In August I attended the 2014 ProBlogger Conference at the QT Hotel, Gold Coast. This event brings bloggers together for 2 days of fun, learning and inspiration, not to mention the meeting of new friends and drinking copious amounts of wine with said new friends!!
**NOTE: This blog post will contain some serious “Blogging” name dropping because….well….all the big names WERE there!
I was completely out of my comfort zone. I mean, I love people and I really love meeting new people but this took it to a whole new level. I didn’t know a single person. Well not in real life anyway. I was definitely cyber friends with quite a few and felt like I knew many of them like best friends, but didn’t ACTUALLY know anyone. It was a very strange feeling. I felt like a complete and utter stalker and was too scared to actually introduce myself to these so called “friends” half the time. God Chards….get a grip, there were plenty of other stalkers in the building, in fact we were all pretty much stalkers.
I am comfortable meeting new people, but 500 new people, nearly all in the one spot for a conference proved to be a little too much for this raving extrovert.
I slummed it on the train from Brisbane to the Gold Coast spending most of the trip looking for the first class carriage with the bar on board. I didn’t find it, so just found myself in the main carriage with a bunch of commoners and some weirdo’s speaking really loudly on their mobile phone for everyone to hear, even though I was in the “Quiet” carriage!!! It reminded me of why I left Sydney all those years ago. Thank god I had an episode of Sex and the City to watch on my iPad so I could drown out the weirdo’s!!! All this little bush girl kept thinking was “we’re not in Kansas anymore To To”.
Once I arrived at the QT GOLD COAST my up tight attitude changed. I felt quite at ease. This hotel is absolutely amazing. Upon walking through the breezy large glass doors you are greeted by a lovely lady who offers you a fresh lemonade in one of those cute little bottles with a stripy straw, fresh from the Lemonade and Soda stand. When you look to the right you see the cute little concierge men in their khaki pants, white shirts with red braces and white shoes, so cool. A bright open planned foyer, with huge glass windows, a coffee shop with whopping lolly bar out the front and lots of comfy lounges. Behind the reception desk stand gorgeous ladies wearing very trendy bright blue jumpsuits. Everyone is just so friendly and happy. O yes, I am going to like it here, I think to myself.
After check in I headed up to my room and the surprises continued. All the detail. From the thongs hanging in cool little string bags on bright wooden hooks, to the black post-it note with white handwriting on the bathroom mirror telling me that I can have some last minute waxing done all before happy hour if need be….. so kind of them to think of my “situation”. I thought I would pass on the waxing though and just go straight to happy hour, even though it was only 3:30pm.
See that bed – that is the comfiest bed I have EVER slept in, ohhhhhh so comfy!
I made myself at home, hung my clothes and hot footed it back down to the Sting Ray Bar for a cheeky glass of Chardy. By this time I had basically spent 2 whole days BY MYSELF. For all you introverts out there this would be heaven. But all my extroverted friends will understand when I tell you I was starting to go a little bit crazy, I needed someone to talk to. I sat down, BY MYSELF, and had a couple of Chardy’s BY MYSELF….. it was really starting to get me down. I thought I would have found friends by now – because, you know, I had been there for for a whole hour and all, ha ha ha. Everyone else seemed to know each other, I was starting to panic….what the hell was I doing…. I DON’T KNOW ANYONE!!!!
After 2 wines and no friends I went back up to my room to get ready for the evening event – more drinks at the Sting Ray Bar. Once dressed, primped and primed I once again started to panic. I thought I could do this no worries, piece of cake. But – reality check – did I mention…….I didn’t know anyone??? O well, I slapped myself and said “man up Chard’s” and off I went.
