Highlights from the Design Blogger Conference 2011

When I first heard about the Design Bloggers Conference, I was immediately excited to attend. I’ve only been blogging for a year and a half and I was eager to get tips on how I could improve my skills and The Pink Chandelier. This conference was specifically for bloggers (most of whom are interior designers) who write about interior design. Many of the attendees were people I have come to know through Twitter, Facebook or by following their blogs. I was excited to meet these folks and was ready to learn!

I am going to start off with some eye candy for those of you who are not bloggers and who are just looking for something gorgeous to view! Some of interior design’s biggest superstars were keynote speakers who shared their work with the enthusiastic crowd.

Jan Showers interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.Interior Design by Jan Showers

Jan Showers interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.Interior Design by Jan Showers

“Impeccable” is the word I would use to describe Jan Showers. Her spaces are glamorous, elegant and luxurious. I loved hearing how important she felt lighting was to a room and how lamps are an absolute must. She was quite emphatic about that point! She also made another really interesting observation that I jotted down. Jan suggested that designers consider the colours which are flattering to their clients’ complexions for interior inspiration. Nice idea. Everyone wants to look terrific in their own house!

Tobi Fairley interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.Interior design by Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.Interior design by Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley is a rising star in the interior design world and is one of my favourite bloggers. I have been reading her posts for a few years, and it was her blog that got me inspired to start my own. Not only is she an extremely talented designer, but is a fabulous blogger as well!

Suzanne Rheinstein interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.Interior design by Suzanne Rheinstein via Elle Décor

Suzanne Rheinstein interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.Interior design by Suzanne Rheinstein via Elle Décor

Suzanne Rheinstein, who is a master of blending antiques with current décor, spent some time chatting about the importance of understanding the history of furniture and decorative arts. I really enjoyed hearing the stories behind the pieces in each of her photographs. It was so romantic and fascinating to hear about their history and importance. She inspired me to start a new series on my blog (coming soon!) called Designer Speak. I’ll fill you in with more on that later!

Barclay Butera interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.Interior design by Barclay Butera

Barclay Butera interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.

The “King of Blue”, Barclay Butera, spoke a lot about his timeless design style. He attributed his success in the field of interior design to his mother, who was also a noted designer. My heart totally melted!

Okay, non-bloggers, this next segment is probably going to be really dry for you. My apologies in advance! But for those readers who have a blog of their own, here are just a few of the most helpful blogging tips I picked up at the conference.

1) Interaction is key to growing your audience. This point was shared by the lovely Cassandra LaValle of Coco + Kelley. To attract more visitors to your blog, you should comment on other blogs and introduce yourself. It’s a great way to grow a supportive community around you.

2) Know your audience. It is important that you find out who is spending time on your site. Analyze your visitors using Google analytics, or encourage interaction so you can determine who these people are. If you are not reaching your target audience, you might want to reassess your strategy.

3) Don’t forget your netiquette. You know the old saying… “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” The same holds true for blogging. If you make a snarky comment, it’s out there forever and might come back to haunt you in the future.

4) Use a calendar to plan your posts. I thought this was a really practical way of organizing your thoughts and keeping on track. It also takes the pressure off if you know what you have to write about. No more twiddling my thumbs or scratching my head to try to come up with an article for the next day!

5) Make it easy to subscribe to the blog. People are always looking for the fast and simple way to do something. If you put your “Subscribe  Here” button somewhere visible and include email subscriptions, you will make everyone happy!

6) Determine your purpose. Are trying to sell a product? Do you want to connect with more clients? Or, are you providing inspiration? Tailor your content to suit your goal. Seems like an easy concept!

7) Talk, don’t tell. Rhonda Carman, of All the Best Blog, gave a truly inspiring presentation and this particular point stood out. Try to think of each post as a conversation. It is called social media for a reason!

8) Quality links matter. I found this really interesting. Basically, Google likes sites that have a lot of links pointing back to them and then awards them a higher ranking. Google doesn’t read the links in a blog roll (surprizing, right?!). The best links are ones from authoritative sources in which they describe what you do in their own words.

