Type-A Parent: When A Blogging Conference Feels Like Summer Camp

I often do my best writing when I’m sitting on an airplane. No distractions. No internet. No iPhone Games. (Oh wait. I have those if I want them.)

And today, I’m on an airplane so I want to write. Especially because I’m flying home from the Type-A Parent conference.

For those that don’t know, it’s a relatively small blogging conference that still flies under the radar. It actually was my third time at Type-A, founded by Kelby Carr (otherwise known as @TypeAMom). The funny thing is most of us don’t see Kelby as Type-A at all. Maybe it’s not funny. Maybe it’s just ironic.

Regardless, it’s a conference I’ve recommended since I started attending 2 years ago. It was the first place I felt I had been delivered some meat. Some information I could really sink my teeth into and walk away with actionable items.

After I returned home from Type-A last year, I couldn’t wait for the next one. I bought my alumni ticket and waited 12 long months to be reunited with the crowd.

Other conferences came and went and I met people, learned stuff, and had a good time. One conference blurred with the next. And I started thinking that, since I moved, perhaps this would be the last Type-A for me. It’s hard to swallow the cost of flying and until I can start showing some real return on investment, I can’t keep justifying the expense of a conference. So I might have to make some cuts. But I would worry about that later.

I arrived in Charlotte on Thursday with two new blogging friends from the DC area. Jessica (@JessicaAPISS), Amy (@teachmama), and I all headed out on the same flight to Charlotte, shared a cab, and I settled in while I waited for my roomies to arrive.

To kill time, I thought it might be nice to have some drinks and snacks in the room. And by drinks, I mean wine. And by wine, I mean cheap wine. So I headed off on foot to shop at the nearest Trader Joe’s.

Turns out that a mile and a half walk in 90 degree heat and humidity starts out just fine but ends up in drenched clothing and a strong desire to crawl into a corner and die. So I finished my shopping, caught a cab, and waited for my Raleigh blogger reunion.

Erin, me, Melissa, and Andrea

Erin, me, Melissa, and Andrea

I had the pleasure of rooming with my buddies Erin (@erinclane), Andrea (@AndreaUpdyke), and Melissa (@melaculbertson). Even though I’m not a bed-sharing type and freaked out one night when my foot touched Melissa’s, our room felt more like a slumber party every night (It wasn’t but if that’s what you’re thinking, you need to check out Erin’s video of what really goes on behind closed doors).

We started our reunion by grabbing an AMAZING dinner at Cowfish where I learned you can combine the joy of sushi and burgers into something called “burgushi.” If you are lucky enough to live in Charlotte, you need to try it out. NEED to. If you live in Raleigh, get ready. They are coming to North Hills in early 2013. If you live anywhere else… well, too bad.

But the conference was more than good roommates and food. It was all the things that go along with a good blogging conference. Engaging sessions, crazy good information, and a lot of notetaking (which I’ll be sharing with you).

For me, though, I made the conference was exactly what I wanted it to be. Exactly what I had been missing from other conferences while I was busy meeting every person I could and collecting every last piece of swag (which I swore I wouldn’t do).

What I wanted was good conversation with people just like me. And that’s exactly what I got.

Tracy, me, and Tania

It was a night of giggling with Tracy (@sellabitmum) and a late evening chatting with Caitlin (@caitm).

Are they making fun of me?

It was a quiet breakfast with Chrysula (@chrysula).

It was talking about things which shall not be named with Julia (@JuliaRoberts1), Anissa (@AnissaMayhew), Katherine (@postpartumprogr), Tanis (@redneckmommy), Heather (@hdurdil), and Amy (@TheAmyTucker).

It was dancing like a fool (literally) with Nichole (@bywordsmusings), and Kelly (@kpugs), and Tracy (@chimomwriter).

Dancing at Type-A

It was falling in love with new friends like Angie (@angiekinghorn) and reuniting with old favorites like Brittany (@BrittanyVandy) and Trina (@OboyOrganic).

Ultimately, it was a few days that reminded me again why blogging is my passion. It’s the writing and community that keep me inspired. It’s the successful bloggers and tech geeks that keep me motivated.

I’m back after three days of blogging bliss trying to form some sort of action plan for the rest of the year. And first on the list is buying my ticket for Type-A Parent Conference for next year.

  • MrsStrick

    I went to Type A as a conference virgin last year and loved it.  Totally bummed I had to miss it this year (DD’s grad party & 18th bday).  I think Type A has some of the best sessions ever and, of course, the best people attend. 

    It looks like you had a ton of fun.  Hope to catch you there next year!

    • FadraN

      I was worried about the new vibe in Charlotte but I really liked it for a lot of reasons. Maybe I’ll catch you at BlogHer?

  • http://twitter.com/sellabitmum Tracy Morrison

    Love you. Love this. 

