Good morning! I am currently coming to you after an incredibly inspiring weekend, with little sleep (please excuse anything that sounds like I wrote it on three hours… three cheers for red eyes!), and on a much needed refueling and blogging break layover in Chicago.
Those of you who follow LIL on social media can already gather what this post is all about. Thanks to the 2015 IDEA BlogFest and IDEA World Fitness Convention, I spent the last five days in the beautiful Los Angeles, California!
Just like last year, flying across the country and putting my faith in knowing I will arrive into the great company of fellow health and fitness bloggers was completely worth the investment.
Healthy lifestyle bloggers are an interesting breed. We take an absorbent number of pictures, won’t touch our food until there is a shareable photo captured, voluntarily work out for hours, and soak up every moment of every situation possible. It was so great to be surrounded by friends who get that, and, more than anything, to be in my element of blogging and fitness for five days!
This was my second year attending the IDEA World Fitness Convention, thanks to the push by IDEA BlogFest that kicked off the first two days. I was in the process of studying for my Certified Personal Trainer certification last year, so I was excited to join the big sea of 12,000+ fitness professionals who flew from all over the country (and world!) to attend.
The same held true for this year.
After an early and long day of travel, I arrived at the JW Marriott hotel in downtown L.A. via the SuperShuttle late Wednesday morning. I had a considerably easy ride, and would recommend this mode of safe and public transportation if you aren’t particularly in a hurry. (It’s great for a casual ride to the hotel, but you can’t really predict how long it will take to arrive to your destination with the additional stops along the way.)
We didn’t spend too much time outside of our hotel and Convention Center, so we walked the majority of our outings and used Uber whenever our walks became too far. Once I arrived Wednesday morning, I got some work done on the computer and spent the rest of the day hanging with (new and old) blogging buddies! Here are the highlights from the first day of my trip in case you missed them.
2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention & BlogFest:
IDEA BlogFest is a mini convention within the IDEA World Fitness Convention. Attendees spend the first two full days in the same conference room as a group, rather than bouncing around from session to session like the rest of the convention goers. Unlike the Fitness Convention, there is a set schedule to follow and community to build.
Our first of two days of BlogFest started Thursday morning!
We had a full day of presentations and speakers to listen to, starting bright and early at 8 a.m.
The masterminds behind the event were the awesome and super sweet founders of Sweat Pink (Fit Approach), Jamie and Alyse, who also teamed up with the very welcoming Kelli. Fun fact: Kelli’s parents started IDEA over thirty years ago!
The day took us through a series of informative sessions that were filled with tips on blogging and working in the fitness industry. I’ll be sure to share some of my favorite takeaways down the road.
Per usual, the wonderful Katy left me with plenty to do once I return home. (And she looked absolutely adorable rocking that baby bump, too!)
We had several tweet breaks to catch up on social media, network, and hear from brands on their latest products and missions. Day One was busy with sessions, and even though it didn’t necessarily call for workouts, leggings and sneakers were perfectly acceptable day wear.
(with my roomie, Ashley)
As fun and inspiring as the IDEA Opening Ceremonies are, a group of us decided to head to the lobby to get some blog work done before taking a Noon barre class over lunch instead. From what I heard, they were awesome!
I barely ever turn down an opportunity to attend a barre class, and I was excited to receive an invite to join a small group of blogging friends at the local Pure Barre.
As many barre classes that I have taken (and even taught for a year in Orlando!), I had never visited a Pure Barre. Crazy, right?
I instantly fell for the ambiance of the studio that brought me right back to my days of teaching at a similar one a few years ago. Gosh, I miss those classes! We had a great instructor named DeAnne who took us through a great class of small, intense movements.
The four of us lifted, toned, and burned a full 55 minutes before earning our post-workout photo in the lobby.
After our hour sweat session (seriously… I don’t think I have ever sweat that much in a barre class before!), we hurried back to the hotel for a quick change and restock on snacks, then arrived just in time to see the next speaker approach the stage.
Kasey had some great tips to share about about her personal success on growing an Instagram following, and again, I’ll be sure to share a portion of what I took away from the sessions in the near future.
Every so often, we had a tweet break which often took us through a mini-workout or pep talk from various companies. This one gave us a preview of the four workouts by Merrithew, and they gifted us with these portable weights to take home with us.
Last on the in-room schedule was a Lighting Round of tips, brought to us by a group of bloggers who were voted into speaking on whatever topic they pleased. Ashley did a fantastic job taking us through her personal blogging and writing tips!
After the sessions came to a close, we made a short loop through the EXPO on the way back to our hotel. We hurried to shower, freshen up, and meet our Sweat Pink family at a showcase room in the hotel for the IDEA Urban Party.
Here, all fitness professionals and attendees were invited for food, fun, and what looked like to be a pretty big dance party center floor.
We chatted with fellow bloggers and then made our way around the room while bobbing our heads to throwback 90s jams from bands like ’NSYNC and MC Hammer. People were cutting some serious rugs! 😉
While there were plenty of delicious eats to choose from, Ashley and I decided to make the short walk to join a small group of friends for dinner at Katsuya. It’s nice to be able to break off and have a couple of hours of quiet time to catch up with blends (blog friends) you don’t get to see very often!
About a quarter mile down from the hotel, we met Gina, Jess, Giselle, and Bobbi for sushi. We all split a bottle of wine along with a round of appetizers including tofu balls, shrimp, and Brussels sprout chips (<- so good!).
I ordered the Lobster Roll for my entree, which came out warm and with plenty to fill me up.
The food was very tasty, but I have to also note that we ended up waiting around an extra half hour for our checks. After a full (14 hour) day at the conference, we were all drained and ready to crawl into bed… otherwise, I’m not sure we would have noticed.
Ashley and I stopped by the lobby to say hello to a friend of mine on the way back to our room, then eagerly turned out the lights after an eventful first day!
(Day Two of BlogFest and following recaps of the IDEA World Fitness Convention will be intertwined into the next couple of weeks of regular posting.)
I just landed back to The Mitten, and am anxiously awaiting a big welcome back hug from Scott as soon as I get over there. I hope to check back in later with some snapshots from my afternoon in L.A. yesterday, but we shall see how the day goes.
Here’s hoping jet-lag doesn’t get the best of me before my appointments later this afternoon!
Disclosure: As an IDEA Inspired Advisor, my ticket to attend this conference was covered by IDEA. My travel and accommodations, however, were not sponsored. Anything I choose to share about my days at the conference is up to me. Thank you for stopping by and reading about my experience!