My visit to Atlanta was to garner fresh and savvy skills for sharing weekly information on my blog. “Mon Oncleis approaching 3 years, 200 published stories and 6 significant layout lifts – the time has come for schooling. I arrived early Sunday on a bright, southern morning at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead Hotel for this year’s Design Bloggers Conference.

It was my first time attending this unique conference specifically focused on the interests of interior design bloggers. Particularly those using content to build their business and personal brands.

Hotel check-in was friendly, formal and surprisingly upbeat. It served as an early morning reminder about my appreciation for gracious southern hospitality and to check my tylenol supply. Thirty-six hours of back to back events, networking receptions, award banquets, tours and instructional narrative can reek havoc on a fresh hangover.

    Up on the 24th floor – I peered through my dark sunglasses and smiled at the big fluffy bed centered in the large hotel room facing a distant view of Atlanta. After a long shower, quick nap and room service – I was ready to join the other design bloggers and maybe catch a workshop like “How to Take Amazing Photos with Your Smart Phone”.

    In the hotel’s expansive lower level, Adam Japko the President of Esteem Media (they own the Design Bloggers Conference and many other entities)and his team were greeting hundreds of new arrivals while passing out agendas, badges and various blogger necessities. 

      Traditional Home Magazine Tori Mellot + Suzanne Cooper + Beth McDonough + Adam Japko

      Queen of PR for Currey and Co. Bethanne Matari was in conversation with New York based PR Prince Andrew Joseph, while his business team held court a few circles down. The friendly roar of chatter and laughter continued as I strolled through groupings of trade product and service booths like; Benjamin Moore, Chairish, Mountain Living, Duralee, ADAC and dozens of others. 

        Bethanne Matari + Andrew Joseph
          Andrew Witter + Beverly Mahoney
            Lisa Robinson + Adam Japko + Mitzi Beach + Kim Turner
              Sarah Drew + Lisa Rickert + Julie Ruttner
                Amanda Gates + Carla Austin + Karen Davis + Linda Holt + Crystal Reeves

                  Byron Cordero + Rio Hamilton

                    #DBCATL Design Bloggers Conference 2016 Atlanta GA

                    That afternoon, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles sponsored 15 lucky bloggers to tour a partially built mansion in the nou·veau riche residential neighborhood of Buckhead Countya few miles from the hotel. During the tour of a bedroom inside the 22,000 sq ft English manor styled home, I asked the architect a quick question.  “Is the large wall indentation designated for a bookshelf ” and he replied quickly “it’s for a TV”. Silly me.


                      Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles tour of 3800 Northside Drive – 22,000 sq.ft. + 3.5 acres + 2800 sq.ft. Pool House
                        These charming ladies are from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. They are preparing to introduce the architects who will provide a tour of the soon to be Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens.  The Showhouse will feature interior installations from designers like Melanie Turner, Suzanne Kasler, Michael Boyd, Beth Webb, Jonathan Savage and many more talented Design Professionals.


                        We circled back to the hotel just in time for the kick-off and toast to officially begin the 2016 Design Bloggers Conference & Garden Bloggers Conference.

                        The Sunday Official Office Party was sponsored by
                        TraditionalHome and hosted atFerguson Bath Kitchen and Lighting showroom. Ferguson had a clever contest on Instagram for pictures and hashtags. The contest (which I did not win) caused me to be late for my dinner at Le Bilboquet which happens to be located in the same charming european square in Atlanta and likens to a mini Rodeo Drive. So chic.

                          Ferguson Showroom 262 Buckhead Ave – party sponsored by Traditional Home 
                            Sharon Adams + Mega Watt + Alycia Mitchell + Michael Dickens


                            Monday’s program began early – Adam Japko gave a nice introduction and set the tone for the onslaught of professionals that followed him to the podium. The business masterminds who lead discussions were Cynthia Rowley, Christi Tasker, Justina Blakeney, Julianne Taylor, India Hicks, Natasha Murphy, Adrienne Brown, Robin Catalano along with David Brian Sanders and that’s just the first day.

                              Adam Japko welcomes group to Design Bloggers Conference
                                Justina Blakeney talks about creating for connecting

                                  Cynthia Rowley just completed her keynote presentation with Anna Brockway
                                    Cynthia Rowley + Rio Hamilton after her presentation on stage she took
                                    some time for a one-on-one and that interview is here.
                                      India Hicks + Austin Mill
                                      Valuable life lessons, inspiring product challenges and strategic moments were shared by these astute speakers and business tycoons. The overwhelming theme from all their messages was “clarity“. 

