My First Experience at the Design Bloggers Conference

For me, attending this years Design Blogger Conference was like opening that box of chocolates and not knowing what you're going to get. Not only was it an experience to travel to a new place (more about the LA experience in the next post) but it was also a new forum or means of meeting people. It's super easy to meet people when you're young and in school - you hang with your clique year after year. And even meeting people online, you can get a sense of what they are about from what they share or post on social media (their 'voice'). What you can't get though is the sound of their laughter, the brightness of a smile, a goofiness in their mannerisms or how polished their fashion style really is. Attending a design blogger conference, you get all that PLUS wine & sake tastings, social media takeaways, swag-bags, the thrill of contests, photo opps, showroom parties, dinners, and the moments when a presenter really speaks to your heart, mind and soul - not to mention the new connections for collaborations you're able to make 'in real life' with sponsors.

The stage setting for the Design Bloggers Conference was relaxed with a living room like set furnished by Calico Corners featuring the new fabric line from Nate Berkus (ding ding - LOVED it!) Large screens supported slide presentations and video clips from most all of the presenters - with images of not only SEO graphs, analytics and logos, but sharing how inspiration was transformed into design as well as sharing personal moments during a designer or bloggers career.

In between the DBC presentations, the room of 400 bloggers, sponsors and designers emptied into the hallways for photo opps, discussions and lines were made for coffee or the bathroom :) The other line bloggers rushed to were the charging stations to give their mobile devices a little kick. Thankfully, because of a little tweet chat with some veteran attendees (Thanks Leslie!), I came equipped to charge myself plus those who sat with me, like Olio Sisters Selma Hammer, Leslie Carothers and the CEO of Olioboard, Sheilah MacSporran herself. After all the OlioLove we've shared online, it was the least I could do (to bring an extension cord + power strip!)

In the evening, most participated in a "girls-night-out" type of get togethers at LA showrooms, shops and restaurants. I had been invited to the Lamps Plus dinner at Wolfgang Pucks in Universal City for opening night. I'd say it was the ice-breaker leading up to meeting more people at the main event. I was grateful for the invite (thanks Ivette!) - It was a great way for online connections to share a glass of wine, ask questions, and share inspirational experiences with one another (Thanks Lisa & Brooke!)

The ultimate highlight of the event: Getting to meet Leslie Carothers in real life! 
What a genuine & kind person - Smart cookie too!

Some of the highlights for my experience were listening to presentations from designers like Charlotte Moss, Barbara Barry, and Windsor Smith. Charlotte stressed the importance of "Show me the content" and also the importance of crediting image sources correctly on blogs. Barbara shared a personal "ah-ha" moment when she was forced to 'slow-down' and really live in her own home - An injury caused her to stay put a while, and she started to notice placements and lighting in a whole new way. Windsor shared her innovation of 'Room In A Box', plus how success is different to different people - It doesn't happen overnight (Windsor has been in the biz for 17 years), just keep doing what you are most passionate about. Windsor also pointed out how we're spending more time at home: our home has become: our office, our restaurants, and our stay-cation spots.

I probably most related to something Charlotte does that I do too: taking photos of details everywhere you go. Since Jeff drove us over to LA (huge savings on airfare - Thank you sweetie!) I had the chance to take in not only new areas of Arizona, but California was well (more about that later).

I learned a little more about the "what's next" for social media. In a word and beyond Pinterest it definitely is about going viral with video. From a new design network being launch to feature only feature video to the evolution print media today. Newell Turner gave an outstanding presentation on how his shelter magazines are leading the way with social engagement (Pin-able images) and creating apps to bring to life to a static image through the use of video.

Me with Jennifer of Decaporter at the closing party at Harbinger LA.

Love the agate finials and Selma blowing kisses! (Jeff took that shot!)

LOVED meeting and spending time with Sheilah from Olioboard - especially for her birthday Tuesday night!

It was really great to meet Lori Dennis IRL - she thanked me for the retweets & shares of her current challenge + cause.

