Things People Don’t Tell You About Blissdom

I feel like Im still taking in all aspects of Blissdom.  My emotions are still on high and my brain is still processing the event.  I am still soaking it all in and not letting my emotions get the best of me.  I had an amazing time and met some great people but I was slightly disappointed with some things at Blissdom.  There were alot of things that I didnt expect and some that even shocked me.  But I dont want to put out only the negative things for a few reasons:


I like to always see the positive in things
I NEVER EVER want to hurt anyones feelings
People put ALOT of work into the conference
I had fun
I met some amazing people
I got free stuff
I had a great weekend away
There is always a good or postive thing that comes out of any situation.  I took away many great things but its overshadowed by a few negative things.  Things no one tells you about Blissdom.


People are clique-y

This surprised me the most.  People had their own cliques and stuck pretty close to them.  Blissdom encouraged connecting but not many people went out of their way to make new friends.  Myself included.  I am an outgoing person – until you put me in a room of 800 other women.  A lot of us tended to stick to our group of people we already knew and didn’t venture outside our bubbles.  What I didnt expect was when I sat at a table of new people to be looked up and down and instantly judged.  I sat at a few tables where no one talked to me.  I got a few dirty looks from other people when I laughed with my group of friends during a presentation.  Ooops.  [Ps.. not saying my group was clique-y.  We were very friendly to all.]



You don’t have to go to the classes

I made more contacts outside of the sessions then I did at those round tables.  I ran into more people who genuinely wanted to connect then inside the conference center.  Some of the classes I honestly I had no interest in attending but felt obligated.  I skipped a class and ran into some girls who I instantly connected with.  Connecting was far more valuable then that particular session. 




It didn’t teach much about blogging

This sounds silly to say but its true.  The sessions were more motivational then educational.  You had to have a decent knowledge of blogging to understand the context of some of the sessions.  It was very inspiring but didn’t teach you much in the means of blogging.  This seemed to upset people the most about the conference.  At first I was upset too, but I know that I learned other things and made some great connections in the process. 



You need extra luggage for swag

Swag is free stuff that sponsors hand out.  There were some amazing sponsors at Blissdom and they loved giving away their products.  I loved taking their products because they were things I used everyday.  Gain?  Check.  Vo5 shampoo and products?  Check.  Pedicare?  Check.  Extra bag?  No check.  I had to buy a bag to get all my goodies home.  Lame-o?  Check.




Blissdom gives you baby fever

There were a dozen or so mommas that brought their babies with them to the conference.  And I loved it!  My ovaries did not.  They kept telling me to say things like ‘I want a baby to bring to Blissdom!’  ‘What sling is that?  I need it for my next one!’  ‘Im not even pregnant or trying but I keep thinking of names!’  What?!  I might as well name my next baby Blissdom.  [That’s Emily from Sweet Bella Roos baby girl!]



Pictures can be deceiving

I met a ton of people, some that I only talked to for a few seconds and some that I had in depth conversations with.  I took pictures with a few people but only the ones that I connected with.  I didn’t walk up to people and just ask to take a picture.  Why?  Well it felt fake to me to say ‘OMG I love your blog!’ when I didnt even read it just to have a picture with huge blogger x.  So yes, you may have seen a ton of pictures but how many of those people made true connections?  A picture is worth a thousand words, unless its a lie.  [That’s Jamie from C.R.A.F.T.  Squeal!  She’s so genuine and this picture does not belong in the deceiving category.]


I had an amazing time at Blissdom.  I honestly truly did.  I just want to make sure that if you are considering going next year that you know what I didn’t.  If you are considering a blog conference where you can meet the best sponsors and be inspired – Blissdom is right for you.


Hey yall! I'm Kelley - a work at home mom to two rambunctious kiddos. I absolutely love creating new recipes to share here on my blog - the Grant life. When I'm not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I am wrangling the kids, showing houses as a licensed REALTOR and practicing my photography. Thanks so much for following along with us!

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  1. says

    Even though you presented some downs of attending Blissdom, I still want to go next year maybe…you just prepared me for what to expect. I am outgoing to and I really do hate when people prejudge, you never know who you might be talking to that can change your life, so I try to keep that perspective with meeting new people.

    Thanks for this post!

  2. says

    I felt some of these things after my first blog conference too. We think it will be different. But women are women, and revert somewhat to high school tendencies on occasion. Women are catty. I found my conference to be rather cliquey too. Its sad, but true. What I revel in now is the good connections I made that are still flourishing. Invest in those, Kelley.

