Chicago Workshop Recap: October 14-16, 2016

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We flew to Chicago on October 14-16th for our branding workshop! Hear from two of our students who work in the dental industry & how the workshop helped them!

We always say our branding workshops are for everyone and we really mean that. Take it from Dr. Jessica Emery, owner of Sugar Fix Dental and Dental Soiree, and Lauri Carter, Jessica’s Executive Assistant. People in the dental industry might be the last people you think of when it comes to attending a branding workshop, but that is the beauty of branding—the content is truly applicable in any industry. See our Chicago Workshop on October 14-16 through their eyes!

Day One

We have been planning to attend this event for months, so we really couldn’t wait to get there! We absolutely LOVE the Fulton Market area, so we were especially excited to see what Morgan’s on Fulton looked like. What an AWESOME space! The Bloguettes workshop was located in a large studio with loads of windows to bring in tons of natural light. There was plenty of workspace where we could spread out, stay connected, and fully charged (as they provided ample power strips). Speaking of the table…they were gorgeously appointed with gorgeous floral arrangements from the incredibly talented Pollen. There were arrangements throughout the entire space, bringing nature to our indoor setting.

Each student received a reusable water tumbler (which we now keep at our desks at work!). Pens, notepads, and even the cutest t-shirts and tote bags were also there for us to keep! Day One was all about blogging. We went over the first steps of personalizing our brand, the best platforms to create a blog on, and all the tech that goes into buying domains, hiring developers, and using website themes.

In between Sakura and Lorena filling our brains, we filled up on gigantic wraps and refreshing salads catered by Left Coast. Sweet desserts were provided by Elysia Root Cakes. A table full of yummy macarons, cookies, scrumptious red velvet cupcakes, and enormous bars and treats were ours for the taking!

  • The perfect workshop venue at Morgan's on Fulton
  • Rustic-themed floral arrangements by the talented Pollen
  • The greenest of green salads & wraps provided by Left Coast
  • Left Coast, best coast (for lunch)
  • Desserts by Elysia Root Cakes
  • Pastel colored macarons, cookies, & cupcakes
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What We Took Away

Lauri: Day One touched on branding, which I found incredibly interesting because of this new company (Dental Soiree) that Dr. Emery has formed. We will, in turn, be helping other dentists refresh their brands, so I found this incredibly helpful. The girls then discussed blogging, which is very near & dear to my heart. Hearing statistics as to WHY blogging is so important only solidified my efforts in blogging for Sugar Fix Dental Loft. It’s also information that I will share with our Dental Soiree clients as well.

Jessica: This was my third time attending a Bloguettes workshop, so obviously I feel everything presented is very valuable information! Because there is such good content, I paid for three of my team members to participate in this workshop. I felt I had a pretty good handle on marketing, branding, and SEO. I was quite intrigued to learn more about optimizing your SEO rankings by changing the alternative text & meta descriptions in your photos. I also was interested in learning about repurposing old content. In dentistry, it’s not always easy to come up with brand new information. My old content is full of helpful information so I’m glad to know I can still use it!

Day Two

We thought our brains & bellies were full after Day One, but Day Two left us even more ‘full’ than the previous day. Sakura and Lorena covered all of the social media platforms and went over the good, the bad, and the ugly of each. They showed us examples of what works and what doesn’t (and why it doesn’t, which we found very helpful). Lunch was provided by Goddess and Grocer and we got to choose from delicious sandwiches and salads. By the end of Day Two, we felt VERY confident in our newfound abilities & knowledge to really create & push out some amazing content.

What We Took Away

Lauri: Instagram is one area I do not feel particularly competent in, but the girls talked through all the details of it. They taught everything from your Instagram bio, to arranging your grid, to finding your editing style. Now I definitely feel more confident using it! I was also happy to learn about VSCO & Lightroom because I knew they would be extremely helpful to me.

Jessica: I basically taught myself how to use Snapchat, but it was very helpful to learn some of the facts behind the significance of its use in social media. I can now relay that information to my clients as well. I also really enjoyed using VSCO & Lightroom. Hearing about Instagram Stories and how to use it to my business’ advantage was interesting as its the newest addition to Instagram.

  • Our amazing group of students
  • Listening to advice & stories from other students
  • Deep into the social media discussion
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Day Three

Sadly, our final day with Bloguettes was upon us. Day Three was dedicated to figuring out the incredible world of photography through Photoshop and Lightroom! We were especially looking forward to this day, so we were ready to absorb as much as possible. Bloguettes had sent a checklist of things to do beforehand (downloading a free trial of Photoshop for example) so we were fully prepared for the day. Sakura and Lorena went over the basics in the morning (tools, definitions…etc) and then we broke for lunch. The lunch was just as fantastic as the days prior. Goddess and Grocer created several different salads for us to fill up on, including a colorful fruit tray.

What We Took Away

Lauri: I had ZERO experience with Photoshop so I REALLY wanted to learn a lot! Practical knowledge of editing pictures was very helpful, as was learning how to add graphics & text to our images. I so appreciated the whole day of learning a technique and practicing on our own. I was grateful the Bloguettes girls constantly walked around and helped us without making us feel stupid. This is something I will definitely need more time with, but we got each lesson downloaded onto a zip drive allowing me to safely practice with those images!

Jessica: Day Three was the best! It was so loaded with really useful & practical information. Even though I previously learned how to use Photoshop, I was happy to have the additional practice to really hone in on my skills.

  • The gorgeous Goddess and Grocer lunch spread
  • Assortment of tasty wraps
  • Fuel for Photoshop day
  • Learning editing techniques from Sakura
  • Putting the Photoshop lessons into practice
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Overall Thoughts

The Bloguettes girls were always available to chat about our specific questions no matter what the topic was. They were very forthcoming with all their resources and suggestions. It was nice to hear advice from people who had test tried it all and gave us the things that worked best for them. It’s easy to see Lorena and Sakura are very knowledgeable and passionate about what they are teaching. It’s impossible not to be affected by this! The thing we loved the most was the fact that they really took the time to LISTEN to our specific questions, then helped us establish practical solutions. They didn’t just give a one-size-fits-all answer, they really gave thoughtful responses to each of our individual issues.