Creative Business Hello Partnerships Pip-Life

:: ProBlogger, Nice Notes & Overwhelm

September 1, 2014


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?

gold coast


I got to hang out with faves like Edenland, Checks & Spots, Style & Shenanigans, VeggieMama, Amber (and even more ace types!) as the sessions played out.

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?

x Pip





  • Reply Robyna August 11, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    I LOVE your notes – I hope mine look as pretty. I have a nice new notebook for the job. I am so sorry that you aren’t there this year though. Hopefully you will have another excuse to visit QLD soon.

  • Reply Amber Melody September 11, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Ohhhhh, I totally fit into the Introverted-Extrovert category Pip!

    I’m totally NOT an introvert IN.MY.HEAD – but I am when it comes to actual-factual reality. If only people could see how interesting and fabulous we really were without any of us having to utter a single word aloud – Oh, hang on… they can! It’s called “being a blogger” 😉 THANK GOD. I did however try really hard at ProBlogger to work past my nerves and just chat to people. But the overwhelm was big too.

    Anywayyyy, what I really wanted to say here is that I LOVED getting to see you, ever-too-briefly as it was, and that I can’t believe you included lil’ old me in your post { #lovedup } and that I think you’re ACE.

    Here’s to all of us who are facing our vulnerabilities and moving past our awkwardness-es and remembering to take time out for room service { I totally didn’t – what was I thinking?!! }

    Bali hugs to you, you lucky thing!
    Amber. XOXO

  • Reply Sonia Life Love Hiccups September 8, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    YOU were one of my highlights Pip because you were every bit as gorgeous as I always thought you would be xx

  • Reply Laura September 8, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Nice notes! What a great idea! 🙂

  • Reply Jo September 3, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Hi Pip

    It was a pleasure to have met you at PB. I am an extravert and I found at times the whole social thing overwhelming, so many big personalities and so many wonderful small personalities too. Apart from all the amazing workshops and guest speakers the highlight for me was the ride to the airport and the return home flight home – I met this really cool chick who wouldn’t shut up from the moment we met when I offered her a ride to the airport to the moment our flight landed in Melbourne and bless her, she thanked me for not being a dickhead! The pleasure was all mine. xx

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes September 4, 2014 at 6:12 AM

      Oh my GOD JO! I was so glad to meet you. I have been thinking a lot about dickheads, puppies, Simone and more. Also wondering if the man ever found his ring. So happy to have spent time with you – see, we may never have met if you didn’t go out on a limb! Thanks for doing that and for putting up with me. Also BRUCE! SO GOOD! xx

  • Reply Rhondajean September 3, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Hi Pip, I’ve never been to any of these blogging events so thanks for your great summation. I love meeting people who I’ve known online so I think that would be a highlight for me and all the presentations would be a bonus. Love your outfit too. I hope you recover for your Bali trip. xx

  • Reply Clare @ Checks and Spots September 3, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Gosh, it was good seeing you Pip….hopefully it’s not another year until I see your pretty moosh again! xx

  • Reply Lauren Reid September 2, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    I attended my first real ‘farshuuun’ event last week and totally let my neuroses get to me. SOOO many cliques, air-kisses, cocktails and clickety, clackety heels. Took my photos, Instagrammed a couple then promptly had a freak-out and left. Seemed like ProBlogger had a bit more diversity to it so I think that helps. And the fact that you’re there to learn as well as just be seen (right??)
    P.S. Those notes really are uber pretty x

  • Reply Maxabella September 2, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    HUGELY shy and overwhelmed (some people might not know that about me, but it know you do!) but it’s always nice to remember that no one ever feels like they are the popular ones (except Nikki and Woogsy and Beth – they gotta know, right?!). LOVELY getting a Pip squeeze. It will have to tide me over for a bit! x

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes September 2, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      Oh I didn’t know that about you! That makes me like you EVEN MORE! An introverted extrovert.. or something. I feel a bit the same!

  • Reply Veggie Mama September 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    I had such a good time! I like to float around and do my own thing, and not get caught up in all the bits. I learn so much that way!

