Hey all. I’ve had SO many people express nervousness and worry at the thought that PBEVENT is going to be a ‘little bit like high school’ that I thought it was worth saying something here.
It really resonated with me. Last year was my very first ProBlogger Conference and I didn’t know a single person. Not one. I went all by myself. Travelled down from the NT and thought it was going to be wonderful – which it was. I couldn’t wait to meet a whole bunch of new people – I am an extrovert so I thought I would be right in my element. And then BAM I entered the QT Hotel where the conference was being held and thought “what the hell am I doing”, the nerves set in and I wasn’t sure anymore. All alone and again… did I mention… I didn’t know anyone.
I put on my big girl pants and manned up. After heading up to my room and unpacking I did what any extrovert would do and went down to the bar – my Mother Ship! I thought for sure I would have friends after about 2 minutes. WRONG! After 2 glasses of Chardy I cut my losses and headed back up to my room to get ready for the Meet & Greet evening that night at the bar.
I can see where I went wrong now. Just like all of those people that are nervous, the one’s Kelly mentioned in the Facebook post, I assumed everyone knew each other and they were all long time pals and I couldn’t possibly bust in. They were all laughing and having so much fun together, I felt like such a dick. But do you know what – that is going be me this year – I am going to be the one laughing like a crazy lady and hugging every single person that comes my way. I know so many people going this year and we are all looking forward to either catching up OR meeting each other in real life for the first time! So if you see me hugging people, laughing and having a drink, feel free to come over for a hug. We are not in a Clique we are just having fun and probably meeting each other for the first time.
I felt like everyone would think I was such a crazy stalker if I went up and said hello and told them how much I loved their blog. Now I realise that we are all actually stalkers who love each others blogs and of course we would love to hear that you love our blog. We are definitely not going to laugh in your face if you are friendly and kind. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was so star struck I think, seeing my favourite bloggers and thinking “as if they want me hum bugging them” but they were all so welcoming and lovely, oh and so much fun. They are people, like you and me, blogging because they love connecting with people.
Last year I remember going up to Kirsten from Kirsten and Co and saying hello. OMG, I felt like such an idiot. I felt too silly to say much so thought it best to not bother her for long. But guess what – it was her first conference too and she didn’t really know all that many people either. I had thought that she must know EVERYONE, just because she was on my “who’s who” list! I was so wrong, she was also feeling pretty overwhelmed. And you what to know what else…. we are now friends, she is even collecting me from my hotel in Brisbane and taking me to the conference this year – my own personal driver – thanks Kirsten, can’t wait to road trip with you! Here she is… I may have felt like a total wanker but that didn’t stop me asking to have my photo taken with her….
I really liked Kelly’s post. It was so true. I think a lot of bloggers are introverts and they really do struggle to put themselves out there. Just say this to yourself: “Come on princess…. man up and get out there”! I had to say that to myself last year.
I really didn’t know what I was going to do once I got down to that very packed bar. Was I just going to stand there like a complete nigel? What the hell was I doing. Thankfully it took forever to get a drink and it gave me a chance to make friends with the lady standing next to me at the bar. I looked and her and thought to myself “She looks like fun” and so I introduced myself and told her I didn’t know a single sole. Well, before you could say Chardonnay Sue had me under her wing and was introducing me to her little gang of friends. I had so much fun. Sue & Merril were absolute legends, and they will be there again this year and I can’t wait to catch up with them. Look here they are …. Sue and Mezza….
So don’t make my initial mistake and think that all of a sudden people are going to come rushing up to you wanting to be your friend. They aren’t. They might see you off by yourself and think “oh, she must want a bit of alone time”. You need to put in the hard yards and step out of your comfort zone.
Now you may be worried about the response you might get. DON’T BE WORRIED!!! Trust me. I really did think it was going to be like high school. That was all I could think. And, yes, I thought it would be all bitchy cliques. WRONG. So so wrong. You have no idea how lovely these people are. It is a whole hotel full of like minded people. Sure we don’t all blog about the same thing and definitely have different niches but we all blog, we all love to take selfies and we all take about 2,073 photos with our phone each day. I am still gobsmacked at how lovely and friendly the blogging community is.
Please, step out of your comfort zone. All you have to do is say “Hi mine name is #####, is this your first conference, where are you from” or something like that. You will be in like flynn. I am telling you now, you won’t look back.
If you are going to ProBlogger – see you there. Bring it on. This time next week we will all probably be feeling a little overwhelmed, because it is… overwhelming seeing that many people in the one spot. Be strong, you will be ok and you are going to have the best time, trust me. See you there!
If you would like to read more and see all of the other “who’s who” that I ran into at last years conference, just head on over and read all about it HERE.