Sweat Pink BlogFest at IDEA World (Event Recap)

This past week has been one of the most amazing weeks of my life. No exaggeration. I’m so glad I decided to join my Sweat Pink sisters in Anaheim, California for Sweat PinkΒ BlogFest: a conference for health & fitness bloggers put on by Fit Approach and IDEA Health & Fitness Association! Not only that, but we got access to the full IDEA World Fitness ConventionΒ (for fitness professionals). Mike joined me in Anaheim since his aunt & uncle live there, and they so graciously allowed us to stay with them. I absolutely loved meeting them & we’ve already decided that we’ll be coming back hopefully once a year.

This is going to be a LONG post (I don’t even know where to begin!!) but I am separating the conference aspect of our trip from the other California adventures we had, so you’ll see another post all about that soon! Anyways, here’s how the conference went…

We arrived the day before Sweat Pink BlogFest began so we could get settled & of course spend some extra time with Mike’s family since I was going to be at the conference the majority of the time. I got to check-in at the convention center and get my swag bag early, too! Oh – and if you’re following me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably saw me raving about my amazing new bag I got just for this trip (yes I’m obsessed/in love).

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Thank you Marshall’s for this amazing #fabfound deal – saved over $200 on this Coach bag set!
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We were welcomed to Cali with gorgeous views & palm trees. No complaints πŸ™‚

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My first swag bag! Yes, there were many more throughout the weekend. πŸ™‚

Thursday was the start of Sweat Pink BlogFest so I was up and at ’em early (though I was on Ohio time so it felt like 10AM haha). However, I didn’t get to attend the first session which was yoga since we had a bit of a commute to downtown Anaheim. I was excited to meet up with Lyndsay (The Balanced Brunette) for the conference! We’ve become such great friends over the last year after bonding over fitness & blogging. This conference was the perfect way to spend time together, too! My day started off with the kickoff event hosted by Lorna Jane Activewear (and Lorna Jane Clarkson herself… you may remember me talking about her before!) and Reebok. We were treated to free swag from both companies, too! I really enjoyed hearing about Reebok’s rebrand to focus more on overall fitness instead of a focus on athletes, especially as a marketer myself. Fitness is for everyone!

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Thank you Lorna Jane for the adorable inspirational tanks!
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Me being so excited to be at Sweat Pink BlogFest!

Afterwards, Jamie and Alyse (the founders of Sweat Pink/Fit Approach) came out to welcome us all to Sweat Pink BlogFest! They are such inspirational ladies – and SO much fun to be around. It was great to finally meet them in person. Our first lecture session was all about Meal Prepping & How to Blog About It, presented by Laura Klein from Organic Authority. I’m not primarily a food blogger, so I certainly learned a lot that I didn’t know! I’m excited to implement the tips I learned when I do blog about recipes and such.

I met Christiana (from Spilling Coffee n Dropping Things) who drove Lyndsay to Anaheim, and we all got some pictures with the Sweat Pink BlogFest photo backdrop:

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sweat-pink-blogfest-fitionista-fashion-outfitMy first day outfit was my Healthy Is Happy tank by Blogilates with my awesome purple patterned capris from AERO NOW / Live Love Dream that I got from my partnership with Aeropostale’s relaunch. I was so excited to wear that tank top the first day since, you know, it’s the name of my blog!!! πŸ™‚

Next up on the schedule was the IDEA World opening ceremonies… however Mike was meeting up with me for lunch so Lyndsay, Christiana and IΒ decided to skip that and go explore around SoCal. I heard the speakers were amazing though! Ironically, we went to lunch at In-N-Out (I know what you’re thinking… going to a fitness conference then going to In-N-Out?!?! Hear me out.). It was my first time having it, and you really can’t come to California and not have it (especially if you never have before), so it was kind of a must-do on our list. I don’t have any regrets – it was amazing πŸ™‚

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sweat-pink-blogfest-huntington-beach-californiaAfter In-N-Out, we went to Huntington Beach, walked along the beach & talked. The weather was perfect (of course) and the views were spectacular. This trip made me fall in love with Southern California.

After our lunch break, we had some more awesome sessions including a panel of Kelly Olexa (from FitFluential), Tracy Hollywood (from FleishmanHillard), and Whitney English (from To Live and Diet in LA) all discussing “How to Approach Brands & Sell Yourself”. I definitely learned a lot from these inspiring ladies about working with brands! I didn’t get very good photos from any of the sessions because we were sitting pretty far back but I was taking notes like crazy! Some of my biggest takeaways from the panel are: be yourself / be authentic, develop a relationship with brands & do something different to set yourself apart, don’t be afraid to say no either though, and lastly: brands want to sell products, so how can you help them do that?Β 

We had another session about Blog Design with the talented Rita Berry from The Blog Genie – whom I admire so much! I could probably write a whole post about the things she talked about… but really her website is invaluable if you want to improve your blog so I highly recommend taking a look. We had another break which I used to go check out the IDEA World Expo. There were so many amazing companies with booths there… I probably could’ve spent the entire 4 days just at the expo looking at products and talking to cool business owners… so much fun! I’m going to do a separate post on all the SWAG I got because there’s just so much! I also stopped by the Sweat Pink booth and got a group shot with some of the lovely Sweat Pink ladies!

