Back in January I received an invitation to join a group of Outdoor Bloggers for an annual event called the Deneki FIBFest. The ‘FIB’ part means Fishing Industry Bloggers. So here’s what I had to ask myself before I could respond.
1) Would I like to hang out with a group of Outdoor Bloggers and
2) Would I enjoy the fly fishing aspect of the Fest-ivities.
Umm, YES on both accounts. And that’s where I was at the end of March. The FIBFest.
So why bring this trip up here on the OBN? I have a couple of reasons so stay with me….Starting with, first and foremost, it was an Outdoor Blogger get-together. For the first time (for me) I had the chance to meet several Outdoor Bloggers at once, in a group setting and see how it went.
It could be me, but when I’m reading anyone’s blog, I often wonder if they, the writer, are like ‘that’ in person. I believe when you read a persons blog long enough (in a sense) you become connected with their words and in turn you make personal impressions of the blogger. A perception if I may. So the question I’ve had was how much of a persons blog will translate offline and into face to face reality.
My FIBFest experience answered my questions. All of the guys ‘matched’ their blog persona to a T — and I considered that a great thing. I wasn’t thrown off by anyone or taken by surprise. They all seemed as genuine as their blog writings and in that regard, meeting them was like meeting up with an old friends I hadn’t seen in years. Instant ease and comfort.
Beyond the socializing and Fly Fishing (which there was a lot of both) I realized just by being there I was networking with a great group of people who all shared similar interests as myself.
Ideas, advice, perspectives, expertise, questions, curiosities (fly fishing lessons for me) and so on were shared on this trip and I came away power packed with a new network of fishing friends AND connections to the world around me I didn’t have before.
To be honest, I was nervous as I traveled alone toward the unknown factors of this trip. But once I was there, FIBFest showed me that moving beyond the online world into a face to face meeting was not only easy, it was enjoyable and enriching on a personal level. When it was time to leave, I was genuinely sad to say goodbye to everyone.
My experience has inspired me to tell every blogger I know, if you get a chance to meet up with someone you’ve connected with via the Blogging platform….I highly recommend making it happen. If you needed any additional inspiration to take that leap from online to offline, let me just say…..it also provides great blog material. Bonus!
The bloggers who attended the Deneki FIBFest:
- Rebecca Garlock – The Outdooress and The Outdoor Blogger Network
- Michael Gracie – michaelgracie.com
- Tom Larimer – Larimer Outfitters
- Kyle Perkins – Compleat Thought
- Eric Rathbun – Moldy Chum
- Bjorn Stromsness – Bonefish on the Brain
- Cameron Miller – FIBFest 2011 Photographer, Shadow River Media
On part II, I’ll be sharing some Industry insight from Andrew Bennett, of Deneki Outdoors who put this blogger event together…stay tuned.