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Hello, my friends! It’s been a long time since my last post and with good reason. My husband and I are expecting our first child!! I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant and if you’re curious what the gender is, you can probably guess based on the random craving I’m having today:

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Yep, it’s a girl!

I’m told from this Ted Talk by Ina May Gaskin that Amish women normally make loaves of bread after going into birth. While I don’t plan on suddenly becoming Martha Stewart, I have been experiencing an odd cooking interest over the past week, so I’ll let you know if my cupcake recipes pan out.

Other than that, I just returned from ASAE Annual 2013 (#ASAE13) in Atlanta, Georgia where I was able to catch up with many of the association pals that I love, attend fantastic sessions, and present my session with David DeLorenzo, CIO, National League of Cities on Future Proofing Your Association’s Technology. A marvelous write up on our session by Ernie Smith is in Associations Now). I also contributed a few takeaways from my visit to the DelCor blog.

Here’s a fun photo from the Memberclicks Small Staff ShinDig at #ASAE13

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What are you celebrating this summer?

What were your favorite moments from #ASAE13?

 

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Wowser, It’s been a busy few months and my goal of blogging more is well, suffering as you can see. I’ve been a horrible blogger on my own personal site, as well as on DelCor’s, although I’m making one hell of a blog coach to the DelCor staff as our blogger competition ramps up. Whistles up!

So, in case you didn’t know, I host this little bi-weekly show for DelCor called Sweet Spot Live where I get to cover association and tech-related topics of my choice for an 30 mins to an hour every other Friday from 12:30-1:30pm ET. This Friday I just happen to be attending The Washington DC Chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association event, so it’ll be an extra little perk to share some of what I’ve learned during the morning sessions. I’ve had the opportunity to interview some outstanding guests from the National Association of County and City Health Officials  as well as Dave Coriale, my boss and the President of DelCor, on his travels to Dreamforce 12. Definitely check out the archived shows if you get a chance and join the next live show, which just happens to include a live chat too which goes great with a bagged lunch. *hint hint*

One thing I love about being a consultant is constant learning, and I recently just interviewed Vivian Zhang and Sammi Liu, organizers of the Council of Tall Buildings & Urban Habitats World Congress in Shanghai, China. Our podcast is on MCI Group’s blog if you get a chance to read the full post.  

Podcast – Council of Tall Buildings & Urban Habitats World Congress Shanghai – Part 1

 

Please share your blogging secrets with me if you got ’em! What are your tips for blogging on the run?  

Ten days into 2012 and I already feel behind.

I’ve written three blog posts on 2012 resolutions that I’ve abandoned in three separate note-taking iPad apps I’ve been trying to adopt.

But, let’s look back for a moment.

2011 was an incredible year of growth for me. I married the bearded, opinionated man of my dreams in October, spent the last year carving out a social media and digital marketing position at a national trade association, and watched from afar as an EF5 multiple-vortex tornado took out a large chunk of my hometown in May. Emotionally torn, the devastation in Joplin motivated my sister and me to partner with Events for Good in organizing our first fundraiser, Red 4 Joplin, a red tie event at DC’s Union Station to benefit tornado victims.

All in all, I can honestly say that there was absolutely nothing bland or slow moving about my life in 2011.

But what about 2012, the year of the dragon? This year seems to hold so much promise after a challenging year for much of the world, so here’s what I’m personally resolving to do:

This will be the year I blog more.

DigitalConfetti was born from my desire to share my own journey building a community manager/digital marketing role from scratch at a national trade association. So many friends from the association community stepped up to offer advice and share their knowledge with me over the past year and many did so indirectly by blogging, contributing to Associations Now, or hosting incredible tweet chats and web shows. Seriously, if I had a question, I googled it and would most often find the top three posts were from someone within the community I already knew. And of course, big thanks to my sister KiKi L’Italien for being the social media power house that she is and for always being on speed dial.

I will host and participate in tweet chats more.

I will read more fiction despite the many, many books on business and religion currently vying for my attention.

I will learn another language, even if it is Hebrew. – I’m currently going through the conversion process and haven’t been as gung ho about my weekly Hebrew study, despite my annual resolution to learn a new language.

I will visit two new countries I’ve never visited before.

I will worry less and laugh more. Risk taking is part of our job as marketers and as humans in life. Fear, failure, the negative attitudes you might encounter from your boss, colleague, or stranger – maybe it’s like that old exercise of picturing a crowd naked to get over stage fright or just remembering that most of us are self-absorbed at heart (short attention spans) – just push “publish” and get on with it. In the words of Townes Van Zandt, “To live is to fly, all low and high.”

Happy New Year, Friends!

