I just experienced my first Bloggy Con blogger conference. I had never been to a blogger conference before and didn’t fully know what to expect. I did notice the community started months before the conference began on facebook. Those relationships were given the opportunity to form new life in the flesh.
The information that I learned was super valuable and has given me ALOT of homework to do upon arriving home.
I would also say the networking (prospect friend making ) was just as crucial.
The culture of this conference really felt like something special. The speakers were approachable and very down to earth. Many of them mingled amoung the attendees so well that you didn’t even know they were a keynote until moments before they took the podium.
I have been in conferences of other fields where you did not have access, or the speakers did not make themselves accesibe to the people who were attending.
I was so impressed by how our speakers shared information freely. They wanted to help others and share their knowledge (the valuable intel that people usually want to keep to themselves) vs. viewing it as something that could be a threat to their brand down the line.
So here are some things that I think that any one can take away from my experience.
Leaders are Learners
All of the speakers at our conference were right with us taking notes and learning from each other about new ways to do things. The danger is to ever think we’ve already arrived. The spirit of humility began with our conference founder Tiffany Noth. I honestly would have never guessed she was the founder because she blended amongst us and faded into the background. She’s not an extrovert but she is super talented and had every right to let everyone know how awesome she is. Her attitude trickled down to everyone around her. Tiffany and Sherry of City chic on a farm were the heart and soul of the conference.
Put yourself out there
You just need 3 seconds of bravery.
This applies to whatever you are intimidated to do.
Show up. Introduce your self and ask about the other person.
It’s scary and awkward and everyone might not like you and …..that’s ok.
I noticed that I connected with some people better than others during 3 day long introductions. If you didn’t really connect, don’t be offended. Just move on and stay friendly and approachable. You never know what obstacles the other person has had to overcome to be at that moment with you.
You’re not in high school anymore. Don’t judge a book by their cover.
I would have missed out on some amazing new friendships if I had only approached people who seemed exactly like me. Diversity is good and adds to your life. The first few attendees that I met ended up being greater friends by the end of the conference. I would have missed out if I had not challenged myself to try to meet and connect with as many people as possible. There is a pearl in each person you meet. You just need to discover what it is that makes them shine.
(Angela from Mom spot.com, Ashley from Teachable Mommy, and Erin from A bird and a Bean)
You can experience kairos time.
Kairos (??????) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). (wikipedia)
I have encountered kairos time on many retreats in the past. This is when you have only known a person or persons for a short period of time and yet you feel like you have known them forever. Leaving room in your life and your heart to embrace new friendships will greatly enrich your life. You never know if a person is brought into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime. When you are given these time limited opportunities be authentic. Your relationships don’t have to end with the conference or event.
(like my new friends Cindy, Emily from Dirt and Pearls and Christina from The Land Gang Loves.)
I took a brewery tour after the conference with an attendee that I had met just in passing the first night. (Andi from “Make it Take it”) I was looking for a person who could join me on the tour when I found out my dad couldn’t make it. Little did I know that she would introduce me to someone that I had been wanting to meet, who just happened to be eating near where our tour began. That person also invited me to join a group of media on another tour that evening.
My new attendee buddy and I shared an unforgettable experience of almost getting left in the cave when we tried to take a conference speaker’s advice to make more youtube videos. We also met an interesting character named Jimmy who had a switchblade. ( that’s another story in itself) That Brewery tour with her resulted in friendship that turned a 5 minute intro into a new 8 hour new friend.
Competition takes, Community adds
The culture of this conference was really encouraging and cultivated what each individual added to the experience. Our human nature is to be insecure and wonder if we are replaceable and if what we do, what we are, is enough.
When we chose to celebrate community, we all benefit because everyone is unique and no one is replaceable or an imitation of someone else. There were several bloggers with a similar nitch. They still were all so different because of their personalities and unique life experience that make them who they are and what they bring to the table. If you try to project to be something your not, you will be striving and struggling and those whose approval you were seeking will lose interest.
As we help each other, we all win. I met someone at the conference who was a perfect connection for my friend and I knew I had to introduce them. There was no benefit for me to go out of my way to hunt down the person for her to connect with. I feel that if you seek to help others succeed, that there will be opportunities given by others to you too. What you sow, you will reap.
(Jacqueline Wilson is taking steps to change the blogging atmosphere of how women treat each other with her support and network site Project Purse Club.)
Do you well
Whatever you do, be you in the process. You were uniquely created for a reason with special gifts, talents and passions.
Don’t settle. Dream Big.
I loved this quote from our Friday night session.
“Here’s a salute to a long life: goodness that outlives the the grave, love that outlasts the final breath. May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life”
Be the best YOU that YOU can be!
Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens.