Mary Baum

My Take-aways from Healthy Living Summit 2012

This past weekend was really one of the best experiences that I have had in a long time. I could write a full long recap, but by now, I’m sure you have seen your fair share of what happened.

Here are a few awesome recaps by other lovely ladies that I think sum up the conference beautifully, so that you don’t have to read another recap at this point in the game.

Heather’s Cocktail Party Highlights

Ashley’s Day 1 Recap 

Meghann’s Session Overview

Meghann’s Fun Run and Exploring Recap

What I do want to share with you are the things that I got out of traveling to Boston for the weekend. Here are my take-aways from Healthy Living Summit 2012!

Don’t worry if it is your first conference

  • I’m pretty sure the most common thing that I heard from attendees was that they were nervous – it was their first conference, and they were not sure what to expect. No big deal – it was everyone’s first conference at some point in time. Take it in stride and just go with it.

Loved getting to know Heather and Amanda!

(Photo courtesy of Heather)

(Photo courtesy of Anne)

Step out of your comfort zone

  • Coming in to a room of people who you have never met before is daunting, scary, downright uncomfortable sometimes. Acknowledge that, and then do it anyway! The best part of conferences is that people signed up for it because they are interested in the topics that it surrounds. You have an instant talking point! If you came with a group of friends, be sure to reach out to others while you are there. Networking is one of the biggest benefits of a conference, so get out there and do it. I loved getting to know both Heather and Amanda over the weekend. They are such fun people!

Bring your business cards everywhere!

  • There were a few times that I accidentally left my business cards in my rooms, and I kicked myself for it later. You never know when you might want to give one out to someone, which is tends to be almost every conversation that you have! It is easy to think that you will be able to remember the catchy blog names of people who you meet, but it is just impossible. Put a stack in every bag, pair of pants, or pair of shoes that you are using! You will not be sorry ;)

Ask questions

  • The biggest benefit of being at a conference with like-minded people is that everyone wants to learn and take away key points at the conference. If you have a question during a session (or even just a conversation), ASK! There is going to be no one that thinks it is a dumb question or that will not answer it.

Come early and stay late

  • The conference is based on the sessions – without a doubt. However, if you are able to come a day or two before the fun starts, and then leave late the day after, I highly recommend it. The days before Healthy Living Summit provide “mini mingles”, which are really just opportunities for people to get together before all the action starts. They are smaller groups in a much more relaxed setting. They are located in great spots around the host city, which gives you a chance to really discover the place you are visiting a bit more. Staying late after the conference is over is also beneficial, as you can spend some more time with some of the people who you met over the weekend, and see some of the sites!

Take notes

  • The speakers really put a lot into their presentations, but they are not always readily available to post online after the conference. Take notes so that you have the key takeaways from each session. I personally preferred to tweet my way through each session. Now I have all of the notes from each session all online, and I can access it whenever I need it! If you want to see an example of what I am talking about, check out my Twitter feed, and you can see all of my notes! Be sure to jot down all of the speaker’s Twitter handles too – you can ask them questions that may come to you post conference.

Bring an extra duffel bag  – or just a big suitcase

  • If you are flying in, you are going to be taking gobs of goodies back home with you. The swag bags are out of control, and you are going to want to bring it all home, so plan on having that extra room available!

Do not use a flash when taking pictures!

  • This just so happened to be my favorite session from the weekend.  Gretchen is an amazing photographer, and has inspired me to actually learn how to use my DSLR. I have been using it for months, but sadly, I always shoot on automatic. She stressed throughout her presentation that if you learn how to correctly use your camera, you will not even need the flash. The light should be adjusted correctly to simply let enough light into the lens. I am determined to get this down.

Healthy Living Summit was everything and more that I thought it would be! Amazing job Meghann on all of the planning, and major kudos to Heather and Julie for the execution. The 3 of you all did an amazing job!! I can’t wait to go again next year!

What were your major take-aways from #HLS12?!

23 Responses

  1. Alicia
    Alicia August 22, 2012 at 8:12 am |

    Love this!! Great information. I am so glad that I brought my business cards with me everywhere! After this weekend I have camera shopping fever! I think that I will be adding a nice one to my Christmas/ birthday/ graduate school graduation wish list.. ! It was so nice to meet you this weekend!

    1. Heather
      Heather August 23, 2012 at 7:28 am |

      Nicholas has been shopping ebay for cameras since we got back to NY. That girl has power ;)

  2. MizFit
    MizFit August 22, 2012 at 8:24 am |

    This is 100% what the fitbloggin conference is to me too.

    Sadface I’ve never been to HLS.

    Yet :-)

  3. Amanda @RunToTheFinish
    Amanda @RunToTheFinish August 22, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    these are some really great tips!! I think having time before/after is so worth it. Just gives you space to breathe and take in the full experience

  4. Heather
    Heather August 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |

    it was so great to meet and get to know you this weekend! You tweeted so much, it was hilarious. I will never forget when we tried to punch through the plastic for the swag bags. bahaha.

  5. Laura
    Laura August 22, 2012 at 10:31 am |

    Glad you all had such a fantastic time! I’m looking forward to Fitloggin- can’t wait to connect with so many blogger friends IRL and soak up the sessions.

  6. Beth (Running with the Sunrise)
    Beth (Running with the Sunrise) August 22, 2012 at 10:47 am |

    Thanks so much for these conference tips! I’ve never been to a conference like HLS but I’m tempted to go to one in the future. If I do, I’m definitely coming back and rereading this post. :)

  7. Tina @ Best Body Fitness
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness August 22, 2012 at 11:27 am |

    I’m so glad you guys all had fun! Certainly looked like a great time. It felt so weird not being there.

  8. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige
    Paige @ Your Trainer Paige August 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

    Great takeaways, Mary. Sounds like everyone had so much fun :)

  9. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth August 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

    Great tips, Mary! Wish I could travel back in time with this post to last summer, as I stared into an empty suitcase before my first HLS and thought… “What have I gotten myself into?!” Very helpful!

    Really enjoyed getting to know you this weekend. :)

  10. Meghann
    Meghann August 24, 2012 at 11:29 am |

    I <3 you. That is all. :)

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