My fellow friends and I felt so inspired by The Cocktail Party, we decided to start a DC Chapter of our own last week. We invite you to join The Cocktail Party DC Chapter on Facebook. Come post-turkey, we’ll be sipping on this Midnight Manhattan from Epicurious.

Ingredients:
– 1.5 oz cherry-infused Woodford Reserve Bourbon
– 1.5 oz cherry-infused Graham’s Six Grapes Port
– Ice cubes
To garnish: 3 spirits-soaked cherries
For the cherry-infused spirits:
– 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
– 8 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
– 8 oz Graham’s Six Grapes Port
Put 1/2 cup of cherries into each of two clean jam jars. Top one jar with bourbon and the other with port, and store them in the fridge for a week. To serve, strain the alcohol (reserving the cherries) and combine the bourbon and port in a highball glass over ice (Plonk shakes it with ice and strains into a martini glass). Garnish with the spirits-soaked fruit. Serves 1.

Follow the cause via #occupymymartiniglass

photo by Callie Koers-Pullman

Yes, my 10 months of wedding planning tasks, trials, and triumphs ended beautifully at the American Visionary Art Museum on October 16, 2011 in AVAM’s sculpture garden & barn. It’s still two weeks or so until the professional photos appear, but I am elated by the collection of videos and photos we’ve received. Oh, the power of mobile technology.

Weddings, like just about every other industry out there, are also embracing social and mobile technologies. Since I just went through the whole process myself, I thought I’d share a few tips.  From the administrative side, I’ll share the tools that my husband and I found useful:

Wedding Wire – no surprise here! The website allows you to collect guest info, create table charts, manage your budget, and export every small detail into the document (excel, pdf, etc.) of your choice. A must if you’re planning your own wedding.

Website – there are many sites out there allowing you to create your own free wedding site with their suggested templates. Easy to create one, but for design freaks, your choices are limited. I created a website using Yola.com, one of my all-time favorite website creators for folks like me with little web design skill. It gives you multiple choic

photo by Callie Koers-Pullman

es for page layouts, a plethora of widgets that are easy to add, and some really hip-looking templates. I first read about Yola.com in an issue of Entrepreneur Magazine and also host my personal portfolio site http://kyleecoffman.com there.

Mobile App— My website technically served as a mobile site for me, but I can’t help but think about the various uses of creating a mobile app with a push notification that could share your wedding program or an alert when the shuttles arrive– hello, cost savings on the printed paper front! A little ridiculous, especially if you have a large assortment of older guests or those that are less tech savvy at your event, but still fun to think about.

We also generated a QR code on the bottom corner of our save-the-date which directed guests to the website.

Geo-location – I did not create my own Foursquare space, but there were multiple check-ins at the American Visionary Art Museum on Foursquare and on Facebook.

photo by Callie Koers-Pullman

Music – A friend of mine suggested the app Wedding Songs Planner which I honestly downloaded the week before my wedding, but didn’t get a chance to try. If you’ve used it or plan to, I’d love to hear some reviews on the app or any others for that matter.

Livestream – For guests with health issues or limited budgets who aren’t able to make the grand affair, you can always livestream via UStream or another service.

Twitter – There were some great tweets from a few guests, but the bridal party was way too busy to tweet on the day of. Would’ve been great to designate a hashtag for the event though and designate a “wedding tweeter” – especially for guests wanting to explore Baltimore and offer tips to other guests throughout the weekend.

My hubbie (yes, still exploring the word here) and I embark on our honeymoon tomorrow morning. I will reserve our early-morning cab via TaxiMagic tonight (love this app & #TaxiMagicNation) and we have all of our travel info in TripIt per usual. At some point, I will write all of my wedding reviews on Wedding Wire, Yelp, Facebook, etc. to thank all of our vendors for an incredible night. But for the next week, it’s all about Mexico…

Okay, so end of Summer (at least psychologically) and post Labor Day celebrations. My own holiday included a hell of a lot of wedding invitation stuffing & mimosas. Case in point:

Acronym Soup blogger, sister, & calligrapher to the stars - KiKi L'Italien

After several trips to PaperSource and far too few mimosas, I have to admit that my family, future family, and friends are really an incredibly talented, supportive bunch. Rebekah Sasek designed our invitations and save-the-dates and spent hours cutting paper with us into the wee hours of the night. If you’re in need of a creative designer (or just want to see a really cool Teddy Roosevelt tattoo), definitely check her out! I’ll add some better photos of the full design soon.

Aside from the five week count-down, I’ve been hard at work developing mobile apps & social media campaigns for our upcoming conferences, prepping for an SEO and social media training course for my colleagues, and moved into a new office today. I’m debating if some of this Holler & Squall housed taxidermy featured on the Hollister Hovey blog would be too much for a politically charged trade association. Thoughts?

photo credits Hollister Hovey