Ahhhh, BlogHer 2013. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my therapists office counting off all the reasons I should bail on the BlogHer Conference in 2010, and now here I am all back for a fourth year with endless conferences under my belt in between. Speaking even! In front of people! By myself! [Put me in your schedule for Friday at 10:30am!]
You may be wondering how a socially anxious depressive recluse has gone from quaking with fear to conference veteran in just three short years (fine whatever, three years isn’t that short, but you get where I’m going). Great news! I’m going to tell you, with the handy, dandy, BlogHer crash course.
Is It Your First Time? 1 of 10
It only hurts for a second.
I Used To Not Know Any Of These People 2 of 10
The first time I attended BlogHer, I went 100% alone. But you know what? There are 5000 other people there who are at least sort of in to the things you're in to. No matter who you are, or how uncool you feel, if you open your mouth and talk to people you WILL find your tribe.
Say hello to people who's blog/twitter handle you recognize. They probably know you too, and you'll have an instant friend.
[Photo courtesy of Mandy Morrison]
It’s About You, Not Your Clothes 3 of 10
DO NOT STRESS ABOUT YOUR WARDROBE. I changed after the daytime festivities on Day One only to find that I was uncomfortable and would have been fine in what I was wearing. Some ladies will have fabulous shoes and cocktail dresses. Some ladies will wear cargo pants and flip flops. Wear what makes you feel the most like you so you're not simultaneously self-conscious about the cellulite on the back of your thighs AND your blog-writing.
Make Time, Not Empty Promises 4 of 10
If there is someone you're really hoping to connect with (even the anonymous ones), make sure you schedule some time during the conference to grab coffee or a drink. Things get hectic fast with that much going on in one place and it's easy to spend your plane ride home counting the people you never even saw.
[Photo courtesy of Jill Krause]
Where Social Media Meets Social Anxiety 5 of 10
Everyone is freaked out. We're all antisocial and popping Xanax. It's not just you. There…doesn't that take a load off?
[Photo by Jill Krause]
Fortune Favors The Prepared 6 of 10
If you don't have business cards you're going to want them, but never fear! It's not too late! Most copy shops can do them while you wait -- they don't need to be fancy, but when you've had a great conversation with someone and they hand you their business card, you're going to want to have something to hand them back.
Seasoned Bloggers Are People Too 7 of 10
If there's someone you want to meet, go up and say hello. No matter how famous you think they are in the blogosphere, they're just a regular person in real life, and they came to this conference to meet you too. Bloggers who've been around the block a bit are usually very happy to share their experiences if you just ask them.
Swag Fever Is The Plague 8 of 10
Do not get swag fever. If you do, you'll come home a little embarrassed and wind up throwing out a lot of stuff while you try to get your bag under 50 lbs at the airport.
[Image courtesy of Tiffany Reese]
Tell People What You Want 9 of 10
If you don't, they won't know. If you do, they may be able to help you get it. It's all about the networking, baby.
[Photo by Jill Krause]
What Happens On Twitter Stays In The Library Of Congress 10 of 10
BlogHer is a business trip, but it is also a lot of fun. Try to keep yourself in check on Social Media -- If you wouldn't drunk-dial your Mom and say it, or share the photo with your kids, don't put it on the #BlogHer13 hashtag. Because no matter how much deleting you do the next day, nothing is ever really gone from the internet.
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