I’m not a people person. I’m a writer and an INTJ. I love rainy days that give me an excuse to stay in. I prefer to learn from a book than from actual people.
But I’ve learned that battling these tendencies is sometimes necessary, so when I was given the opportunity to attend this year’s Content Marketing Conference in Boston, I signed up before I had a chance to change my mind.
Because I’m a mother of twin toddlers and writer—and by writer, I mean the kind of writer who sits in Starbucks in a hoodie and yoga pants to make any spark of decent content happen.
A Bit About Me
I don’t own what you’d call “business casual” clothes (isn’t a hoodie enough?), I don’t carry a briefcase, and the last time I wore heels was junior year in college (Birkenstocks ftw!).
So it’s safe to say I felt a little out of place among the marketing executives attending CMC 2017. What am I doing here? I could be sitting in my living room watching Parenthood reruns and doling out graham crackers to the tiny humans.
Because I’ve been writing for WriterAccess for 6 years, meeting Byron, WA’s founder, was pretty cool (or, you know, at least seeing him in person and working up the bravura to make eye contact).
Onto The Scene & Speakers
Though the big names like Larry Kim (who was also wearing a hoodie—instant kinship!), Andy Crestodina, and Ann Handley intimidated me more than a little, I quickly settled into their talks and fell back into the note-taking habits I thought I’d left behind along with my rented cap and gown.
In conference terms, CMC was cozy, with just under 400 attendees and smallish sessions in which I felt totally comfortable asking questions and interacting with the big, intimidating names.
The entire event was impeccably organized, with delicious food and drinks at all the right times, and the other attendees were for the most part completely down-to-earth and passionate about their work.
Here were people who truly love this thing called content marketing. The energy was creative, vibrant, and real.
The advice was—if not new, necessarily—spot-on and exactly what I needed to hear to spark up my quotidian routine of blog posts, product descriptions, and email campaigns.
And though I didn’t really connect with the other WA writers attending the CMC (perhaps they were hiding in different corners of the Westin’s dining room?), I didn’t feel nearly as out of place after the first set of keynotes.
My takeaways are many and varied and richly sprinkled throughout my eight typed pages of conference notes.
But what it came down to was this: even the mavericks benefit from community.
And though the principles of great content don’t really change, hearing the principles you already kind of know from experienced speakers who offer fresh, real-world applications is just the tune-up that every content creator needs.
Even the hoodie-wearing writers hiding in local coffee shops, dependably producing content day after day.
Steffani is a writer at WriterAccess who received a complimentary ticket to CMC however her account is unbiased, and just plain wonderful.
We hope you can relate to her experience, and it will encourage all you introverts out there to take a chance whether it be at a marketing conference or elsewhere.