There were bloggers everywhere and they all seemed to be having such fun and seemed to all know each other…. what on earth??? Where were all of these people who said they didn’t know anyone…. where were they? So I waltzed up to the bar and just waited, and thank god it took the barman so long to serve me because it gave me a chance to find a friend. While I was standing there all I could think was “right, what the hell am I actually going to do once they give me this wine, do I just stand here like a complete dick and talk confidently to myself???” There was a lady standing to my right at the bar, I checked her out and thought “hmmmm she looks pretty cool”…. so bugger it, I asked her if she was here for the conference and then introduced myself…the rest is history…. her name was Sue and from that moment on we were buddies. I told her I didn’t know a single person and she said “that’s ok, you can sit with us”…. THANK GOD, thank you sue!!! THANK YOU. You saved me from lonely humiliation. Sue was there with her friend Merrill who was also a scream. For the next two days when ever I introduced anyone to Sue I would tell them “Sue picked me up at the bar on Thursday night when I didn’t have any friends”. Anyway, this little country girl had a great time and before long, over a few glasses of Chardy I had made new friends.
Here is a photo of the gorgeous Merril & Sue who are both from Newcastle NSW Thanks for taking me under your wings Merril & Sue, you big spunks!!!
Photo Credit: @socialmediaschool on Instagram – thanks Mezza!
A few months ago I did a Blog with Pip online course and had been chatting online with a few other Pipsters who were also going to PBEvent. Before the event they had all arranged to have dinner together on the Saturday night once the conference was over. I was a little reluctant to say yes, I mean for all I knew they may have been complete weirdo’s – like that bloke on the train. So I didn’t want to commit to anything. I met these gorgeous girls on the Thursday night at the Sting Ray Bar and as it turned out they were all FABULOUS! We had so much fun over the next few days and nights and I now consider them my good friends. My little blogging buddies.
The conference was amazing, such a great atmosphere. When each session was about to commence the “Happy” song (ok, I don’t actually know the correct name) would come on over the loud speaker and get us all in the mood. There were so many great sessions to choose from and I learnt so much from every single one that I attended.
And the food…. o my dear lord THE FOOD. It was to die for. Like nothing I have ever seen at a conference before. So so fancy and cute and trendy. Everything about the QT Hotel is cute and trendy.
This was just one of the lunch time dessert options, I don’t know what it is, by by crikey it was good. And that little tube is some sort of banana jus and yes, that is also pop corn, it was just amazing!
And what about this fruit tower, sweet mother of monkey milk…..speechless!
Miss Chardy with Kirsten from Kirsten & Co
Friday night was a cocktail party at the Helm Bar with an Ahoy theme. I chose not to go in costume, not really into fancy dress myself, but I must say, those that did dress up had lots of fun and looked fantastic. Don’t worry I still had fun in my pink top and spotty skirt!
Had a few “Fan Girl” moments with some of my favourite bloggers who in actual fact are lovely friendly human beings. We all had so much fun. And I finally got to meet Baby Mac!!!! Do you even know who she is? If you don’t, you need to get onto it toot sweet!
Look it is me with Mrs Woog!!!!
And a new favourite: Amanda from Cooker and a Looker – she doesn’t always have a parrot on her shoulder, can I just say!
And look at this one – #soniastylinghappyhour with the one and only Sonia Styling
After another full on day of conference sessions, on Saturday, we were all ready for happy hour and so there was only one thing to do – off to Sting Ray bar again for the one and only – a Japanese Slipper! But I must say, it wasn’t nearly as good as the Japanese Slippers that Mr Chardy makes. O well, beggars can’t be choosers I suppose.
After a few drinks with gorgeous new friends I decided they weren’t weirdo’s after all and that yes, I would like to join them for dinner. we enjoyed our last night together over a gorgeous meal at the Bazaar Restaurant in the QT Hotel. It was the biggest, coolest buffet you have ever seen. We are not talking Sizzler here people, oh no. This buffet had spunk. O my goodness, I have never in my life seen so much food and so many options, I didn’t know where to start. But one thing is for sure, I ended with a huge dessert with as many different sweet treats that I could fit on the plate. Yum is all I can say.
Have you ever stayed at a QT Hotel? If you haven’t, put it on your list – just SO COOL!!!!
Were you at the ProBlogger Conference? Did we meet? I had so much fun and I am already looking forward to PBEvent 2015!!