Received the nicest compliment from Andrew Joseph - He told me he really enjoys reading my posts! Thank you Joseph! Pleasure to meet you!

Though traffic was intense around the city of LA, it was worth sitting in to be a part of the closing party hosted by Kravet and Traditional Home at Harbinger LA. This was another means of getting to meet and even rub-elbows with some of LA's elite designers and create some future prospects / collaborations (that was a huge deal for this thrifty-budget babe!).  Because of being connected to more experienced event attendees like Leslie, I was able to meet design blogger & camper super stars like Tobi Fairley and Lori Dennis. I was even approached by the Communications Director of Calico Corners and Lamps Plus, which gave me the opportunity to share posts I've done promoting their product on my blog, as well as discuss some future collaborations amongst us.

What do you get when 400+ people are tweeting in a room? 
You get a hashtag TREND on Twitter!

From the girly moment of high-pitched "oh I so wanted to meet you" in the hotel cafe on day one, to the hand-shakes and card swapping through-out to the long hugs good -bye that came Wednesday morning - The Design Bloggers Conference was surely as sweet as that box of chocolates - not knowing what you're going to get, but enjoying every bit of the new experience.

 Snap-shots of slides

I took a ton of photos (around 400) between my camera + cell phone and the event was also being photographed by Courtney Price. That I know of, Courtney shared most of her photos on Facebook. I've upload the majority of my photos to sets on Flicker, and shared some of them in small albums on Facebook. I figured by uploading the majority of the photos to Flickr, I'll be able to pin from there to the DBC2013 board I created before going to the event... and I can also share photos on the group board for the Design Bloggers Conference... which was the other important take-a-way: Sharing info & picking your platforms. With so many social media platforms available, engage on the ones that work best for you. 

 Winner of one of the giveaways: Selma Hammer received $2000 to create a design video to launch on the new Design Network.

Jeff was a HUGE support throughout this experience. He actually went to Rodeo drive and picked up this white shirt at Ralph Lauren and told them about the conference, Olioboard and my blog. They were so interested in it, they actually pulled up my blog and my boards there in the shop!

For more photos see:

For more in depth recaps of other people's perspective on the conference, check out the other links below PLUS you can still read tweets at #DBC2013

(posted March 7)

(be sure to also watch the great short video too!)

(takes you to her Facebook notes - be sure to also "Like" her page!)

 My 5 Top Takeaways from my first Design Bloggers experience: 
1. Build your alliances.
2. Content is 'Queen' & Visuals Rule
3. Utilize SEO - Tag your zipcode
4. The next big thing: Go viral with video
5. Think mobile

I hope you enjoyed my first Design Blogger Conference experience... I know thanks to a little encouragement to go from Leslie, I really enjoyed being a part of it!

Thanks for stopping by...


  1. Thank you for the glimpse into such an exciting conference, Lynda. Your amazing photos & recap of the event make it feel almost like I got to be a fly on the wall!! ;)

  2. Oh my goodness, Lynda!!! You have totally brought me to tears with this post. Really. What can I say but to thank you -profusely!

    There has never been anyone in my entire professional life who has chosen to support me, personally + my own business - {apart from Olioboard} - as you have.

    You are always thanking me Lynda, but it is me who needs to thank YOU for what your real kindness to me, personally, has meant to me.

    I sincerely appreciate it.

    I had an amazing time at the Design Bloggers Conference, too, and seeing you capture the thrill and camaraderie of it all for a first timer -as you have here in your beautiful post -reminds me of why we all love and support, work in and are part of the interior design and furniture industry -the people.

    We are all TRULY united in our passion for beauty and harmony in our homes and our lives -despite any differences in income, lifestyle and location and a conference like this one serves as a reminder of what it means to come together and make the real life connections that make our lives richer and sustain us on the *not so good* days.

    Lynda, I don't why the universe brought us into each other's paths like this, but I am certain there is a reason and, although, I don't know quite what it is yet, I know it has to do with what I will eventually be able to focus on: my legacy project: @Messagesof_Hope.

