Learning can be done in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. SJ Consulting has flipped the traditional conference for influencers and has created a retreat of learning, connecting, and yes even relaxing. I was a very appreciative attendee of SJ Consulting’s’ latest #LetsGO Retreat held at Casino Rama near Orillia, Ontario earlier this month. I want to share a little bit about my experiences.
The location was perfect! I am a little bit embarrassed to admit I never considered Casino Rama as a destination. Some friends have shared their stories about their visits but my interest was never piqued. Well, my interest has been piqued. Casino Rama makes you feel like you are worlds away while you are right in your own backyard. My very first visit, thanks to SJ Consulting and #LetsGoRama Retreat, will definitely not be my last.
The people who work at Casino Rama have a saying that goes something like “Guests are friends and friends are family.” The slogan was proven over and over again. The employees are attentive, genuine and clearly love their jobs and that makes all the difference to your Casino Rama experience.
The rooms at Casino Rama are all suites. The suites are spacious, extremely clean with a modern decor. The bathroom has a huge walk-in shower as well as a bath tub. Every suite boasts a large screen TV and fireplace. Room service is available at a reasonable cost. I miss my morning delivery of coffee carafes.
PROTIP: Call the front desk and ask for a mini fridge if you need one. If there is one available, it will be delivered quickly to your suite.
The learning was targeted, useful and relevant! I like to think of myself as a seasoned pro when it comes to blogging conferences, except for a few gaffes I shall keep to myself. I really enjoyed this un-conference feel. We had amazing speakers and panels in the mornings and the afternoon we were left to our own devices. Everything I learned in the AM had time to sink in. During my relaxing afternoons, it REALLY SUNK in. I left with so many ideas I am implementing now. Some you will notice (hopefully soon) and others are some back-end solutions making my blogging life easier.
Some main takeaways from the speakers at #LetsGoRama retreat:
- Nurture your relationships with your readers, PR and brands.
- Be true to yourself. It is ok to say no if the idea pitched to you doesn’t fit.
- The importance of a content calendar, scheduling, and general time management. Think ahead, kinda like how Costco sells snowsuits in July.
- Invest in yourself, you are worth it. Take the time to better yourself.
- Media kits are a big deal. Get one. Keep it current.
- The 411 rule. For every 4 posts, have 1 soft sell and 1 hard sell. Two will be selling
yourself: the others should be entertaining.
- Don’t try to be on every social media outlet. Pick 2 or 3 and rock them!
- “Update your About Me page! Don’t make PR companies look for your contact info. They won’t. I won’t.” – Chantel Bedward
- Buffer is one of my new favourite blogging tools.
The downtime was much appreciated. After the first morning of speakers, I was able to take advantage of Casino Rama’s Balance in Life Spa, hello pretty toes, in the afternoon. On day two I happily did laps in the salt water pool with some bloggy friends. We chatted about the speakers and their ideas and what we wanted to improve. A perfect way to allow the talks from the morning sink in. And of course, there was some casino time!! I happily left $155 richer (results may vary).
The food was incredible. Every meal was consistently full of flavour, perfectly cooked, and presented with flair. At every meal, only empty plates were sent back. Hands down the best food I have ever had at a conference and quite possibly on vacation. There are eight restaurants to choose from on location at Casino Rama. It is hard to pick my favourite but I would have to say St Germain’s Steakhouse has Instagram-worthy dinners, that taste as good as they look.
I want to thank the sponsors for helping to make #LetsGoRama retreat a success!
I want to thank the speakers for sharing your knowledge that has inspired me in many ways.
I want to thank SJ Consulting for the invitation and for putting on a successful retreat! Well done!
I left the #LetsGoRama retreat feeling…
I was invited to attend the #LetsGORama retreat free of cost. All opinions are my own. As always.