    • says

      Yes yes yes! I agree! Im going to focus on the connections I made and not worry about the ones I didnt. Maybe we can go to the same conference one day? Id love to give you a big ole South Texas hug!

  3. says

    I’m so sad I couldn’t meet up with you and all the bloggers at Blissdom on Thursday night. Such a bummer. Very fun pictures…and I loved reading the pros and cons to the conference….I always appreciate your genuineness!!! XO, Aimee

  4. says

    Hey Kelley!

    Thanks for this!

    I did not go this year, even though it was so close to me, and I was kind of beating myself up about it (even though I would have REALLY been making your ovaries scream, what with my twin baby girls being with me and all :)), but I had a lot of the same reactions that you had last year. It wasn’t all positive (although, it was far from all negative either), and it’s good to know that, had I made the effort, along with my babies, I probably still would have felt a little disappointed and maybe even like it hadn’t been the best us of my time/money.

    P.S. How fun that you got to meet Jamie, AND we’re all doing a giveaway together! 😉

    • says

      Oh man. Kinda glad you kept those twin babies at home! 😉 Kidding! I would have loved to meet ya.. and the babies! Meeting Jamie was so much fun! Shes so sweet and genuine. :)

  5. says

    Thank you for sharing such an honest review! Blissdom was in my neighborhood this year (I live in the Dallas area) but I’ve never been to a blogging conference before and didn’t want to make the investment without knowing really what to expect.

  6. says

    Kelley, I really enjoyed this post and your perspective on Blissdom. I’ve read so many posts from so many different viewpoints and one thing is the same: Blissdom is for socializing, not for educating. I’ve never been to a blog conference, and I’ve seriously thought about attending Blissdom in the future, but there are definitely some warning signs to an event like this. Trust me, you are NOT the first person to comment on the Mean Girl clique-ish behavior or the lack of content during sessions. Definitely something for me to consider!!!!

    Blessings + Hugs,

    • says

      Thanks Nicole! I had fun, but just not what I expected. Im glad so many people appreciate my honest review of the conference. You are the best! 😀

  7. says

    So interesting!! This is a wonderful take on the experience from all the others that I read! I appreciate your honesty! Thanks, you awesome blogger, you! :)


  8. says

    I’ve always wondered about this! In all the other photos I’ve seen of Blissdom the same people are always in the photos. It made me wonder if certain bloggers had “cliques”. I also don’t think this post was negative at all, in fact I commend you for being so open and honest. Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. says

    I had a very similar experience. I liked the conference and was sad to see it end, but at the same time, I kept waiting for the educational message to be delivered (as opposed to the inspirational one that we received all weekend). I was disappointed when I left with no practical blogging information that I could apply to my blog immediately.

    But an extra bag? Eeek. Did you ship using Extra Space Storage? They shipped 15 pounds for free via FedEx… That took care of most of my swag, I just had to carry on the rest.

    • says

      I had WAY more hten 15 pounds of stuff to ship. Haha! Not sure how I got so many freebies but I definetely needed an extra bag. And I agree, no practical blogging advice was delivered and I was waiting for it all weekend. Still had a great time though! :)

  10. says

    I’m afraid of blogging conferences. I went to one and I had a negative experience. I wanted to blame it all on myself and just say that it was me, until I talked to other people who attended the same conference, and other people that have attended different blogging conferences.

    After reading tweets and seeing Instagram photos from Blissdom I thought…what is the real purpose of these conferences…what was the core reason these even started, and what is the purpose today? I’ve thought…I would love to do a blogging gathering that wasn’t all about a fancy hotel and swag and who you know and more about technique and connecting…I suppose it wouldn’t draw the cliques, but then, I really wouldn’t want them there anyway!

    Thanks for writing this…I think it was well stated and helped more people than you know have a better understanding of what this experience is like!

    • says

      Thanks Jill! I really hope it helped some people. I had a great time, dont get me wrong. But it wasnt what I was expecting and I think a lot of other people felt the same way. Im sorry you had a negative conference experience.. thats never any fun! And if you do start your own gathering let me know! Id love to meet more people like you! :)

  11. says

    A to the M-E-N. 😉 I was expecting to receive actionable items as takeaways from each session. I accidentally missed one session but had the brands all to myself (well basically I did…lol) which was so much more amazing!! Great post girly!!

    • says

      Yes! I loved talking to the brands while everyone was in a session! I took away more then I would have at the class. SO SO happy we got to hang out a little bit! You are the best girlie!

  12. says

    It’s weird when you discover that the blog world is clique-y. Seems like one place you shouldn’t be that way.
    I would go for the swag.

