Blo­ga­li­cious Week­end is top-notch

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - By ISHEKA N. HAR­RI­SON ihar­ri­son@sfltimes.com

MI­AMI – When you go to a pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment con­fer­ence, but leave ev­ery day feel­ing like you’ve just left church, you know you’re in the right place!

That’s the ex­act sen­ti­ment I felt ev­ery day at the 9th An­nual Blo­ga­li­cious Week­end, held Oct. 5-8 at the Hil­ton Mi­ami Downtown.

Ev­ery ses­sion I at­tended, con­ver­sa­tion I had or suite I en­tered had this un­mis­tak­able mo­ti­vat­ing en­ergy that com­pelled me to get my stuff to­gether, stop mak­ing ex­cuses and go after my dreams!

This year’s theme cel­e­brated the im­por­tance of tribes, which Blo­ga­li­cious de­fines as the trusted com­mu­ni­ties that each of the at­ten­dees have built and are so ex­pertly lead­ing. Not sur­pris­ingly, I met quite a few women whom I wouldn’t mind hav­ing in mine.

Imag­ine be­ing in a space full of the most in­spi­ra­tional con­tent cre­ators and so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers to­day rang­ing from blog­gers, In­sta­gram­mers and YouTube per­son­al­i­ties to no­table Twit­ter voices, Face­book stars, au­thors, pub­lic re­la­tions gurus and more.

Now imag­ine that each and ev­ery one of them was ap­proach­able and will­ing to share their knowl­edge. That sums up my week­end.

The ses­sions cov­ered ev­ery­thing from the types of peo­ple you should have in your tribe, be­ing an ef­fec­tive leader and man­ag­ing your brand to how to bond with your com­pe­ti­tion, go from blog­ger to au­thor, know and ne­go­ti­ate your worth and make your pas­sion your pro­fes­sion.

Pre­sen­ters were women at the top of their fields that gen­er­ously shared their tools of the trade.

Dwayna Ha­ley was one of those women. In her ses­sion, she took at­ten­dees to church with her pas­sion and in­sight.

““The devil can’t do noth­ing with you if he can’t even get your at­ten­tion,” Ha­ley said dur­ing her work­shop that de­tailed the types of peo­ple ev­ery­one needs in their tribe. “You need to un­der­stand how to block out dis­trac­tions … Imag­ine wak­ing up in the morn­ing where noth­ing is an im­pos­si­bil­ity. … Take the lid off of your mi­nor­ity mind­set and start to be­lieve in the pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

Myleik Teele, the cre­ator of CURLbox and pod­cast “My Taught You,” also brought her keen in­sight to the con­fer­ence.

“You can live life un­apolo­get­i­cally on your own terms at all times. … There’s some­body out there that is look­ing for some­one just like you to tell the story they are dy­ing to hear so don’t be afraid to tell it be­cause we need you,” Teele told the au­di­ence dur­ing her keynote con­ver­sa­tion.

“You can’t say God is so good and I’m blessed and highly fa­vored then say I don’t know how I’m gon’ pay this light bill. … If you trust God like you say you do, you shouldn’t care what hap­pens next,” added the week­end’s host Pre­cious Biv­ings, a cel­e­brated life and busi­ness per­for­mance coach, best-sell­ing au­thor and TEDx speaker.

If the price­less knowl­edge shared wasn’t enough, Blo­ga­li­cious also gave at­ten­dees tons of free re­sources and keep­sakes in­clud­ing pro­fes­sional head­shots (with make-up ses­sions avail­able if nec­es­sary), Vlogs (video blogs), an ar­ray of hair and beauty prod­ucts, bras, t-shirts, hosiery and more.

Spon­sor suites from Kia, Coca-Cola, AARP, Stop Stalling, Haynes, Jack Daniels and Change the Cy­cle (among oth­ers) of­fered more than just the afore­men­tioned nice good­ies, they also of­fered valu­able re­sources. For ex­am­ple, Change the Cy­cle pro­vided valu­able in­for­ma­tion on how to treat fi­broids, which af­fect many black women.

There was also a Shark Tank-styled Per­fect Pitch Com­pe­ti­tion, dur­ing which three en­trepreneurs pitched their brands to a panel of ex­pert judges and the win­ner re­ceived $5,000 for her busi­ness.

Stacey Fer­gu­son is the chief cu­ra­tor of Blo­ga­li­cious. She said Blo­ga­li­cious’ main goal is to cel­e­brate di­ver­sity in so­cial me­dia, build com­mu­nity and equip con­tent cre­ators with the tools and con­nec­tions they need to be suc­cess­ful.

“Re­la­tion­ships re­ally are the ba­sis of ev­ery­thing I do. We’re all con­tent cre­ators. We’re cre­ative and that part comes easy; but how do we flip that and turn it into a rev­enue gen­er­at­ing busi­ness,” Fer­gu­son said. “Ev­ery­one has a gift inside … and the world needs to, and de­serves to, and must get it. You re­ally need to be clear at be­ing in­ten­tional about what you’re do­ing.”

The week­end has dou­bled in at­ten­dance an­nu­ally since it be­gan in 2009. Blo­ga­li­cious also has an on­line dig­i­tal com­mu­nity with over 20,000 mem­bers that reach over 200,000 in­di­vid­u­als each month through their so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

Kiana Clark, a Mi­ami na­tive who is the founder of For­ward PR, said she un­der­stands why the reach is so ex­ten­sive.

“From the first day of the con­fer­ence, I felt the magic within the tribe of blog­gers and the pas­sion be­hind Stacey’s vi­sion,” Clark said. “Walk­ing in as a pub­li­cist, I was granted the op­por­tu­nity to build re­la­tion­ships with fab­u­lous women in the in­dus­try of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and grow a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how we can work to­gether to get oth­ers’ sto­ries told. There was never a dull mo­ment and the break­out ses­sions were all in­for­ma­tive and help­ful.”

Fer­gu­son said her suc­cess is in­trin­si­cally linked with that of oth­ers.

“Our goal has al­ways been to be the ul­ti­mate con­fer­ence for mul­ti­cul­tural blog­gers and in­flu­encers, and I feel blessed that I have been able to bring the best tal­ents in the com­mu­nity into our Blo­ga­li­cious tribe, which is why it is no co­in­ci­dence that Blo­ga­li­cious 9 is fo­cused on at­ten­dees' build­ing their tribe,” Fer­gu­son said. “Our tribe is in­te­gral to our suc­cess! In my eyes, see­ing Blo­ga­li­cious com­mu­nity mem­bers make their em­pires work for them and cre­ate suc­cess­ful busi­nesses is the great­est suc­cess pos­si­ble.”

PHO­TOS COUR­TESY OF REESE BLAND FOR BLO­GA­LI­CIOUS AND FILE PHO­TOS

Black Girl Magic was on full dis­play at the 9th An­nual Blo­ga­li­cious Week­end, held in Mi­ami Oct. 5-8.

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