                                      In today’s world we let others know our story through photos whether strategic or candid. These photos send a message that engage followers. Messages become CLEARER through hashtag sentences and location shares. Sharing this information strategically and on point can bring business rewards. This conference was designed to teach us new methods

                                        Currey and Co. stage designed by Bethanne Matari and Cecil Adams
                                        There was a nice camaraderie within the audience as we sat at banquet tables and took copious notes on multiple devices streaming on numerous platforms.

                                        Attendees are interior design bloggers, luxury interior designers, traditional design media, new design media innovators, and interior design industry leaders.

                                        My stats breakdown
                                        like this – 
                                        90% of attendees were women – 
                                        90% of audience used smart phone and at least 1 other technical device-
                                        50% were attending for the first time – 99% were over 21 (you’re welcome).

                                          Design Bloggers Conference 2016 – “How to Make Your Writing Sing”

                                            Garrett Griffis + Colleen Duffley + Brooke Williams

                                              Joann Kandrac + Kelly Kole

                                                DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCE 2016

                                                This is the premier conference and experience for professionals actively using or interested in learning about new media and the interior design industry. The conference offers attendees a unique opportunity to participate in the intersection of interior design with the world of new media including blogging, social media, and more. The next Design Bloggers Conference will be held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on March 5-7 2017.

                                                Thank you Adam Japko for encouraging my participation. The Design Bloggers Conference provided invaluable information about effective communication across several platforms. I’ve made  changes to this blog within the month since the conference and have scheduled another layout lift for this month. I love receiving your feedback and comments.  Please continue to let me know your thoughts at [email protected] or [email protected].

                                                  I took my copious notes on my new
                                                  Acer Chromebook 15 – 4GB RAM, Full HD screen, 32GB SSD.  It is light weight and easy to manage.  And, the new smart-white color matches everything.  

                                                  Don’t be jealous of my commercial . . . .
                                                  raw notes taken with the Acer Chromebook

                                                  Justina Blakeney – Jungalow feel free, have fun and decorate wild!
                                                  7 years blog to develop into a lifestyle brand – entire brand built on social media

                                                  1. Clarity – who are you,
                                                  2. intagram is happening for everyone – relevant for everyone – 150 characters to say who you are to the world.
                                                  3. new book is supporting the launch of new collections
                                                  4. think of instagram as a source to get the word out.
                                                  5. Instagram private account and business account _who’s talking ?? You WE or I
                                                  6. create a call to action, join the movement, share your hashtag
                                                  7. create community around what your building.
                                                  8. using a vocabulary as a brand
                                                  9. what is your message? what are your takeaways.
                                                  10. the point of social media is accessibility.
                                                  11. Engagement is everything – getting people to tag
                                                  12. ask advice – discovery page for new people to follow – ask questions (do you like this or that) people like talking and sharing – genuine authentic
                                                  13. be real
                                                  14. weekend hashtag projects – every weekend instagram host a weekend hashtag project
                                                  15. share others work (respectfully)
                                                  16. do takeovers – onekingslane, west elm, highpoint market,
                                                  17. give shout outs
                                                  18. comments and “like” strangers images
                                                  19. share generously (get over people stealing your ideas and work)
                                                  20. cater content to platform – recycle content
                                                  21. optimize blog for mobile – 60 percent  read on mobile
                                                  22. share your images on other platforms
                                                  23. takeaways – create clarity,
                                                  24. 3 time s a day no more than 7 times a day.
                                                  25. @tag with @soandso also tag the images
                                                  26. content becomes your portfolio – become a polite stalker, content is king, grow readership, improve metrics.
                                                    Austin Mill + Adam Japko + Eric Haydel
                                                    #dbcatl #designbloggerconference #esteemmedia #adamjapko #curreyandco #ajpr

                                                    Rio Hamilton

                                                    Rio Hamilton is a business development professional with vast marketing and sales experience.He specializes in brand promotion for the luxury interior design and lifestyle industries. Rio works with companies, individuals and groups on concentrated brand identity and elevation. He has a popular website that chronicles "the who's who" at design and fashion events throughout greater New York.

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                                                    2 thoughts on “SAVVY SKILLS @ DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCE

                                                    1. Rio
                                                      Not sure how I missed this post, but what a terrific recap! Will you be attending the upcoming conference in LA? Hope so, and I’ll see you there!

                                                      1. Hi Amanda –

                                                        Thank you for your kind words Amanda. It was a fun experience in Atlanta. Not sure about LA – but will keep you posted. sending my best.

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