Disclosure: I was partially sponsored by YouTube Kids to attend the We All Grow Summit in Long Beach, CA. As always, all opinions are my own.
I had an amazing experience at the inaugural We All Grow Summit (2015) and when the super early bird tickets for 2016 went on sale, I snatched one up. But late last year, I made the decision not to attend the We All Grow Summit in Long Beach.
There were many factors involved but ultimately it came down to me and my feelings about my blog. I’ve been blogging for almost six years. I’m a niche blogger with a small following. I have a full-time job outside of the blogosphere. I need my full-time job and have no desire to strictly be a free-lance writer.
When I thought about whether or not it was worth the time and effort to attend We All Grow – I believed it wasn’t worth it. I had grown as much as I can. I’m not saying I know all there is to know about blogging – far from it. I just felt like I couldn’t see the benefit of attending another blog conference – even one as amazing as We All Grow. So I gave my ticket away to another blogger.
Then I got an FB message from my friend Yvonne (of Moms LA) and she invited me to be her Blogger Bestie. (This is how I attended last year’s We All Grow.) Yvonne was selected as a Storyteller and as a Storyteller, she was allowed to invite another blogger to attend. As a bestie, I would receive a conference ticket and hotel accommodations.
I was beyond grateful for Yvonne’s invitation and I took it as a sign that I was meant to be there.
This year’s theme was Moments of Awe and I had many at We All Grow.
1. Time Spent with Friends
One of my favorite things about conferences is seeing my friends and meeting new ones. There is nothing like building relationships online and then connecting in real life. I have so much admiration and respect for these women and my time with them is always treasured. Not only do they truly inspire me but they understand the blogging world.
2. The Hotel Maya
The hotel was everything I expect California to be. I loved waking up to the view of the water. As much as I love catching up with my friends, conferences are overwhelming for me. I spent time between sessions sitting by the water to decompress and enjoy a few moments of quiet.
3. Getting a shout out during the Disney Parks Keynote Lunch
— LisaQF (@LaliQuin) March 5, 2016
You all know what a HUGE Disney fan I am and I was super excited about the Disney Parks keynote lunch on how brands and bloggers work together. Not only was I proud of my friend Jeannette for all the great work she is doing but I love (and welcome) every opportunity to work with Disney. When Leanne mentioned my blog post on multi-generational travel at Walt Disney World during the panel I almost choked on my water. It was totally an “OMG – she knows my name” moment.
4. This moment
— #WeAllGrow Summit (@WeAllGrowSummit) March 5, 2016
5. And this
— Roxanna Sarmiento (@_roxsar_) March 5, 2016
6. Feeling the power of positive words
Seriously @CosmicChristine had me feeling all the feels. (Translation: I was fighting back the ugly cry.) Her words truly spoke to me.
7. Visiting the YouTube Space in LA
I’m still learning about video and creating more content on YouTube. But we are huge fans of YouTube, especially Norrin. Being able to tour the space and seeing the different studio sets was an amazing experience. I left inspired to do more and to document more of our journey on video.
8. Supporting creative & inspiring Latinas at the Latina Makers Market
I bought a print from Crafty Chica, a bracelet from The Orphaned Earring, two magnets from Very That and two tee-shirts from Chaca Chaka.
9. My Word | My Intent
While in the Neutrogena Suite, I was able to select a My Intent bracelet. When asked what word I wanted engraved on my bracelet I immediately said, “Keep Going.” Which leads me to number 10…
10. Owning my Expertise
During the closing keynote session presented by BlogHer co-founder and She Knows Media Chief Community Officer, Elisa Camahort Page, we were asked to name our area expertise. Then Elisa said she was going to go around the room and ask us to share. I was happy to be all the way in the back, I didn’t want her calling on me.
I was sitting next to Maribel (aka Latina_Sweetie) and said I didn’t consider myself to be an expert in anything. She said, “You’re an expert in perseverance.” (Maribel truly lives up to her Twitter handle.) I’m still uncomfortable with referring to myself as an expert but when it comes to perseverance, I know a thing or two about that. (But that’s for another blog post.)
11. The Storytellers
I wouldn’t have had the chance to attend the We All Grow Summit if not for The Storytellers sponsored by YouTube Kids and Yvonne’s invitation. It was an emotional and inspiring evening. I was just in awe of all the women sharing their stories on stage. (You wanna talk about perseverance?!) And the two stories that I most identified with most was Eliana’s and Yvonne’s.
Eliana is a special needs mom too. I understand her journey and admire her dedication to her children. And Yvonne is a non-Spanish speaking Latina like me. We spent a lot of time talking about the challenges we’ve faced as being non-Spanish speaking Latinas. Her story is heartfelt and humorous.
Before Yvonne’s invitation, I didn’t think We All Grow was for me. I felt like I had hit the ceiling. The few days at We All Grow reminded me that growth is always possible, so long as you are determined to keep going.
But this post recap has gone long enough I want you to hear Yvonne and Eliana’s stories so that you can be in awe too.