This was my first year ever attending (and even being invited to) rewardStyle The Conference or better known as #rStheCon. You may be wondering what the heck is it and was it worth it to go? I’m spilling all the details about it in this post and will be giving you my honest opinion.
What is rewardStyle?
First off, if you’re not a blogger, you may also be wondering what is rewardStyle? It’s an affiliate monetization platform that allows influencers to link items they’re wearing or recommending and earn a small commission if a user clicks on an affiliate link and makes a purchase. In other words, it enables influencers to monetize their blogs since we put in the work of finding the items, styling them, and reviewing them for you! I’m sure you’ve heard of the LiketoKnow.it account on Instagram as well – it’s part of the rewardStyle family and allows readers to shop influencers’ Instagram posts!
What is rewardStyle The Conference?
So now that you know what rewardStyle is, let’s talk about #rStheCon. It’s an annual conference where the top 200 publishers get invited to (more about this later). It’s held in their headquartered city, Dallas, Texas. Bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers fly in from all over the world to take part in this 3-day event. The goal is to teach you more about the rewardStyle tools, how to continue monetizing and growing your platform, and network directly with brand representatives.
Who gets invited?
According to the invite, the top 200 publishers get invited to rewardStyle The Conference. Although this sounds very prestigious, this list definitely doesn’t account for the major top earning influencers like Atlantic Pacific, Song of Style, and Extra Petite. This makes me wonder what number of “top bloggers” actually get invited. Maybe 500? Because I know not everyone will purchase tickets to the conference but they do end up selling out. Either way, I was totally shocked that I was even invited in the first place. I went because I don’t know if I’d ever get invited again so I said YOLO!
rewardStyle Conference Content
rewardStyle The Conference consists of several categories:
- Main Stage Session: The first full day of the conference starts off with this three hour session where everyone attends. Topics included The State of Influence, What Brands Want Today, and Building a Cult Brand. Baxter Box, Co-Founder and CEO of rewardStyle, also talked about the company and where they’re headed.
- Classroom Sessions: When purchasing your conference ticket, you get to select 3 classes that you want to take – there are about 30 people in each class. I took the classes The Modern Collaboration: The Anatomy of Successful Brand Partnerships; SEO Essentials: Attracting the Traffic; and User Experience Upgrades: Optimizing Your Site for Conversion. I learned a few tips here and there, but overall, I thought the classes were too high level and basic. If you’ve been to the rewardStyle School Nights, the content is very similar.
- Brand Meetings: There are tons of brands that attend #rStheCon including Topshop, Express, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and Storets to name a few. You get matched with 3 brands to have direct 15 minute meetings with. During these meetings, the brands usually ask about your own brand, your blogging experiences, and past collaborations. As a result of my meeting with Asos, I will be collaborating with them on a post that I will share with you on Thursday! I’m so excited since they’re a huge brand that I’ve always wanted to work with!
- Networking Hall: This is where many brands set up booths and you can go to talk to each brand, check out their latest line, trade contacts, and of course, get some swag! Everyone got a bag full of L’Occitane goodies and now I’m hooked!
- Brand Parties: There was always a brand-hosted party during lunch and then another one in the evening. You attend these parties to network and hang out with other influencers. Typically, contacts from the brands hosting the party are also at the party. I have to admit, it was pretty intimidating going into these parties especially when you don’t know anyone. Luckily, I met Erin and Becca from Living In Yellow and absolutely loved hanging out with them all weekend! I clicked with several other girls and it’s really refreshing to have someone to talk about blogging struggles with. It’s not easy juggling a full-time job and a blog at night, but these girls definitely understand the hustle!
How to prepare for rewardStyle The Conference
Here are a few tips for preparing yourself for all of the meetings, networking, and parties at rewardStyle The Conference:
- Business cards: Have these designed, printed and ready. You’re going to especially need them during your brand meetings and at the networking hall. I even got some from other fellow influencers! The best places to get them printed are Vistaprint and Moo.
- Media kits: Wow the brands with your media kit. My rewardStyle rep recommended that I keep it to one page and don’t include your rates. Instead, highlight important information like your blog purpose, blog and social media stats, demographics, previous clients/work, and types of services you offer.
- Bring a camera: There are tons of photo ops during the conference. rewardStyle and the brands are amazing at putting together events and providing props that are totally Instagram-worthy. Be sure to bring your camera to take advantage of all the cute spots!
- Pack a portable phone charger: Like I said above, there are tons of opportunities to take photos and record for Instagram stories. You’ll be on your phone a lot and a portable phone charger was a total life saver for me!
- Outfits: Everyone is dressed to the nines at the conference. I know it’s excessive, but bring at least 3 day outfits for the conference and 3 other outfits for the theme-based evening parties.
Is rewardStyle The Conference worth attending?
So after all of this information, the burning question remains – was rewardStyle The Conference worth attending? The most valuable part about the conference is that you get face-to-face time with many brands. I feel like you can’t get this anywhere else and it’s a great way to get your own brand name out there. It was also fun to meet other influencers who are in the same industry as well as to connect with my rewardStyle account rep, who I’ve only communicated through email for a year, in person! Another advantage is that everyone that attended got approved for rewardStyle Media (their widget for ads), which means a little bit more earning potential!
There are a couple of cons as well. The conference is very expensive to attend – you pay for your own flight, hotel, and conference ticket. The education was also too basic and not advanced enough for bloggers who have been doing this for more than a year. Lastly, this could be a pro or con depending on your situation, but only a few influencers were allowed to bring their significant others to the conference or even the parties.
So to answer the question – I think rewardStyle The Conference is worth going at least once for the experience and exposure. However, I don’t think I would attend again because of the overall cost.
About the Dress
Ok, sorry, this is such a long post. But if you’re here to know about the dress, I’m so happy you made it this far! This is a Rachel Parcell dress – she is the girl behind Pink Peonies. It’s the perfect little white dress that can be worn to work, brunch, almost anything. However, it runs small and you will need to size up (I got a Small).
I wore this dress to the conference and while talking to some bloggers, Rachel Parcell herself actually came up to me and gave me a hug for wearing her dress! It was a really cool and fun moment!
Have you been to rewardStyle The Conference? I would love to hear about your experience and what you thought about it!