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Love this group <3

We capped off the evening with a workout… it was originally supposed to be P90X with Tony Horton but he had an unexpected death in the family (we all sent our thoughts & prayers his way), but I was delighted that Chalene Johnson would be filling in to teach us PiYo! I recently got the at-home version of PiYo and I am loving it, and I have never done a Beachbody program with one of the celebrity trainers so this was a dream come true! I even got to MEET HER!! I fangirled a bit… haha!

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Me being absolutely ecstatic to do PiYo with the one & only Chalene Johnson!
I packed my PiYo tank top specifically to wear to the workout!
I packed my PiYo tank top specifically to wear to the workout!
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Post-PiYo picture with Chalene!!! (We’re BFFs now obviously… hahaha) Seriously though, dream come true!

We all also got a group picture with Chalene (who I was sitting right next to). It was SO MUCH FUN!
Okay I’m done fangirling haha πŸ™‚

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I also got a post-PiYo picture with these 2 lovely ladies! Jill Conyers and FitMamaLove <3
I also got a post-PiYo picture with these 2 lovely ladies! Jill Conyers and FitMamaLove <3

The final event of the night was the Sweat Pink BlogFest Networking Happy Hour, which started off with more free swag. I was blown away by how awesome the sponsors were! I had to leave the networking party early though because Mike & his family made dinner reservations for us! So sweet! {I’ll talk more about how I spent my evenings after the conference in my next post}

Can you believe all of that was just DAY 1 of Sweat Pink BlogFest?!
Seriously, it only gets better, too!

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Day 2 technically started out with a bootcamp but I wasn’t able to make it out for that. I got to the conference center just in time for Blogilates/Cassey Ho’s session and was SO excited to hear her speak. I’ve been following her blog & workouts for quite a while now and she’s just such an inspiration. She talked about how to turn your blog into a money-making brand, which she obviously has successfully done. After that, we had a keynote with… JILLIAN MICHAELS!!! There were quite a few people who said they originally weren’t big fans of Jillian but that her keynote really changed their minds about her. I on the other hand actually got to see Jillian speak in Cleveland a while back on her Maximize Your Life tour, and I just really enjoyed it & think she’s an amazing lady! It was really awesome to get to see her speak again, and she had so many inspiring things to say. My biggest takeaway from her session is about passion.
This quote pretty much sums it up:

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Jillian talked a lot about how when you are passionate about the work you do, that is your purpose in life. I’m all about that! She also talked about being positive and believing in ourselves… Why not us? Why can’t we make _______ happen? Etc. Her keynote left us all with a #girlcrush.

During the tweet break following Jillian’s keynote, I got to meet the lovely Jessica Wooldridge and we chatted about blogging, social media, & more.

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There were more sessions about blogging & the knitty gritty details of turning it into a business, with speakers such as Katy Widrick (who is another inspiration of mine!), Ashley Long, Jessica Mishra, Fitnessista, PB Fingers, Run Eat Repeat, and so much more! I came home with so much information to mull over. Which of course comes with new goals & things to accomplish to make my blog even better! It’s so exciting to go to a conference and learn, meet new people, and grow/dream/aspire… I highly recommend it & am already planning on attending again next year.

We got to learn about Under Armour Women’s new campaign: I Will What I Want – which is so inspiring! You may have seen their recent commercial that’s making waves in the advertising industry:

We got to learn about the behind-the-scenes of the campaign and the meaning behind it, and we also got to hear from Shauna Harrison, who is an incredible lady! I first heard about her through CHAARG and was so excited when I realized she’d be at Sweat Pink BlogFest. I loved hearing her story & was so excited to get a picture with her. We threw up some CHAARG bolts as well πŸ™‚

Are you #inCHAARG?
Are you #inCHAARG?

After that, we got to do some Strala yoga with Tara Stiles! I’ve never done her style of yoga before so it was definitely different for me, but I enjoyed it (even if I was just observing at some points). I also got to meet Tara the following day after attending her Transformation Keynote. She’s such a goofy person – I loved it!

The next 2 days after Sweat Pink BlogFest was over, we got access to the IDEA World Fitness Convention’s sessions for fitness professionals. I got to hear from Amanda Vogel about fitness writing and spent a lot of time exploring the Expo hall as well. I stopped by Blogilates’ booth and was lucky to find her actually there! We snapped a picture & I told her a little bit about my blog and how I immediately purchased her Healthy Is Happy tank top once I saw it. It was so much fun! She invited me to take her POP Pilates class that was happening at the NAFC booth. It was a blast (and totally kicked my butt!).

That about recaps my whole Sweat Pink BlogFest & IDEA World Fitness Convention experience (minus talking about my swag & my other SoCal adventures, which will be coming soon!)… thanks so much for taking the time to read this LONG post! I am still in awe over how amazing my trip was. If you get the opportunity to attend next year, I can’t recommend it enough! I have to give a huge thank you to Jamie & Alyse from Sweat Pink for putting this together, Kelli from IDEA World for her part in putting it together, and all of the amazing sponsors! And of course to all the bloggers who attended – it was so great to meet those of you that I did and can’t wait to check out everyone’s blogs! I will never forget how amazing this experience was and I’m so glad I got to experience it with such an incredible group of people! <3

Lastly, I’d like to once again thank JakPrints for providing me with fresh business cards to hand out at the conference. Please go check them out at www.jakprints.com if you need any kind of printing done – they are an amazing local Cleveland company with great products & even better service! (Disclosure: JakPrints provided me with 100 business cards in exchange for mentioning them on my blog and on social media. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.)

Have you ever been to a fitness and/or blogging conference?Β 

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