It’s officially been a month since the Fitness & Health Blogger’s Conference in Denver, Colorado. And as I get ready to head to Blogher in New York City, I’m thinking about all the incredible things I just experienced 30 days ago. Hell, I’m still thinking about the hectic yet gloriously fun time I spent at Hispanicize in Miami this April. Am I really about to dive into the crazy madness & excitement that is a conference again so soon? Yep. Call me insane and count me in. The next few days will be filled with recaps from the last two conferences I went to this year. I’ll be talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly. The silly and the dramatic. The sleepless nights and the constant typing on more devices than I care to admit.
1. Lack of sleep: do not for a second believe that you will be coming home rested and looking anywhere near presentable to your family and friends when they see you again. Most of them will think you were off having a mini vacay/leisurely time and will be shocked to see that you have bags under your eyes, and are either:
b. Bordering on Narcoleptic (falling asleep at a moments notice in every conceivable location)
c. Numb- from the over stimulation and only able to either carry on simple conversations in quiet/darkened rooms or spew a senseless verbal diarrhea of events because you have no energy to filter.
Maybe all of the above.
Tip: Try to avoid everyone for a few hours. They don’t need to deal with your mess until you’ve figured out what to do with it. if you can take the day off from work DO IT. Jumping back into everyday life should be done as delicately as possible.
2. Meeting your new BFFS…every 5 minutes: you’ll meet an overwhelming amount of people that you surprisingly feel very connected to. Every other person will feel like your long lost sister or brother disconnected at birth and you will make a million promises to never lose contact with each other again. The truth? If you’re lucky, maybe 3 or 4 of them will continue to stay in touch a few months later. Maybe 1 or 2 will be your amigas for life.
Tip: Try to form a twitter list of people you got really close to so that you can make sure to stay connected with them during the year. Check into the list every so often if you haven’t heard from someone in a while. Blog friends are your allies and you never know what great things you can all do together if you just work hard to stay connected. You can’t form close relationships with 100 people, but you can try to cultivate a few friendships if you put some effort into it. Aim for 10 but don’t be surprised if 5 are all you can manage to keep track of.
hungry ravenous: Wait don’t they feed you at these things? Well yes, yes they do. But it’s difficult to stay fueled for all the running around you’re doing. When you wake up early, rush around, sit for an hour 1/2 long presentation, scurry to the next one, do it again, go to an event, change, go back out again, etc. the hunger monster strikes.
Example: you may just feel the kick from your inner fat kid when you’re sitting in session number 6 of the day in between scheduled meals. Or If you’re partying, expect that there will be a ratio of 3 to 1 booze versus food. The alcohol will be flowing but the food will be light. Appetizers and other small bites are the name of the game so be prepared to stash some snacks in your purse or leave for dinner on your own afterwards.
Tip: Be prepared to take some of your food swag with you every day to fill in the void. Trust me, you’ll be glad you planned ahead.
4. Constantly Using Social Media: Yeah you probably figured there might be some of this going on, after all it is a Social Media conference. But this is beyond just writing a blog post here and there. Get your fingers ready for the dextrous assault they are about to go through. I’ve never tweeted, instagrammed, facebooked, snapped, text messaged, e-mailed, or typed more during a 72 hour period like I have at a conference. It is a never ending barrage of communicated thoughts and images across numerous platforms at the same time. You will wonder why your head isn’t literally spinning yet. The plus? You’re in a safe zone. No one will be looking at you funny when you pose for a picture or whip out your iPad to record the moment. You’ll be documenting this organized chaos with every tool at your disposal while feeling completely at home with your blogging peers.
Tip: Before you leave, Have a plan for what you want to post but schedule some back up pieces in case the wild conference leaves you tired and/or too busy to write one up live while you’re there. This will happen TRUST ME. Some of my friends did really neat picture only daily recaps that worked out well.Here is one from Katie at Hungry-Runner . I love these because they provide relevant content for readers without taking up too much time for the blogger that is still doing stuff at the conference.
5. Figuring out how to pack and take home all your swag. No lie, I’ve had to become an expert packer for all sorts of items. Yoga mat? Umm yeah, I got one of those and had the pleasure of finding out exactly what it took to cram it into my checked luggage. If you’re curious it took some tight rolling, folding, an extra pair of hands, and a little prayer to squeeze it in. So worth it, because I always remember this scene when I use it:
Tip: Bring an extra carry-on bag (one that zips or closes) folded in your checked luggage. I’ve done this twice and have been so thankful it was there to carry all non-liquid swag items with me that didn’t fit into my suitcase. For Blogher, it’s been recommended that you either check a completely empty bag or leave lots of extra room in one to fit the massive amount of free product you’ll be receiving.
Still want to go? You should!! It’s the most exhausting yet exhilarating experience you’ll ever have with your blogging peers. There is more laughter and good times than you ever could have imagined!! Some of my best memories of late have come from these adventures and I don’t regret a single one. If you still want to learn more, stick around for my recaps to get the full story. I’m going to talk about my personal experiences at Hispanicize and the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference. Stay Tuned and Cheers!!
Have you ever been to a conference? Thinking of going?
What’s your favorite part?
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