I had the privilege of attending my first ever Christian Blogging Conference! The Declare Conference in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area is for all female Christian communicators, including bloggers, social media gurus, writers, authors, and even speakers!
One of the highlights of the conference was meeting new friends and making new connections in the Christian blogging community.
I learned so much at this conference; God really used this to open my heart. But…
Hindsight is 20/20
They say hindsight is 20/20 for a reason! I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect and how to prepare myself, but I was wrong! Here are some tips that I will apply the next time that I attend a Christian Blogging Conference.
So. If these tips can help you, I’ll be so glad to assist! Please email me with any additional questions about attending a Christian Blogging Conference… or specifically the Declare Conference.
1. Prepare your heart for the Christian Blogging Conference
The Declare Conference had a devotional, 12 lessons in total, to help prepare our hearts for the speakers and lessons that would come our way. I did not participate, but both of the women on either side of me had completed it and said it was powerful. You could also do an independent reading through of Titus 2 as a devotional, which focuses on mentorship and fellowship.
I say that I wish I could have prepared my heart more effectively… but I don’t think anything could have fully prepared my heart for the blessings I was to receive at the Declare Conference.
2. Don’t be afraid to go alone!
I grew up a lot in the first week of October 2017. I flew alone, stayed in a hotel alone, arranged ground transportation, and of course, attended a conference alone… all for the first time!
But on the first night, one of the Declare conference leaders asked all of the women to raise their hands who were in the same boat as me- traveling without another blogger friend, and attending the Declare conference for the first time. I was amazed! If I were to guess, I think 70% or more of the women raised their hands!
Don’t be afraid to go alone! You aren’t likely to feel lonely for long.
3. Prepare to be understood.
Sometimes non-bloggers ask me what I do for a living, and when I’m adventurous, I’ll go ahead and say: “I blog for ministry and income”, and people look at me like I have a sign on my forehead that simply says: “weirdo”.
So recently, I have taken up saying: “I am a writer” which people are more comfortable with.
No need to play coy at a Christian blogging conference! These women are just as weird as me, and I love it!
I didn’t have to step around the bush and ask uncomfortable questions… because there is no such thing as an uncomfortable question in a room of friends. They all understand your struggles, your victories, and your questions… because they have been in that same place. It’s a wonderful and almost shocking feeling.
4. Bring business cards!
I brought about 40 business cards with me, and it wasn’t enough! I walked away from the conference with about 40 of my new friends’ business cards, and only one copy of mine.
5. Don’t fly back immediately if you can help it.
Take a day or two on either side of the Christian Blogging conference, preferably after, so that you can process all that you learned and file it away in your brain in the appropriate places.
I flew back an hour after the conference was done, but next time that I attend, I will try my hardest to make arrangements to stay a day longer.
6. Are you writing a book? Bring your manuscript to the conference!
I had no idea, but there are publishers at these events! One of the top publishing executives for LifeWay spoke at the Declare conference, and she said that all she ever wants an author to bring her is the first 2 chapters and a table of contents. Here I thought you had to have a whole polished and test-bound book to have a publisher notice it. I would have brought my book idea if I would have been more prepared!
7. Be prepared to start collaborations with other bloggers and even businesses.
You might be blessed to find JUST the right fit and help another blogger/writer’s ministry. You might even walk away from the conference with an unexpected paying gig! Meeting with people in person is powerful.
8. Leave lots of room in your luggage
I didn’t leave enough room in mine, and had to get creative about getting all of my conference loot back home. I left the Declare conference with 10 books, 5 notebooks, 3 pens, 3 canvas/shopping bags, as well as some candy, a bottle of honey, and a free t-shirt.
9. Pray throughout the conference.
Satan loves to attack and sow seeds of jealousy, discontentment, separation, and overwhelm in the midst of Christian events.
Because I am a sinner constantly in need of God’s grace, I occasionally felt tugs to feel all of these feelings and more in the midst of an incredibly encouraging event.
Satan badly wants us to feel broken and to keep us feeling lonely in whatever way possible, even in a crowd of women who are so similar to us.
This trick shouldn’t work, but if we face any circumstance in our own strength and try to go without God’s power… we might just fall prey to these tugs.
When I attend any and all Christian women’s events, I will pray that we allow God to build a wall of protection over each and every one of our hearts. Pray for yourself, and pray for others.
10. Invest in your new friendships
Don’t throw away your new business card collection! When you get over the initial overwhelmed feeling, look up all of your new conference buddies and like their pages and add them as friends! You’ll view them as fellow alumni… a special friendship you can only get from an intensive ministry weekend.
Allow your new friends to become old friends through the bond of Christ’s love!
For more on The Declare Conference and their heart to equip Christian communicators, check out their website here.
What about you?
Have you ever attended a Christian Blogging Conference?
What tips would you add to my list?
Would you be interested in attending a Christian Blogging Conference in the future?
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