Kelly Wearstler interior design, as referenced in Calgary interior design blog, The Pink Chandelier, by Calgary interior designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design.The lobby of the Viceroy Santa Monica. Interior design by Kelly Wearstler.

In addition to the incredible information I gathered from the knowledgeable speakers, I got to make some wonderful new friends, rub shoulders with online and print magazine elite and spend some time in the energetic city of Los Angeles. It was an incredible trip with other highlights, like lunching at the Ivy amongst starlets and paparazzi,  sipping champagne at the Tori Burch boutique, visiting lamp maker Lesley Anton’s ceramics studio, shopping on Rodeo Drive, getting lost amid the piles of vintage furniture at JF Chen’s warehouse, and channelling my inner Kelly Wearstler while brunching at the Viceroy Santa Monica. I had such an incredible time and it was one of the most interesting, inspiring, and entertaining trips I have ever taken.

If you are a blogger, I highly recommend the Design Bloggers Conference for next year. Design Sherpa, who put on the event, did a class-act job and I was continually impressed by the calibre of presentations, sponsors and attendees. Bravo, guys! There was so much great information that I sat most days on the edge of my seat and left with my head spinning! I will do everything I can to be in attendance next year too!

Cheers!

Jacqueline

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33 comments to Highlights from the Design Blogger Conference 2011

  • Very nice post! Sorry to have missed meeting you and am happy to have been introduced to your blog! See you next year?

    • admin

      Hi Irene- too bad we didn’t get a chance to meet. Next year! It was such an incredible experience meeting so many people with the same interests. By far the best conference I’ve been to in a long time! Thanks so much for stopping by The Pink Chandelier- I really appreciate it!
      Jacqueline

  • Jacqueline,
    Thanks for the great recap of the bloggers conference….sadly I wasn’t able to go so I have been living vicariously through the blog postings & tweets of all attendees!! And I absolutely adore all the interior designers you highlighted in your post….absolutely gorgeous stuff!!
    HOpe to attend next year!!
    All the best,
    Christine

    • admin

      Hi Christine! You MUST get there next year! There was so much I learned that it was completely overwhelming. I could have written a novel about it all! Thanks so much for your comments. It’s so nice to meet you!
      Jacqueline

  • Great post Jacqueline! What an amazing experience it was. I am still reading through my notes almost daily and each time something new stands out. I love how you incorporated images from some of the fantastic speakers. It was two full days of top notch inspiration and I was thrilled to be able to attend with you :) xo

    • admin

      So true! I was just looking over my notes today and was reminded of a few ideas I had already forgotten about. I must say that one of the reasons why I loved this trip so much is because of all the fun time I spent with you! It really was amazing for so many reasons and I was thrilled to experience it with you!

  • Hi Jacqueline!
    Great recap of the DBC 2011! Thanks for posting and sharing some high lights as well as take aways! I am a jewelry designer but I got so much out of this event for my blog and business too! I was electrified by what I learned and inspired by the talented speakers and attendees! Sorry I did not meet you but I look forward to following your blog!
    Cheers!
    Susan

    • admin

      Hi Susan- too bad we didn’t get a chance to meet! I love that you used the word electrified! What a perfect description for the conference. There was so much information to gain from the seminars no matter what your design background is. Basically, we are all the same, but just use different mediums. It so nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by!
      Jacqueline

  • This is an incredible recap, Jacqueline! I love the eye candy to go along with all your valuable take-aways. Hope I can jump in next year.
    Many thanks!!

    • admin

      Heidi, Hope to see you there next year! Glad that you found my little take aways helpful. I am so happy to be able to share my experience with my blogging friends!
      Jacqueline

  • Hi Jacqueline!
    What a wonderful recap with such beautiful images! It was so lovely to meet you and Nyla at DBC2011! I’m so happy to have found your great blog as well :)
    Amy

  • admin

    Hi Amy! Thanks so much for stopping in!! It was such a pleasure to get to know you. I hope you’ll be there at the conference next year too! By the way, I really enjoyed your photos of the event!
    Jacqueline

  • Sadly I could not make the Conference this year. However via your fun tweets and this great post I have lived vicariously through you. And I thank you! PS – As a LA Women, I have spent many a fun evenings sipping cocktails on those sofas at The Viceroy, a favorite beach spot. Cheers to sipping one with you next year if not sooner.

