Oh hello peaches!
It’s me. I have been to the ProBlogger conference on the Gold Coast and now I’m back. Phew. I had a really nice time, even though I was a bit sick and did not sleep due to the annoying combination of coughing and air-conditioning. Urk. NO MATTER. I did some fun stuff despite the coughy bits. Now my eyelids are heavier than Al Pacino’s and I’m trying to eat all of the healthy things and get super well for Bali next week.
But back to ProBlogger. It was ace and I had a great time. I loved Darren Rowse’s Lego-studded opening remarks, Pat Flynn’s Lego-riddled session, Brooke from Slow Your Home’s session, Lucy from The Design File’s session and Rachel Devine’s cute pop-up headshot booth.
I did a cute workshop/event with my blog’s sponsor Annie Sloan Unfolded. It was called Colourful Cocktails and we painted beads and bangles and chatted and generally had a lovely time. It was nice and relaxed and was the night before the conference proper, so everyone got to make friends ahead of time. GOOD IDEA event organisers! 🙂
I spent some time in my room watching ace tv and eating room service (so good!) I watched Dexter and America’s Next Top Model and ate M&Ms and enjoyed the quiet. Nice, right?
I also met up with a bunch of my Blog With Pip students. That made me cry a bit. They were so sweet and nice and FUNNY and were having the best time together. It made me feel really proud that I played a tiny part in helping those friendships along. It’s gotta be one of the best things about the internet, for sure.
I got to say hello to heaps of bloggers that I’ve been working with over the last couple of years. That was ace. So many people are doing amazingly great things online. I’m pretty gobsmacked at the dedication and creativity of our blogging community.Very motivating and inspiring, methinks
This year, I decided to not scrawl illegible notes in each session like a vision-impaired MD. Instead I wrote Nice Notes (so that I could share them with other bloggy types and my students.) The whole Nice Notes things was a super nice way to slow down and listen and draw out the best bits of each talk (in my opinion, anyway!) If you follow me on Instagram you can see those there.
Another good thing was that I hung out with my friend Yvonne. We met in Port Hedland when I was 13. We’ve been friends since then. Can you even imagine it? Those friends that you’ve had forever are more like family, aren’t they? We had Japanese together and breakfast together too. Twas nice, I tell you. Do you have friends like that? It’s really cool that we have ended up working in similar spheres because we get to catch up at stuff like this.
One thing I really noticed about ProBlogger (via the tweets and chatter) was that there were people who were making friends, people who were looking for friends, people who were firm friends and people who were confused by all the different friends and weren’t sure where they fitted in. I think it could be either exciting or terrifying if you were a new blogger or new to blogging conferences. Cleverly the organisers had a bunch of rad ladies who were on hand for anyone who was feeling a bit lost. Phew. But it got me wondering about how to deal with the whole FOMO//cliquey/non-cliquey/shy/not shy/famous/not famous thing that you find when a HUGE bunch of ladies get together in an environment like this.
I try to let that stuff wash over me and cherry pick the best, funner bits instead. I like to assume everyone is a bit insecure or nervous or a tiny bit overwhelmed. I think the people who aren’t are probably still worried that they won’t get to say hello to everyone they want to or should.
In short, I’m thinking everyone is kind of going ‘WOAH! This is ace! Am I doing it right?!’ at events like these. And that’s kind of good to know.
My own little neuroses at these things involves:
a) worrying that I will miss out on talking to someone nice who will then feel disappointed and hate my guts or
b) not live up to people’s expectations of me
I deal with this by:
a) taking time out (have a cup of tea! go to my room!) and regrouping
b) smiling randomly at as many people as I can
c) looking for people who are feeling a bit neurotic like me or
d) hugging people
I don’t think there’s any RIGHT way to make the most of an awesome conference, but I think that if we all realise we are in the same boat a lot of the time, wanting to make friends and have fun and be listened to and learn and trying our best, then we are off to a smashing start and whatever else happens is totally okay. I think if you make the effort to meet a few new people and keep your eye out for anyone who’s trying to catch your eye (or freaking out about wanting to catch your eye!) then you’re off to a great start.
It’s kind of like life, really. Let’s just assume we’re all just doing our best on the day, hey? (And if there are people who are being a bit too fancy/snarky for the likes of us, maybe they are having a tough day… or maybe it’s just their manner… or maybe they are just not our kind of people!)
Back in Melbourne, I woke up the next day and headed straight to Babka and then to Mario’s for brekky. There is totally no place like home, right?!
How about you? Do you ever feel a bit shy at conferences or big events?