The conference kicked off on Friday evening with a happy hour on the rooftop terrace of the Belmond Charleston Place hotel. Since Kristyn, Jenn, Alicia, and I were staying in the hotel, it was super convenient. Swoozies hosted the welcome cocktail hour and I did not want the night to end. From the branded cups—perfect for all the rosé!—super cute cocktail napkins, and party favors, they really paid attention to the details.
One of the highlights of my night was meeting Maggie of Polished Closets in person. We’ve been blog friends for about a year now, and I was nervous about if we would click as well in-person as we do via email. We ended up talking most of the night and mixing and mingling with a lot of new faces, which is always easier to do with a friend!
After the cocktail hour ended, 10 of us headed over to Sermet’s for dinner. All you Southern Charm fans out there will recognize the restaurant, and I had the best beef tip tortellini. I also met fellow DC blogger Lindsay of Sugar & Something—so cool that I could expand my network here while in Charleston!
Saturday morning started with breakfast at the Charleston Grille at our hotel. We had to be ready to go by 8 am, so it was definitely an early start but we were running on adrenaline.
The conference portion of the day began at 9 am and was held at the beautiful Riviera Theater right across the street from the hotel. We had a series of panelists (see tips from Blair Culwell here!) that really inspired me and gave me so many ideas for A Touch of Teal.
The next portion of the day was the brand networking suite. This was probably my favorite part of the conference. Over 25 brands were represented, and Kristyn and I walked around with mimosas in-hand meeting everyone and scoring some awesome goodies as part of our swag bag.
What I loved about the conference is that brands brought representatives who were well-versed in working with bloggers which made networking extremely easy. Sometimes when you pitch companies, you aren’t even sure if they work with bloggers. Here, that wasn’t the case at all and brands were so receptive to ideas. I can’t wait to introduce some of them to you over the next few weeks.
By late afternoon, we headed back up to our room to relax and decompress before dinner. Kristyn, Jenn, and I walked over to the Pineapple Fountain before connecting with Stephanie and Ashley for dinner at Pearlz Oyster Bar. That meal was probably the best food we ate all trip and our waiter was so fun and attentive! He also made recommendations for our late-night adventures. I would highly recommend you stop in next time you’re in Charleston.
Sunday was our last day in Charleston and there was a goodbye breakfast hosted by Hallmark Signature Style. After we said goodbye to our blog friends, we headed out for a day of exploring beautiful Charleston—more on that coming tomorrow!
All in all, the conference was a fabulous experience. I met so many great fellow bloggers and wonderful brands, all while pushing myself outside of my comfort zone a little bit. This definitely won’t be my last blog conference!
Photos by Kim Graham