Blissdom 2012 just wrapped up and we have all headed home, with exploding brains; armed with renewed interest and amazing experiences. You are bound to see many posts around the blogisphere talking about how amazing Blissdom was. Here is mine, it may be a little late, but I wouldn't let you down, and if you are tired of seeing all the Blissdom posts, I apologize.
I had seen many Blissdom posts over the years, from the time I started reading blogs, and before I had started my own, and I was always amazed at how happy and bliss-y everyone came home from this conference. My curiosity was peaked, and I finally pulled the trigger and attended Blissdom 2012. It was my first blogging conference. And yes, it was amazing.
But it was also emotional and draining and scary and uplifting.
Before the conference kicked into full gear, the lovely ladies of Blissdom put together a newbie meet-up, a chance to meet other new blissdom attendees. I love they thought of this, but I was so overwhelmed by the chaos of the room that I made no connections. And I was postive I was the only one who made no connections. Walking back to my room, I choked back the tears of frustration, loneliness and fear. All I could think of was I still had 2 full days to get through.
Distraught and emotional, I took a quick shower and decided I was not going to be defeated. I got on facebook and found some girls that were heading to dinner. I am so glad I did, they were amazing girls and they helped make my Blissdom experience so positive.
I openly say, these lovely ladies got me through my weekend. We talked and laughed and then talked some more. (If I have not already apologized for talking your ears of....I am sorry).
Friday morning I woke up early, not knowing what to expect, but determined to put on a brave face and see what would come at me. I wanted to be open, I wanted to see who I would meet, and that meant that some of the time I was going at it alone. I sat by myself at a table during the Keynote speech given by Jon Acuff, and dang he did a fabulous job. He made me feel like, yes, I was a valuable part of this conference, even if I wasn't sure I should be there. He made it OK for me to go forth and be Laurie of Little Blue Chairs, even if Little Blue Chairs was not a "big" player.
My days at the conference were a blurr, sitting in sessions and checking out the sponsors. Meeting and greeting other bloggers. Then it was time to let our hair down and have some fun. Friday night was the big, girls night out. As may be able to tell the pre-party was hosted by the Lorax.
Erica and Gina were my first hugs, and here we are sporting our Lorax mustaches.
I had such big plans for the Friday night gig- We had our drink tickets, I had on my pretty new dress, and I was with my girls....
But a full day of emotion and knowledge acquisition proved to be too much. I called it an early night, and fell asleep with in minutes of my head hitting the pillow. I was exhausted.
I wish I could say I still felt confident when I woke up Saturday morning, but that wouldn't be honest. I hadn't made plans to meet any one for breakfast, I was still just winging it. Going it alone at a conference is hard. I didn't even know who was going to be there. I heard Gail of My rePurposed Life was going, and after making a quick on-line connection, she was the one person I was hoping to see. But she was elusive and by Saturday morning I just assumed I wasn't going to meet her. But there she was in line at breakfast, and she remembered me. And not only did I get to meet Gail, I also meet Rose, who I had been following off and on through my blogging years.
After breakfast, I think I finally felt comfortable, or as comfortable as I was going to get. I was enjoying myself and looking forward the final events. That night was a more casual affair, a PJ party, filled with dancing and karaoke. I had myself a blast. I even managed to win myself some furniture. Yep- furniture. My name was pulled out of a hat-box-whatever. The end result was Famous Footwear sending me the chairs and table they had used at the conference. They are currently in my garage waiting to be unwrapped. Honestly, I don't remember what they look like, but I think I can use them in my basement project. I promise to share more on this later.
That is it in a nutshell, my first blogging conference experience.
If you are reading this post and have not gone to a conference, and wondering if you should go? Conferences are not smooth sailing, but you will learn something about yourself. I say give it a try.
Please spread you bloggy love and check out some of the blogs of the awesome ladies of Blissdom.
Rose at Confessions of a Curbshopaholic
Gail at My rePurposed Life
Denise at Do You Have That in My Size
Aimee at The Plain Wife
Megan at Naturally Thrifty
Greta at Not Enough Patience and Never Enough Jewelry
Gina at Pinch This and Stretch That
Erica at Single Girl Approved
Let me know if all the Blissdom talk makes you want to attend next year.