The Thing About This Being Conference #5 Is…
5 conferences. I remember the first year I started blogging in January ’10 and Blissdom was right after that. I had no idea what it all was, but watching Twitter BLOW UP about it made me feel like I really needed to go. I missed BlogHer that summer, but decided after that I was going to try to go to at least one. If nothing else, to meet all the women I’d connected with online that past year. This year I’m a community leader for Blissdom and I’m hoping that means I’ll find a lot more of you to hug.
3 years and 5 conferences later, the magic is still the same. There is always a bit of an unknown going – who will I run into? Will people know or care about who I am at all? Will I run into so and so and DIE FROM ANXIETY of finally meeting them?
The most important: What swag will I be taking home?
Of course, that isn’t the most important. (Top 5) The MOST important is getting to finally squeeze and hug and talk with the women who you’ve written, texted, Skyped, cried, and laughed with for months or years past. The chance to finally tell that blogging idol, “You are so amazing.”
And then walk away kicking yourself for being such a giant dork and obvious stalker. 😉
The sessions always take a while to really soak in with me. Months later I find myself remembering important tips or implementing crucial ideas that I was overwhelmed with at the time. My first year at BlogHer I went to everything they had. It was crazy, and I came home exhausted, cranky, and completely overwhelmed. The second conference was later that year in New York, BlogHer Writers, and it was smaller but still a bit insane.
Last year I headed to my first Blissdom and loved it. I was sick the entire time (9 weeks pregnant with the twins) and so tired I could barely move, but I like the more intimate feel of it. Then BlogHer ’12 that summer, where Rebecca and I hit the town since we couldn’t get into most of the packed out sessions, we did New York in style (aka sweaty messes) instead. Those past two were my very favorites.
So the thing about this being my fifth conference? I have really let go. I have no business cards because I go home with 90% of them anyway. I’m not coordinating outfits. I didn’t get my hair done. I don’t have an elevator pitch and I don’t plan to seek out companies to network with.
I think part of this can be chalked up to being pregnant and tired. And sure. Lazy.
There’s nothing wrong with doing all that. Just, 5 times is a lot to get all worked up over and over about things when you go home and think, “Wait, no one cared what I wore because they were all worried about how they looked…” Which is what I do and it only results in a credit card bill angrily staring me down. I want to do what I did in New York: go with comfy clothes and make memories that last forever.
So come find me. Once again I’ll be the chick in jeans with flats and my hair thrown into a ponytail unless the humidity is kind to me. I’ll be the one worried I’ll be alone at the lunch table or in the corner at a session. I might even be the one trying to book it back to my room before I hurl from baby kicks.
You never know. 🙂
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