    • admin

      It sounds like a date! I loved the Viceroy’s interiors and it was incredible to see it in real life. Especially since I have featured a few images of the hotel on the blog!! I am so pleased that you enjoyed my Twitter updates and the post. I hope we are able to meet next time. They are already talking about making it a larger event because there was a waiting list to attend!!
      Jacqueline

  • What a great recap, Jacqueline! It was so nice to meet you at the conference — I’m glad you enjoyed it!
    Cheers!
    Christine

  • you managed to talk not tell. you must know your audience :)
    great wrap up, i’m going to refer to it like borrowing a friend’s notes in high school!
    great to meet you, and so nice to now know about your blog.

    • admin

      Hi Diane, It was such a pleasure to meet you! I am so flattered that you will refer to the post as your “friend’s notes”. I’ll lend them to you anytime! And thanks for the note about talking not telling. It’s a work in progress for me and I really appreciate your kind words!
      Jacqueline

  • Hi Jacqueline

    Thank you so much for sharing that information. Being a “newbee” in this blogging journey, it has been very helpful. I am planning to go next year to the conference.

  • Jaqueline, what a great recap! The DBC was a game changer. I think the whole design community will be buzzing about this for a while. I agree that Design Sherpa DEFINITELY over delivered. The put together an amazing lineup at a beautiful hotel with lots of networking opportunities and food. Don’t forget the icebreaker of a round of champagne for everyone. They definitely know how to put on a conference. I’m already planning for next year.

    • admin

      Dana,
      I guess I’ll be seeing you next year at the conference! It really was spectacular in so many ways. Attending this conference was one of the best things I could have done for myself – I truly believe that! There were so many great moments, tidbits of information and interesting and influential people to meet that I am still amazed. It was really hard to recap the event since there was so much to report back! I hope we get the opportunity to meet next year. Thanks so much for chiming in!
      Jacqueline

  • Hi Amy, I am just beginning to really dabble in blogging for my company. There is so much to learn and I am so thankful for all this brilliant information on improving ourselves through our blogging. {thank U again}

    • admin

      Hi Gloria,
      Thanks so much for your very kind words. I am so pleased that you found the information helpful. Congratulations on your new blog – I hope you find the adventure as exciting and rewarding as I have!
      Jacqueline

  • Jaqueline, I enjoyed reading your recap of the highlights of the conference. I was very sad not to be able to attend. I was one of the first Design Sherpa clients and got to visit with Adam Japko a couple of times. I’ve since branched out on my own and manage my own blog but learned a lot from his organization. They know a lot about Social Media. Hopefully I will be able to attend next year.

    • admin

      Hi Mona,
      You will have to try and make it next year. I was so impressed by Adam Japko and all the work he and his team put into the conference. I’m so glad to hear that you have been able to connect with him. They know so much about this new wave of social media. If you go next year we will have to connect – I’ll be looking for you!
      Jacqueline

  • Fantastic recap — and I looooove all the images and observations you provided. I will so be there next year and I agree that Design Sherpa put on a class act of a conference. Maybe we’ll meet next year? :)

    • admin

      Hi Regina,
      Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog. Sorry that I missed meeting you at the conference – I’ll look out for you next year! Thanks again for commenting!
      Jacqueline

  • Great reporting. Sure was a lot of fun.

  • I wanted to go but I had to cancel. Next year for sure, in the meantime I appreciate your post, we need to learn every day.

    • admin

      Albarosa
      Hopefully you are able to make it next year! Thanks so much for your sweet comments. It’s so nice to meet you!
      Jacqueline

  • Wonderful recap Jacqueline! I will be adding it to my calendar to attend next year as it is an obviously phenomenal event and a “must-attend” for any and all design bloggers. Hopefully you and I will also be able to connect prior to the next conference. Perhaps at the MRU event this May?
    keep up your great blogging work :)

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