If you have read my previous posts, then you are aware that I attended the second annual Show Me the Blog Social Media and Blogging Conference last weekend held at the Lumiere Hotel in St. Louis, MO. Spanned over the course of two days, the conference covered everything from the technical aspects of blogging, to effectively working with brands, to social media engagement and more. There were also experts from an array of different niches such as fashion, food, and pet blogging on hand to give insight and tips on being successful in their respective fields. In addition to the wealth of information the sessions provided, attendees were treated to a delicious lunch sponsored by Hardees, morning pastries, and swag bags that included lots of cool products. It was a great conference and it felt good to not only be able to meet bloggers from all different areas and experience levels, but to also learn ways that I can develop my own site and skills. I truly enjoyed it from beginning to end!
Prior to attending the conference I was petrified about how I would do in a crowd of people that were unfamiliar to me. While the environment and overall experience was not as intimidating as I thought that it would be, as a newbie attendee, there are several things that I realized after the conference that I could have done either better or differently. As Usher says, “These are my confessions!”
I did not get enough sleep/rest during the days of the conference.
During the two days of the conference, I got about 5 hours of sleep total. Walking into both days feeling extremely out of it, I relied heavily on the complimentary hot tea to keep me going throughout the day (I even teased that I’ll probably receive a bill for it from the conference host! ). By the time Sunday arrived, I was completely drained.
I should have practiced the art of networking.
Because of my extreme shyness, during both days of the conference I walked into the hall and sat right by the door, and I decided early on not to move around too much. I talked quite a bit to those that I knew, but the only words that I felt comfortable in saying to unfamiliar attendees were, “Good Morning” and “Good night-drive safely”—all other words attempted were mostly stumbled and fumbled! I should have taken some time to practice networking the right way prior to the conference so that my attempts at conversation would have gone more smoothly.
I wore myself out trying to type notes AND write notes at the same time
Even though I love technology, in some cases, I’m still old-school. This is especially true when it comes to note-taking. I always feel like I’m not being thorough if I don’t “write it down” (thanks English teachers!). Attending conferences going forward, I will stick to just typing the notes!
I forgot that it’s as equally important to be comfortable as it is to be stylish
I spent an ample amount of time choosing my outfits for each day of the conference, but in that process I neglected to make sure that the comfort-level of the clothing would last for the entire day (especially after lunch ). There was also an issue with the blouse I wore on the second day of the conference that, well….I’ll just keep to myself! When it comes to clothing, comfort equals confidence, and confidence is crucial when it comes to networking and meeting new people.
I wanted to share my “conference newbie” experiences in hopes that it will help those who have reservations about stepping out of their comfort zone and doing something new. Everything may not go exactly perfect, and you may even make some missteps, but if you never take a chance at all you run the risk of missing out on some great experiences and even some new connections that may turn out to be life-lasting. If you’re afraid to like I was, just go take the chance and do it—whatever it is. Trust me, everything will turn out ok!.
I am so happy that I got over my jitters and attended the conference, and I’m looking very forward to being there next year!.
Many thanks to the staff at Show Me the Blog for doing an awesome job at hosting such a memorable conference!