    This is the url I've owned ever since I got up at 3 am in the morning to buy it because such a powerful dream told me to do so: It sits empty now but one day I'll be able to focus on it.

    I don't even know if you know about it but now you do. One day, any income from Messages of Hope will go to #CharityCauses since I don't have any children.

    The first 3 letters of Messages of Hope, are H.O.M. . Lynda, and I always say that the * E * that is missing to spell { HOME } is for E NERGY -the energy of the other people -like you - that the universe is somehow drawing into the circle to help make this powerful dream I had a reality.

    YOU are a messenger of hope for ME, Lynda. Thank you for being YOU.

    Thank you for writing this, Lynda. It's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me in all my years in business.

    Sending You My Warmest {{HUGS}} ~

    Leslie {@tkpleslie}

  3. Oh my dear, Lynda... THANK YOU so very much for this article! You did make me feel like I was there, and something told me prior to the event, that you would be writing something this special! It's funny... while I am not a blogger... you make me want to blog. While I don't create Olioboards... you make me want to create them. And while I use Pinterest for fun, much more than for business, you make me want to take all that I do to the next level. Thank you for being both a cheerleader and a trendsetter! I pray that your connections pay off for you, my dear! If these companies got to know you like I know just a smidgen of you, they will be forever grateful to have you on their payroll promoting their products. In our business, so much of who we give our business to boils down to relationships. Especially those relationships with certain vendors. You could be a voice to link them to us. And because you are loved and respected by many... it's a win-win!!!

  4. Dearest Leslie...

    Your 'Messages of Hope' dream WILL come true in a BIG way!!!

    While reading what you wrote, I could feel not only the energy which moved in your dream, but the 'E'NERGY that you speak of when you refer to all of us as a community comming together for a greater cause!

    These relationships that we are forging via FB, Pinterest, Oliioboards, Conferences, and Markets are NO coincidence! We are the dreamers of the universe... we see beauty in the little things and look for beauty in others. We share passionately and whoeheartedly! We raise one another and lift our dreams with ephemeral steps of hope.

    Thank you for your words to Lynda! So many times I see comments which turn into love fests! Again, we are professionals who love what we do, but in doing what we love, we are building communities which will take our industry in the direction of the future!

    I thank YOU, Leslie, for planting seeds in all of us! For reaching out when you barely know us, and for believing that by promoting and uniting in something 'bigger', we will be able to contribute to a greater human cause through your charity! Personally, I LOVE THAT!!!!

    Once again, I thank ALL who attended and contributed to this event. Hopefully I'll join you in the future : ) It would be such an honor to rub shoulders with the many friends I've made via FB, High Point, and through the Washington Design Center.

    With great respect and much gratitude,
    And of course hugs, too : ))))


  5. Dear Gloria! Thank you for this super kind comment on Lynda's post! I really appreciate it!!!! Even though we don't know each other yet, face to face, I have enjoyed *knowing* you a bit on Facebook! Social media is brilliant at letting us each feel each other's E nergy and FEED off of each other's E nergy.

    When I'm on @ajmanik's #spiritchat on Sunday mornings at 9 am ET, I always use my acronym: COFFEE. C ommunity O f F riends F amily E xchanging E nergy.

    Thank you, Gloria, for helping me feel YOUR energy for my own personal dream and have a beautiful weekend!


  6. Sounds like a very fun/ informative/ networking trip. [ More power to Jeff driving in LA traffic :)] Looking forward to seeing more on the video design channel. Are you going to be decorating anything soon? I love seeing your boards come to life. Well written post today too. Made me feel like I was in your pocket.

  7. What a great re-cap!! I was there too - too bad we didn't get a chance to meet!

    Just found you on twitter (which brought me to your blog). Looking forward to browsing your blog a bit more!!


  8. Hi my Lynda, I'm sooooo glad you got to attend the DBC - this was perfect for you in every which way, being the Rock Star that you are. So happy you got to meet so many SoMe friends. Sounds like it was well worth the trip - Thanks for the recap. I cannot wait for the day when we get to meet....until then my friend...xo

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