  • Reply Priscilla September 2, 2014 at 7:43 AM

    Hi Pip! While I had some moments of jealousy thinking of all the lovely Pip peeps getting to hang out together on the Goldie, I know that had I gone, my anxiety around the crowds of people would have had me hiding in my room the whole time! Ahh well! I am, however totally pumped for our Trip with Pip next year so really hope that comes off! As for friends, I met my friend Mary Ellen in Kindergarten way back in 1973 and we have been firm friends ever since. While we have drifted through different groups over the years we are always there for each other and it is always fun when we catch up.

  • Reply The Life of Clare September 2, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    I loved everyone’s tweets and your beautiful notes!

  • Reply Vanessa September 1, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    You nailed it about the overwhelm. It was, although being my second time around, it wasn’t not quite as daunting as last year. Thank you for our cab ride too – our workshop with Gallerie B was a highlight of the weekend and I appreciated all your generous wisdom, encouragement and all round loveliness. Cocktails and craft was fun too! xxx

  • Reply Zanni Louise September 1, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    I love your sum up. And you so hit the nail on the head. You were very sweet to me, and I enjoyed meeting you in the flesh. You get to say hi to so so many people, and have real conversations with so few, but that’s because there are more than 500 people in the room you kind of know but don’t know. I am glad you took some time out to recoup! x

    • Reply Amber Melody September 11, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Thank you for pointing me in the direction of this post Zanni. You were right! Can hardly believe that I got a mention in your post-ProBlogger posts Pip 🙂 #crazydays <3

  • Reply Reannon @shewhorambles September 1, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    I’m a super chatty person but I just KNOW I’d get all shy & awkward around my super faves at a blogging conference.
    It all sounds so fun but a little overwhelming.
    I read today that there might be something happening in Perth next year? That’s a bit exciting 🙂

  • Reply Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky September 1, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    So lovely to see you again at this years conference. I think the only chat we had was at the airport, but still very nice! Last year I was one of those newbs, quite awkward and not sure where I fit. I had a couple of new friends there, but we were still finding our feet with each other. This year I had a full posse of blog buddies and that gave me the confidence to say HI to everyone else that I sat next to or saw looking lonely. I think PBevent has a really warm feel, whether you’re new or not, I have loved it both times.

  • Reply Vicki | Style On V September 1, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    I am certainly the shy type bur really feel as though I would have comfortable with so many of the fabulous around Australia. Love your work Pip. You are an inspiration. V x

  • Reply Sarah | Sarah's Heart Writes September 1, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Oh my goodness, I so feel shy at conferences and big events. But I try to look at it from the point of view that what I learn outstrips my overwhelming desire to slink away. You did well judging by the photos and your notes were really great, especially for those of us who couldn’t make it. Next year, and I will do my best not to sling away 🙂

  • Reply Bianca September 1, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Thanks for the post Pip. I have ProBlogger on my list for next year and I know that I’ll feel the way you described… a bit lost but I’ll put my brave shoes on and will mingle and hopefully make friends 🙂

  • Reply Annette September 1, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Pip, you’ve captured it so well! It was overwhelming, and it was ace too. So many people – so many. Lovely

  • Reply Sam September 1, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Great tips Pip!
    I get some serious knots in my tummy at events like that from worrying that either I won’t be liked or fit in. Like you said, I try and let other peoples reactions wash over me and as soon as I find someone who seems to be struggling like me I try and make friends with them!
    It’s so easy to forget that the cliquey and famous types are people too and probably still experience those emotions as well. I’m going to start assuming that everyone is just trying their best from now on and make sure I smile more 🙂

  • Reply Michelle September 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    You got that so right Pip. I was really scared and nervous and thought what if I don’t fit in and it was all a bit unfounded. I met some really lovely people in the gluten/dairy-free vegan food line and sat beside a beautiful young lady in one session who emailed me to tell me how nice she thinks my blog is. Awwwww. I was not very good at the networking stuff, when it came to the social events though and that’s fine. I absolutely adored my BWP mates and seeing you there when I thought you had left was the best surprise ever. Thank you for the lovely, pretty notes-mine are a scrawly mess.

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