Note to self: Blissdom conference recap

Why do people go to conferences of any sort? I’ve come up with three main reasons:

  • To be better at something
  • To be inspired
  • To meet other people

All three were covered while I was at Blissdom, which was almost two weeks ago…I’ve been developing this post for a little while.

But anyone considering attending a conference about blogging, needs to know: you might have to be bold (Note to self: go for it school lunch girl!)
I attended this conference having met only two attendees (out of 750 people) in person. I was alone a lot. But I was never lonely.
I made it a point to constantly mingle. Looking back I realize that although I hung out with the two people I knew randomly throughout the conference, I never ate one meal with them. (Note to self: seriously?)
I talked to lots of people, not just bloggers. At lunch on the first day of the conference, I was meandering through the crowded room with my plate trying to decide where to plop down and eat. It was so a school lunch cafeteria moment! I saw an open spot at a table with some semi-famous bloggers. I avoided it since I wasn’t feeling quite that bold.
I looked around and found a spot at a table right in front of me. Two women to my right introduced themselves and said that they were PR people in kitchen design. Initially I thought to myself that they probably would have no interest in hearing about school lunch and my blog (Note to self: the universe lives to prove you wrong). They were both interested in my project, especially one of them who is in her mid-twenties, cooks and subscribes to her own CSA. We had an amazing conversation (Note to self: don’t assume anything).
I met couponing bloggers (I will be having a couponing guest blogger at some point), I met mommy bloggers, I met food bloggers, I met famous bloggers, I met famous tweeters, I met crafting bloggers, and I met food bloggers. I even gave away at least 100 “Mrs. Q” cards and on my desk I have a big stack of cards I got from others — now I need the time to go through them. It was terrific to talk to so many people (Note to self: people have always made you happy).
How do you define inspiration? I tried to use the internet to help me:
Yes, this is what all conferences should do for people
I was inspired by all of the conversations I had with people I met as well as the content of the conference. Brene Brown spoke, which blew my mind (I blogged it). I bought two of her books (one for my mom, one for me) and she was kind enough to sign mine to “Mrs. Q” (Note to self: Do that for the rest of your life. Ok, it’s decided.)
I met and talked at length to Chookooloonks. We could go out to coffee twice a week and not run out of things to discuss. The first thing I told her when I met her was “you have a beautiful voice.” She’s a magical person. And I bought her book too.
And Scott from UnMarketing. WHOA. There are no words for what he taught all of us in attendance. That guy knows social media. Does he know Twitter? Holy cannoli, does he ever! And I bought his book too. (Note to self: good thing you stayed at a cheap hotel!)
Telling people that I went to a blogging conference makes people wonder about me. But I guess they were already concerned when I ate school lunch for a year. I am learning not to worry and just to do (Note to self: don’t stop taking risks, ok?)
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11 Responses to Note to self: Blissdom conference recap

  1. hbobier February 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Great recap! I loved "geeking out about food" with you, too. 🙂

    Also, I'm with you on getting inspired. For me, it's all about what motivates action. Inspiration is great, but I need something to motivate me to do something with the inspiration. Blissdom definitely motivated me!

  2. Amanda England February 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Those are precisely the reasons I would love to go to conferences and conventions, but budget and fear keep me away. I'm prone to panic attacks in large groups of folks I don't know in any sort of social setting. I envy you that ability to be bold.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Anonymous February 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    You met Scott from Unmarketing! I love him! I know him personally from working another conference. His knowledge is amazing. As I started reading this blog, I was actually wondering if he might have been there. How funny that it seems you read my thoughts and met him and actually found it important to mention him! He is definitely a guru on all social media. Glad to see that you got to meet him and hopefully gain some knowledge from him!

  4. Rachel February 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    I loved meeting you!
    I'm so happy you met Karen, she is one of my all time favorite people.
    She really does have a beautiful voice.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself!
    I'm one of the lucky ones who got your card!! 😉

  5. So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? February 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    I count it lucky that I was one of the people that you DID sit down and eat dinner with. I enjoyed hearing about your project and have been reading the blog and discovered you have a book coming up. GO YOU!

  6. WordVixen February 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    You are saving your receipts, right? These conferences should be tax deductible because of you're blog, but they're DEFINITELY tax deductible because of your book that's coming out!

    Just making sure. 🙂

  7. WordVixen February 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Oops- your, not you're… :-/

  8. Alli Worthington February 9, 2011 at 3:44 am #

    🙂

  9. Anonymous February 9, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    This is the first time I've seen your blog! Very neat idea…I scrolled through many pages and checked out the school lunches. My kids' school (AZ) doesn't serve any of those items…well, maybe the food item itself (like pizza), but its not wrapped up in TV trays and plastic.

    That's the part that concerns me the most. Will these kids grow up assuming that food is supposed to come in a box and plastic wrap? They'll transition straight into freezer meals and pre-packaged food items…the ones with the most calories, fat, sodium, high fructose corn syrup and sugar.

    Why isn't the food fresh? Why can't they just serve a handful of carrots? Why in a pre-sealed bag? Its just weird. Not to mention SO MUCH WASTE!

    I would push to see more schools eating local, fresh foods. If that means paring down the item choices, then okay. Fresh pasta, sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes, soup…Yum! If they taste better, I doubt the kids will miss the bagel dogs and whatever weird frankenfood they were served before.

    Our school has a salad bar out every day where the kids can serve themselves a side salad or extra veggies/fruit, etc. My daughter helps herself all the time.

    My jr high had potato bar day (my fav), taco salad day, salad day, soup day…you served yourself and it was super yummy with all fresh ingredients.

    ps. I thought the idea of doing PB&J on a graham cracker was kind of fun…lol. But I'm always looking for new ways to pack a brown bag lunch for my kids. 🙂 If they had served the PB & J separately and let the kids put it on the crackers themselves with those little wooden sticks, it probably would have tasted better and been healthier!

  10. undercover caterer February 9, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    I am always excited to go to conferences, but end up a little disappointed. Don't know if it's because I don't talk to people as much as I should (dang shyness) or if they don't live up to my internal hype…sigh.

  11. Ezzy Guerrero-Languzzi February 9, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I'm not an extrovert, so going anywhere alone makes me anxious. I attended an MLK breakfast by myself last month expecting there to be only a couple hundred people and walked in late to a room with more like a thousand people sitting at rounds. Learning to push myself to be more comfortable with the unfamiliar. Congrats on making all those connections and for attending. It's always easier to look back and say, "Gee. That was no big deal. What'd I get myself all worked up over?" ; )

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