeting you at breakfast….and then got the bonus of sitting next to Will. You were both so welcoming and warm, it’s no wonder you received so much adoration in return! Will- I came home quoting haley’s “rock star blogger” comment too. I was ignorant about a lot of the “fame” some of the attendees had, and it was actually helpful because I was able to learn from everyone! So glad you were able to be a part of the women’s conference….I bet all your friends are jealous now!

  12. Kim (@LucyJaneStudio) says:

    I LOVE this post! It was amazing to see a large group of women that loved each other so well. It was so great getting to talk to you, Anne. I can’t wait to read more of Will’s thoughts on future posts.

    • Anne says:

      Kim, I loved meeting you and getting to chat a bit! Looking forward to keeping up with your shop now that we’re all back home. xoxo.

  13. what a wonderful perspective! i loved.. really loved.. hearing from you in your workshop – i took away so many gems of wisdom and hearing your words was very comforting and encouraging.

    love your heart and excited to start reading your blog!


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