I’m really getting excited for SNAP Conference! I loved my experience last year, and I am soooo looking forward to it again this year. I know the organizers are working hard to get ready… they’re attending to every detail, both big and small, and trying to plan for every possible contingency to make it a great experience for all of us.
But there’s one thing they can’t control. You. You have a responsibility here too, and it is this:
You’re responsible for a huge chunk of your own happiness at a blogging conference.
That’s right. Your happiness is up to you.
After attending a couple of different blogging conferences, I’ve overheard other bloggers say negative things that indicated that they just don’t get it. I realized it had to do with their attitudes, rather than any fault of the conference organizers.
When we’re getting ready for this conference think about all we do to prepare: we buy our tickets, book our flights, reserve our hotel rooms, find roommates, we make packing lists and arrange for child care for our littles…
But have we prepared mentally…?
Here are 5 tips to get in the right mind-set for a blog conference.
#1 Don’t sit in a corner (literally or figuratively.)
There are some people who are the life of the party no matter where the go, and there are others who are more introverted. Different strokes for different folks. You need to be approachable, but you can’t expect that people will approach you and draw you in. Take a deep breath and talk to the person next to you.
Many bloggers have become friends in real life and only see each other once or twice a year at these conferences. It may seem like an exclusive little group, but it’s not. Do not mistake their excitement to see each other as being unwilling to make new friends. Go say hello.
#2 Start making friends before the conference even starts.
There will be twitter chats prior to SNAP.
Participate. In. Them.
Taking part in these chats can help you to get to know other bloggers, even if it’s just by twitter handle to start off with. You’ll learn what they think is a “must have” for the conference (phone chargers, business cards, comfy shoes…) you’ll learn who has been before, and you’ll just be a bit more at ease.
Most important, you will develop a rapport with other attendees that can serve as an ice breaker once you meet in person. We’re bloggers… we seldom know people’s last names. (In fact, I have already renamed you: Your first name + Your blog name = Your New Full Name.) My new full name is Vivienne from The V Spot. My last name wouldn’t help you one bit… but if we met on a twitter chat where I’m @thevspotblog, you can put a face to the handle. Does that make sense? So join in the twitter chats!
#3 People are people. No big deal.
Even if they’re famous for actually sewing their own pants, “big” bloggers are normal people. It’s all so subjective, so I’m not going to try to define what constitutes a “big” blog; however, we all have bloggers that we admire and look up to. (Even “big” bloggers have someone they look up to.)
Is there a blogger you really like and want to meet? It’s going to be your responsibility to seek them out and say hello. Some bloggers may be able to forecast home decor trends, but I guarantee you that none of them will be able to read your mind. You need to make it happen!
Say there’s a blogger that you really, really want to meet. Which do you think would be a better situation?
- a) They don’t come over and talk to you. You leave the conference thinking a little less of them (assuming that they’re unapproachable or stuck up.)
- b) You go over and say hello to them. You leave the conference thinking that they are a nice, normal person (just like you.)
Which option do you think the blogger in question hopes you choose? It’s a no brainer, peeps!
#4 Don’t get caught up in comparisons.
It’s human nature to make comparisons… just don’t let it tank your attitude. And what are you comparing, by the way? Are you comparing apples to oranges? Are you a newbie blogger and you’re comparing yourself to someone who’s been blogging for a few years? Don’t do that. It will just make you feel bad about yourself and your blog. You are great, just as you are, and blogging is a journey. Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.
The more we succeed as individuals, the more we succeed as a Craft and DIY Blogging community. It’s not a pie with just so many pieces to go around… it’s a pool we can all swim in. Support each other, celebrate each other and don’t focus on things you don’t have. As long as there is creativity, there are opportunities*. Keep doing what you do best.
(*And those opportunities will probably come as a result of getting out there and talking to people. It’s also called Networking. You should try it.)
#5 Do something that scares you.
Everyone has something they’re afraid of or nervous about (including those previously mentioned “big” bloggers.) Afraid of heights? Spiders? Those pop-open rolls of Pillsbury biscuits? (OK, maybe that one is just me.) Maybe the thought of walking up and introducing yourself to a group of strangers makes you want to pee your pants… Want to throw up at the mere thought of public speaking..?
Whatever it is, step out of your comfort zone at the conference.
The ladies of SNAP can put together all of the amazing speakers, classes, food, fun and parties that they want. It might all go off without a hitch, but if you don’t bring the right attitude and an open heart, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the experience.
Learn! Meet people! Have fun! All you need to do is give yourself permission to take on your responsibility.