    • says

      HA! Blog land is SO clique-y. I knew that going in, but didn’t expect it to be that bad at the conference. PS.. the swag was pretty great! 😉

  13. says


    Bravo to you for being so honest! I can honestly say that I felt the same way about the sessions but I thought I just chose the wrong ones I pretty much kept to the business track. My roommate seemed to get a lot out of the photography ones.

    Other conferences I’ve been to offered more in depth blogging instruction but the sponsors didn’t have much to offer or the pace wasn’t as relaxed. I guess each one has its pros and cons.

    It was so good to see you in real life and I hope it can happen again soon. There was so much going on we really didn’t get enough time to talk. I felt some people have the same “clique-y” reaction to me but in my old age I’ve come to accept some people are just that way and a connection with them was just not meant to be. Sometimes I felt pulled in million directions and had to cut some conversations short I really hope I never gave off that vibe.

    • says

      I did business and one photography one. I enjoyed them, just not what I expected. Im so glad we got to at least chat a little bit. You are the best! :)

  14. says

    I’ve only been to one actual “blogging” conference so far (Reviewer’s Retreat) but have been to numerous small business conferences over the years. Most all the conferences are about connections and personal development, reuniting with friends you don’t often get to see, motivation and meeting with brands/sponsors/corporate connections and not actually all that educational… I’m glad you had fun and got some positive experiences out of it though & hey remember it’s a tax deductible business trip too! 😉 PS I recommend Reviewer’s Retreat, especially for first time blogging conference attendees. It’s a much smaller conference and everyone is so nice, it’s much more personal / casual than what I have seen/heard about other conferences. There are also 2 learning tracks for beginner or more advanced bloggers and I really did learn a good bit of blogging tips from the advanced classes last year. There were some cliques but because it was smaller and there were a lot of networking chances it was pretty easy to get around the room and connect with a lot more bloggers – bigger bloggers, in different niche’s and bloggers I probably would have been too intimidated to talk to in a bigger environment. Anyways sorry for such a long comment! You look great in your pics & I am sure as time goes on you will be able to use what you learned and the connections you made to help you continue to grow as a blogger. :)

    • says

      I went to BBC and it was SO different. I guess I thought it would kinda be the same but on a much larger scale. I’ve heard good things about the Reviewers Retreat! Thanks for the advice.. as always!

  15. says

    Yes I noticed there were cliques, too. But I believe it’s absolutely unavoidable. People are going to hangout with who they know, and who they get along with. That said, I totally went out of my way to meet new people, and I wish I would have met you!! I know it’s impossible to meet everyone at a conference with 800 people, but you seem super sweet and genuine! Maybe next time? :-)

  16. says

    I have wished several times since I started my bog, that it was in our funding for me to go to one of these conferences. But, you know what? I’m not so sure now. I want to thank you very, very, much, for your honesty. Can I say it’s SO refreshing, lol! I’m thinking the reasons I would want to go to one of these conferences, are basically, not the reasons why they have them…kind of gets a person thinking. Thanks again for a great post!

    • says

      Thanks Sue! I had a really good time at Blissdom, I was just surprised by a few things. Thats what I wanted to show. If you get a chance to go to a blog conference – GO! I went to Bloggy Boot Camp and it was the best decision ever. Im sure Ill look back and think the same thing about Blissdom too. :)

  17. says

    I’m so sorry that you didn’t get what you thought you would out of BlissDom. I’m also sorry that we didn’t get to hang out, but I figured we could do that when we got back home :). I’d love to chat with you about the conference in person. I’m off to DM you right now!

  18. says

    I didn’t find BlissDom cliquey at all – and I didn’t know anyone except for the women I was rooming with. And I didn’t even really know them! They were women I have blogging relationships with. Yes, they were my home base, but we didn’t stick together during the day. We checked in with each other at night.

    I think MANY women were from Texas, and they came with their friends and their home court advantage. THAT may have been what seemed clique-ish.

    That said, I’m glad you found something positive to come away with from the conference. I am a writer, and a lot of the classes seemed positively remedial to me. Like you, I initially felt obligated to sit through them. Eventually, I stopped going, and I met so many more interesting people who were also “skipping class.”

    If you’d like to check out my post, it’s up now, too.

    PS: How did you NOT know to bring an extra bag for all the swag? It’s about the only thing I did know! In the end, I was very selective about what I took, and I didn’t need my extra suitcase at all! 😉

    • says

      Im from Texas and I had a few friends there but not many. Looking back it might just have been people hanging out with friends and not so ‘clique-y’ but its scary to walk up to a group of women chatting and introduce yourself. No one (including myself) went out of their way to meet each other it seemed like. Skipping the classes was the best part of the conference. I made such great connections during those times. And Im dumb for not bringing an extra bag. Oh well! Live and learn, right?

