Happy Rainy Wednesday!
Today I’m sharing a recap of my time at the rewardStyle conference (rStheCon) earlier this month and links to all of the outfits I wore!
I’ve gotten quite a few DM’s with questions about what the conference is and what we did while we were there. I’m hoping I can answer all of your questions today!!
First, what is rewardStyle? I wrote an entire post that gives a bit of back story on it here. But, in short, rewardStyle is an invite-only affiliate network that owns the LIKEtoKNOW.it app where you shop most of my outfits. They also facilitate all of the links you see on this blog, which allows me to earn a small commission on purchases made. And, the few sponsored posts I do a month are typically set up through partnerships they have with various brands and retailers. This is something I love because they will only suggest partnerships with brands I’ve already linked to and brands that you all already shop at. It’s very personalized!
What I love about rewardStyle is that it’s a company built by an influencer (Amber Venz Box) for influencers. They know firsthand the struggles we deal with and are the best advocates to ensure we as influencers/bloggers are treated fairly in the marketplace!
Now, what is the rewardStyle Conference? There are over 30,000 influencers in rewardStyle’s network. And, every year, they invite the top 200 performers to go to the conference in Dallas for a weekend of networking and learning! When I started blogging back in 2017, it was one of my top goals to get accepted into rewardStyle. After I got invited in July 2017, I set my sights on going to the Conference. But, I’ll be honest, I knew it was a long shot. I mean, there was literally a .007% chance of getting invited! So getting to go this year was a HUGE honor.
And, like I said in my stories before I left, your constant support and shopping through my links is the ONLY reason why I got invited. I, quite literally, would not have made that dream a reality without the support of each and every one of you. I will never be able to thank you all enough for the support you show me on a daily basis. Your shopping through my links, liking and commenting on my social media posts, repinning my pins and sending me emails/DMs means EVERYTHING to me. And your support allows me to keep this blog afloat to keep being a source of inspiration for all of you. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you!!
I’m linking all of the outfits as well as a day-by-day recap below !
THURSDAY – DAY 1
Taylor, who you all see me with a lot on the ‘gram, and I flew down to Dallas together. Taylor went to the conference last year so it was nice having a conference veteran with me to show me the ropes! haha!
When we got to Dallas we met up with Shelbi, Morgan and my roomie, Lauren as well as a few of our other blogger gals for lunch. After we checked into the conference & our rooms at Crescent Court Hotel, we all changed and headed to the Brand Hall to network with brands like Bloomingdales, Banana Republic, QVC, Kendra Scott, Victoria Emerson, Elemis, Soma and Express!
The Brand Hall was one of my favorite parts about the whole conference! They had over 20 brands set up the entire weekend ready to meet and network with the bloggers in attendance. It was so fun meeting brands I had already worked with, had shopped from for a long time or getting introduced to new brands I KNOW you gals would love!
In the evening, we all headed to the pool for a party hosted by Sole Society. And, no we didn’t actually swim because in the words of my mother, “I can’t imagine you all would want to mess up your hair” lol! Truth! This was a pretty surreal experience for me because it was like my Instagram feed came to life. I saw and met all of the BIG bloggers I had followed for years. And, took some cute photos along the way!
After, a group of girls (including some of those big bloggers I mentioned) and I went out for dinner at Mi Cocina. I had possibly the strongest margarita I had ever had (got through about half!) and had some yummy enchiladas!
FRIDAY – DAY 2
Friday started out with a quick trip to Starbucks (which is inside the hotel – dangerous!) with my roomie, Lauren. We then headed to hear the keynote speakers with all of the other bloggers and brands in attendance.
This was such a cool moment at the conference for me! We heard from the CEO and President of rewardStyle, various brand VPs and the Executive VP & Chief Brand Officer for the Dallas Cowboys. And, no, I didn’t shout “GO PACK GO” even though Kevin wanted me to lol!
In short, it was a very inspiring few hours of speakers. We found out some new technology will be released soon making it easier for you to shop our posts on the ‘gram. We also learned about overall market trends and just how much mobile e-commerce is booming!
After, we headed to a beautiful lunch hosted by Mary Kay. If you couldn’t tell by the photos, pretty much everything including the hotel itself was just gorgeous! Clearly set up by bloggers for bloggers! A photo opp at every corner!
In the afternoon, Lauren and I attended an amazing classroom session hosted by Jen of The Sister Studio & Jen of Interior Designerella. I found the session incredibly informative. These two ladies are killing the game so I was really excited to learn from them. I think I filled up the storage on my phone with how many notes I took on it!
After the classroom session, I had a one on one brand meeting, which was very intimidating at first but ended up going so well! It’s important to remember that brands are at the conference to network with you just as you are there to network with them. Be yourself, and you’ll know if a potential partnership is a good fit for you and your audience moving forward!
In the evening, we all attended a cocktail party hosted by Ebay! We had so much fun all dancing together and snapping pics (what else?!). After the cocktail party, we ditched our fancy dinner plans and hit up Shake Shack.
SATURDAY – DAY 3
The last day of the conference started out rainy! So we focused on getting ourselves to meetings and classes. Lauren and I hit up Starbucks before we attended a few brand meetings in the morning. And, before lunch, we went to the brand hall one more time to catch any brands we had missed the first day. This was a great time to go because it was much less busy than it was on day 1!
That afternoon, JCPenny hosted a yummy lunch complete with a soup bar, which was perfect for a rainy day! I had to get the tomato bisque – it was amazing!
After lunch, we headed to two more classroom sessions. The first was on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app! The ins, the outs, when you all are on the app the most and what you’re shopping for right now. Some of what they discussed I already knew, but a lot of it was very informative and really helped me understand how you all use the app! I of course want to make sure I’m optimizing content for you all! So I found this course very helpful!
And, our second course was on using advertising on Facebook and Instagram. I have used ads maybe once before, like two years ago! And, I had no idea what I was doing. I’m not likely to do ads on Instagram for a while, but I learned how helpful they can be on Facebook, which, I hardly ever use for the blog!
That evening we had the formal LIKEtoKNOW.it party! Taylor, Shelbi, Morgan, Lauren and I went to Capital Grille for dinner beforehand. We then headed to Sixty Five Hundred for the party. They had huge light and wall installations, drinks aplenty and some BIG bloggers – talking Hello Fashion Blog big. Pretty starstruck to be honest! We had so much fun dancing and taking photos!
- Be YOU! I wasn’t in a sorority in college, so this was the most amount of women I’ve been around in a long, long time. It can be intimidating! All of them are boss babes who are doing AMAZING in their own businesses! Not to mention there are major national and international retailers eager to meet with you. It can be easy to sit back and let others network around you. But don’t let yourself do that! Put yourself out there, show everyone what you bring to the table and lean in. You’ll be surprised at how nice & welcoming everyone is!
- Come prepared with a printed media kit and business cards to hand out to brands. And, if the opportunity arises, ask brands for business cards! If the opportunity doesn’t arise, make it happen. On that same note, make sure to bring outfits for brand meetings that are appropriate. You don’t need full business attire, but you also don’t want to wear a cocktail dress!
- Bring extra outfits & take advantage of nice weather to take photos! This is especially important if you’re a Northern blogger! The conference is always in April, when it’s still chilly and there are usually no leaves on the trees here. Take advantage of the pretty scenery and take photos to have back home!
- Get there early! We felt very rushed when we arrived between needing to eat, check in and get ready for the first cocktail party. If I do get invited next year, I definitely plan to get there a day early!
I hope you all found this helpful!!
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