    • FadraN

      Hanging with you was the highlight of the conference for me. We are exactly alike, except you are taller, thinner, can jump like a cheerleader and wear really cute dresses :)

  • http://twitter.com/juliedutch Julie

    I wish I had been able to go! Next year I am SO there! Glad you had a great time. 

    • FadraN

      I really think you would love this conference. I think I have to go back next year.

  • Julia Roberts

    I always LOVE your updates! They’re the best!

    • FadraN

      I just like that I have bigger and bigger names to drop now :)

      You are amazing. Have I told you that lately? I had a private moment to really think and I really thought that. I admire you so much!!

  • Redneck Mommy

    I loved meeting you. And whenever I eat asparagus I will always think of you, my new friend. Until we meet again.

    • FadraN

      I’m going to go all fangirl on you. I’m seriously contemplating quitting blogging right now because you commented on my blog. What else is there to achieve in the blogging world?

      I love that you are as funny and genuine in person as you are anywhere else. Thanks for making me laugh (and cry) and giving me some new “techniques” to try.

  • http://www.momentsthatdefinelife.com/ Nicole @MTDLBlog

    It was a great weekend! It was so nice to meet you – I do hope we have more time to chat next time around!

    • FadraN

      There are ALWAYS more conferences :)

  • http://waterwatereverywhere.net Sarah Hubbell

    Love this…totally agree with everything you said (except from my point of view with some different peeps!) Wish I’d gotten to chat with you this weekend…definitely next time. 

    • FadraN

      I love how every conference my community gets a little bit bigger. Next time for sure!!

  • http://janasthinkingplace.com/ Jana A (@jana0926)

    It was an absolutely amazing weekend. And it IS like summer camp for us! Can’t wait to see you at BlogHer! 

    • FadraN

      Let’s make more time to hang out at BlogHer. I feel like I only saw you in passing!

  • KeAnne

    I wish I’d gotten to chat with you more! I enjoyed our mutual eye rolling at self-important people ;-) Fadra, you are such a kind, generous person, and I appreciate so much how you go out of your way to make sure everyone is comfortable.

    • FadraN

      That is really super sweet. Thank you! I wish we had dinner or something one night!! I hope you enjoyed it enough to come back next year or maybe you’ll take the plunge and head to BlogHer one year?

  • http://twitter.com/goodgirlgonered Andrea B

    Although I feel like I barely saw you this time around I love that I know your smiling face whenever we cross paths. That sounds stupid and is actually making me slightly weepy. Ugh. Whatevs. 

    This was a great post, Fadra. Thanks for sharing. 

    • FadraN

      You are one of my peeps. Was this your first conference? You looked like a pro. So glad you came and see you at BlogHer!

  • MelACulbertson

    Love ya girl! Sorry my foot touched yours but like I told you already, at least it wasn’t my butt.

    Miss u already!

    • FadraN

      I think I could eventually get used to sharing a bed with you ;) I think it’s so funny how you were out like a light every night. I envy your ability to sleep so easily!

  • http://twitter.com/GDRPempress Good Day, Reg People

    Oh, fadra, any one lucky enough to have you in their corner at these conferences is a lucky person indeed.

    You were the smiling face I needed to see my last night at BlogHer.

    Thank you for that.

    • FadraN

      I hope I can be the smiling face at BlogHer again. Will I see you there?

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  • http://angelaamman.com/ Angela Amman

    This is a conference I really, really, really (did I mention really?) wanted to attend. This recap just makes me want to go even more :)

    • FadraN

      Kelby is smart in that she gives a significant discount to attendees for the next year’s conference right after this one ends. I bought my ticket a year ago. I had doubts about going but I loved it AGAIN and hope I’ll be back next year.

  • http://twitter.com/BocaFrau Susi K

    This makes me want to go next year. And maybe I will be able to justify it… that’s my biggest issue right now… the expense!!! I just decided to forgo BlogHer and stick to more local blogging events for now. I’ll be attending Central Florida BogCon in September instead!!! 

    • FadraN

      Local is good! I find it’s nice to build up a small network of bloggers anyway before heading to a conference. It just puts you more at ease. BlogHer is HUGE and if you haven’t been, I’d definitely start with something like Type-A Con. But I’ll have to warn you – it sets the bar pretty high!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/megan.broutian Megan Broutian

    I’m so envious and sorry I didn’t hear about this conference till after it was over. Can’t wait for you to expand on your notes!

    • FadraN

      Megan – don’t miss it next year! I’ve been going for 3 years and loved it every year. Best conference for learning, hands down. And in case you missed it, I typed up all the notes from the sessions I attended here:

      http://allthingsfadra.com/2012/06/pretend-you-were-there/

      • http://www.facebook.com/megan.broutian Megan Broutian

        I saw that post after I wrote my comment. They are very extensive and VERY helpful. Thanks Fadra :)

  • http://thefertileinfertile.blogspot.com/ Kristin

    Fadra, I’m thrilled I got to meet you and really wish I’d had more time to chat with you. Hope I see you at BlogHer.