  19. says

    Hey Kelley! I loved reading your perspective on things! I haven’t read a lot of the “middle of the road” type posts yet, but, I appreciated how your posts gave the pros and cons. I also appreciate all the information you shared- it’s all things that I’ll be glad that I knew when/if I look into going. I think the thing (that I’ve heard numerous places now!) that surprised me the most was the lack of learning & that the focus was more motivational than educational. I think that if I’m spending that much money- I want to be TAUGHT! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts :)

    • says

      Thats how I felt too – I shelling out money to improve my blog. And I didnt get that. Did I make good friends? Yes! Connect with brands? Absolutely! Learn much? Not really.

  20. says

    This was my seventh (AH!) BlissDom, I’m kind of an old lady when it comes to this conference thing. It is TERRIFYING for me to go up to a group of people I don’t know. Sometimes (often) I am snubbed while other times I am welcomed, I still can’t figure it all out but at least I try?
    Part of my problem is that I am friends with so many of these people and conferences are the one or two times a year I get to see them face to face, I have to consciously remind myself to break away from who I know best and meet new people. I hope that is never seen as a clique, just friends catching up.
    I agree on the inspirational vs. practical takeaway…there’s so much behind this and it was kind of an awkward switch given the location change and having SO MANY new and lovely faces. The new people are what made the conference for me this year, your excitement and happiness was contagious to us cantankerous old timers. :)

    • says

      Seven?! You are a Blissdom rockstar for sure! And I get what you are saying about not seeing people often. I hung around my friends too. Looking back it was probably the same with other people. It is just terrifying to go up to a group of established friends. And were you the pretty lady that took our picture at the girls night out event? In the lace dress? You were super sweet! Not an old timer at all! :)

  21. says

    I wish there was something like this held in Perth, I would really like to connect with fellow bloggers and learn from them. I like that you are honest and told the other side of things nothing is ever perfect. Im with you I would probably have stayed in my group and been a bit shy to approach people I didnt know. Some popular bloggers are like celebrities arent they, you get a bit celeb shy 😀

  22. says

    Hi Kelley! Thank you for being honest about your trip to Blissdom. Last year, I attended Haven and I didn’t know a soul. That one is a bit smaller and I was still overwhelmed. I felt their sessions were very good! About all things under the sun! I’m definitely attending this year as well. I met some very good friends and we still keep in touch. I was “enlightened” by some of the bigger bloggers, and not in a good way. Some of them, I refuse to read anymore…. You might want to check it out.

    • says

      I’ve heard really great things about Haven! Ill have to look into that one for next year! Did you do a post on it? Id love to read it! :)

  23. says

    Kelley, from one of the photos posted it looks like you came to my session. Thank you! Honestly and truly, thank you. I know it’s not inspirational and motivational, probably just the opposite, but I hope it was helpful.

    There’s a lot going on at BlissDom. This being my 4th BlissDom (and probably 10th blogging conference), I thought I had this down. But I don’t. Like Casey, this is one of the few opportunities I have to see my online friends in real life. But at the same time, the reason they are my friends is because at one point I put myself out there. I feel like I should buy booth space so people will come by and I can meet them.

    Sorry we didn’t get an opportunity to meet, but, again, thank you for choosing my session. And as I said, if you left feeling overwhelmed by my session let me know. That’s not why I speak at BlissDom. I speak so I can empower women to be more awesome than they already are.
    ~ Sara

    • says

      Hey Sara! I did attend your session! It was absolutely fabulous. I learned so much. I think Im going to do a post on the things I learned. Looking back (its been two weeks almost!) I did the same thing. I stayed with my group that I knew and didnt venture out much. I did make a few really great friends though, and for that Im greatful! We are online people so its hard to put ourselves out there sometimes.

      Ps.. Im stalking you on Twitter and Instagram now! 😉

  24. says

    I think you did a great job sharing a balanced recap. No conference is perfect and I think our goals going in make a huge difference. I went with inspiration and networking in mind. Now, I did hang with some people I was more familiar with for some of the time, but I also met a few new people and wondered around without others too. I wasn’t great on approaching others, but was happy to talk to anyone who was nearby or came up to me.

    • says

      Thanks Darcy! Overall it was a great experience. I really hope I didnt come as a too negative. It was great to meet you though! And you’re little guy!!

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