Friday, July 12, 2013

The Internet is interesting.

So I'm watching all the people talking about all the conferences.

And it's interesting to me.

I'll tell you why.

Last year I went to BlogHer in New York City.

As you all know, New York is my home. I had to go home. And with the conference being there I was excited about the possibilities.

Post-conference I was a little let down. Don't get me wrong, I loved some parts of it.

Like the people. The people you connect with at blogging conferences are incredible. Last year at BlogHer I found myself meeting people I'd been speaking with online for some time. I found my friends. It made me happy.

I connected with some of my favorite people in the world. Some new friends, some not-as-new, and some that felt like home.

So this year BlogHer is in Chicago. Y'all know I live in NC. Chicago isn't quite a hop and a skip from here. So I won't be going. And I'm okay with that. And then I see some of my peeps talking about it and I feel a twang (yes, a twang - it's not quite a pang, as I'm still okay with not going, but it's there, so twang it is.) of sadness. Not envy, really, more like, dang, I wish I was able to see this person and meet that person and actually spend some quality time with so-and-so after meeting at Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte this past May.

And here I am, tossing around links and making it seem like I'm the conference goer. I'm the one who knows what conferences are like. But seriously, people? I'm just me. I'm just a person, a blogger, who goes when I can go and is excited about going for whatever reasons make it important to me.

BlogHer is huge. It was a little too huge for me last year because I went in with the mindset of a Type-A Parent Conference. I expected to sail around and in and out of sessions and learn and meet people and damn, it was huge. So I know many people got what they expected out of it, and I know many people were underwhelmed, or overwhelmed. And the team at BlogHer busts their humps in a huge way to get this thing going. And damn, if they don't do a kick-ass job with it. But you have to remember it might not be for you.

It's okay if you're going and you're feeling afraid. Nervous. Anxious.

You wouldn't be human if you weren't.

But I see so many people apologizing for feeling a little scared. And so many people telling them it will be fine. Myself often included sometimes. And I apologize for that. Because it WILL be fine and you WILL "survive," for lack of a less dramatic word. But it might be a lot for you to handle. You might want to go for a walk alone. Or hide out in your hotel room for a few hours to decompress.

Or you might want to skip a certain part of the Expo Hall because it's freakin' huge.

And that's okay.

You don't HAVE to do it all. You don't have to want to, even.

Just go. Be you. If you were brave enough to purchase a ticket you obviously want to be there. Enjoy it. Don't stress. And don't let yourself be disappointed. I did that a little bit and was cranky with myself for it. But I also did that for a bit at Type-A last year because after my first year it was in a different place and I was not sure what the other differences were but it felt different and I was trying to find my way. (Can I say different one more time?)

And then I got home and reflected and damn, if I didn't have an amazing time and meet some incredible people. So, yeah. Go with it. Get out of your own head. It'll be fine.

Make it what you want it to be.

Be nervous. Stressed. Anxious. But let that go when you walk up to someone you know you know and say, OMG! HEY! It's YOU!! It's ME!! And HUG. Because you'll probably be shocked at how many people you hug that weekend.

As for me? I'll be in Atlantic City with my college peeps. Catching up on years of girls' weekends I've missed. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Though I will miss meeting some of you. But hey, there's always Type-A ...


* This post is not in any way affiliated officially with either BlogHer, Bloggy Boot Camp or Type-A Parent Conference. I am simply using my own experiences to reflect on my thoughts with respect to conferences in general for bloggers. 

** I wrote this post yesterday (Thurs) but did not hit publish as I had a book review scheduled. It appears that at this time of the year there are LOADS of people posting about the conference of conferences and the like. I don't want to seem bandwagon-y, I just wanted to say what I wanted to say. If you know me, you know that and are cool with it. If you don't, no worries, it's all good. 

12 comments:

Tricia O. said...

I so wish you were going to be there. But I will definitely be hugging your neck at Type-A. :)

xoxox

Tricia O. said...

I so wish you were going to be there. But I will definitely be hugging your neck at Type-A. :)

xoxox

Ginny Marie said...

Oh, this made me feel better! I'm determined to make the most of BlogHer, even though yes, I'm terrified of going and am certain that I won't run into anyone I know!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

TBEX was big, too.

The Dose of Reality said...

I'm not going this year either. I feel that twang, too. I'd love to be there and I ADORE Chicago. :( I've never been to BlogHer. I've heard how big it is. In that respect, I'm happy I'll have Type A this year to break me in a little.

I am really REALLY doing all I can to get there in '14. I am praying it is within driving distance. (or if not, I'm praying for a good year with sponsored posts to offset costs of a flight.) --Lisa

Hanan said...

Totally agree! I'm skipping BlogHer this year, but going to Type-A as a newbie. =)

Kristen Daukas said...

The most freeing moment for me was realizing that these events are purely networking opportunities for me. I used to come out of conferences with a "I didn't learn a thing" attitude largely because I DO THIS for a living. There's not much that I haven't covered already either in my business or in my own presentations. I love going now because it's like hanging with my besties!!

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

I hear you. I feel that twang too, especially when people I actually would LOVE to meet and hang out with in real life go and take pics together... I feel so left out.

But then I remember how crowded it was. Yes, BlogHer is big. Too big. That is a major turnoff for me, so I probably won't be attending again. But the twang... it still comes sometimes.

Alison said...

I'm in Malaysia, so the chances of me attending ANY conference - is tiny.

So year round, I see people talking about conferences, meeting up etc, and I know that I will probably never be able to hug my friends.

I'm past feeling left out. It's just negative. I'm just happy to cheer on my buddies. :)

Nicole @MTDLBlog said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post. Each conference has it's merits and elements they can improve from BBC to Type A to Blogher. What I find is if I go with the expectation that I will do the above, it will be great no matter what. Loved this post really and truly. So glad that Kelby shared it!

See you at Type A this year!

alison abernathy said...

Love your blog! Come post some on our social network - thesouthernc.com. Great spot for southern bloggers to mix and mingle on our virtual front porch!

Britton said...

I soooo want to go to a blogger conference. I probably will next year, I just don't know which one I want to go to! I think BlogHer will be well to overwhelming for me so I may just attend a mini one like BBC. Stopping in (late) from Sharefest.

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