Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blissdom- What I Wish I Would Have Known LAST Year

Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ February 4-6 2010

With BlissDom right around the corner and loads of articles and tips and advice in the blog world out there, I thought I'd go through my own list to share with you!

Don't know what BlissDom is? It's a conference for bloggers and all the info is on their conference site. It's hosted by Blissfully Domestic and the One 2 One Network and is... well... Blisstastic.

Last year was my first year at Blissdom. Jason gave the ticket to me as a present since he noticed I had vanished into the "blogosphere". He thought it might be nice for me to meet some of my own. And it was amazing! I read that someone compared it to being a smurf your whole life and walking in to find a huge room of smurfs! That was exactly it!

But looking back, I realize I was SUCH a rookie and really had no idea what was going on.

Here are some tips for other rookies that might be going this year:
10. Read ahead and find out about the sessions.
This will help you not look like a tourist studying your "map" at the conference. We will all have cameras around our necks, though, so you can't totally escape from that look.

9. Find out who the speakers are.
Oh, how I wish, I wish I would have done this. I didn't know ANYONE and that little tip would have saved me much embarrassment. Need we mention the Lisa Leonard incident? I think not.

8. Have business cards made.
I had NO idea this was like a networking thing. What a dork.
They don't have to be fancy, but something with your name, blog and other info would be helpful if you meet a new friend. {And if you don't have the mind of my man Chuck you will be thankful for everyone else's cards, too!}

7. Do not be afraid.
Everybody else there is pretty geeky and will speak the same blog lingo. PROMISE.
And if you don't even speak "blog", there will be people there to translate.

6. Do NOT room by yourself {if you can avoid it}.
I was such a dork and {since I didn't know ANYbody} just assumed I had to stay by myself. Get out there and hunt for other people going that you can split the room cost with! And you will surely find some new buddies that way! This year I'm staying with 2 of my favorite bloggy buds- Mary at Giving Up On Perfect and Jessie at Vanderbilt Wife.

I'm wondering if we will sleep. Magic 8 Ball says: "Outlook not so good".

5. Learn the attire needed.
Oh my word. I had no idea there were cocktail parties there!
The word "cocktail" doesn't scare me; it's when combined with "party" that I start to quiver at the thought of wardrobe choices. Because my selection is saa-lim. Especially when I didn't pack a thang.
Such is the case for last year when I arrived in jeans.

And nobody cared because they are cool like that. But it would have made ME feel better to have looked like I cared instead of a schlep.

4. Get on Twitter and figg-ur it out.
It's a little kooky; I'll be the first to tell you that. But, if you get the hang of it BEFORE BlissDom {unlike I did last year}, you will be WAY on top of the game. I had no idea what the proper usage of the word "Twitter" even was a year ago. {e.g. "Did he just Twitter on you?" "I don't give a tweet what she said." "Tweetle deedle dee, I think I just retweeted."}

Let me know if you have Twitter questions and I might put together a very short post about the things I know about Twitter. I'm still not an expert, but Alli is {she even wrote an e-book on it}, so check that out.

You can start to follow the hashtag {that's the number sign #} #BlissDom and get all the updated info and buzz on the conference.
Oh- and you can follow me on Twitter at @theothermama. Original. I know.

3. Take your computer.
This might seem like a no-brainer. That I might or might not have done last year.

Now that I think back, I think I took the hoopty laptop. I'm pretty sure I can't convince Jason to let me take his very cool Mac Book Pro {because it's his work computer... excuses, excuses}. Anyway, most people take their computer with them to the workshops. I hid my sad hoopty in my room {all by myself}.
And will most likely be doing that again this year.

2. Plan ahead.
Try to find out who is going and who you would like to meet! That really is the fun part.
E-mail new friends {or friends to be} and set up times to meet, sessions to sit together and any other plans! I can't imagine anyone not being flattered to meet a blog reader, so let them know you'll be there!
It's like stalking their blogs... only better.

1. Have Fun!
I am SO stinking excited. And I'm sure it has NOTHING to do with the fact that Harry Connick, Jr. will be serenading us.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Uh huh. That's right.

Don't get drool in your keyboards, girls. I'll be sure to bring you up close and personal details. You might recall that I have a slight crush on Harry.
Just a little one.

So I'm looking forward to the trip!

Are you going to BlissDom? I'd love to meet you!
If so, is this your first year?
If not, would you ever consider going to a blogging conference?

Here are some great posts about BlissDom planning:

* Mary at Giving up on Perfect has a 2 part series {part 1} and {part 2} on her BlissDom tips
* Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife has a wonderful {as always} what to wear guide
* Edie at Life in Grace has an awesome survival guide that highlights mullets and tube socks {as in... we're not in 7th grade and you WILL be okay}.
* Amanda at Oh Amanda even has a series of guest posters on the topic. Now that is covering all your bases!

I'm happy to link up to my fab-o friend Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda.
We're going to rock it in real life. {Oh} yes we are.


Kelly said...

Harry Connick Jr is ENOUGH reason for me! Darn it, it's sold out. LOVE.HIM! I became a fan of is way back When Harry Met Sally in 1989.

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

I just heard about Blissdom this year but wasn't too sure about it because I haven't been doing this very long and I have to say I don't remember seeing anything on HCJ, holy cow!! Can't wait to see your post after that weekend. And hopefully we'll be able to hook up and see each other.

Jason said...

Don't worry babe, I'll borrow a decent laptop from work that you can take with you.

I won't make you go ghetto this year. :)

The Writer Chic said...

You and your hoopty laptop. ;)

You were, by far, the best thing to come out of BlissDom for me. I can't wait to see what this year holds, and who we accidentally end up eating lunch with on Saturday THIS year!

Stephanie B said...

Ok, you had me at "Harry will be serenading us". :-) LOVE LOVE LOVE him.... I'm so jealous. You do know he's coming to VBC next month, right? Of course you do. Silly of me to ask... Have fun at Blissdom!!

Sprittibee said...

Great post! ;) I'm wearing JEANS. And a baby.

Can't wait to meet you!!!

oh amanda said...

We are SO going to rock it in real life. And I CANNOT WAIT.

I wish we had met last year at Blissdom!! Did you know Jessie then? Did we meet and I don't remember? *blush* I know I didn't get you business card...ahem.


Staci said...

Thanks for the tips!! I am beyond excited for this! Hope to meet you!

Lynn said...

I am shooting for this next year depending on how my blog takes off! Baby steps, baby steps!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Thanks for the link and the shout out! Have I mentioned that I CAN'T WAIT!!!?

Angry Julie Monday said...

Woohoo! I'll be there! I can't wait. Is it bad that I'm excited and anxious to run away from my family for a tiny bit.

Melissa Stover said...

so glad i'm going to get to meet you!

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

How jealous am I? Hmmmm, veeeerry jealous, it seems.

(But I will wait in anticipation for your reports!)

Angie @ Just Like The Number said...

You're a hoot! Looking forward to meeting you at Blissdom. Last year was my first time at Blissdom, or any blogging event for that matter. Your post is spot-on! I didn't have business cards, either, and felt like a big dork having to explain that 100 times!

Karin Katherine said...

I am going for the first time! I'm excited! And oh yeah, I'm rooming alone. Oh well, I have cards and I'm going to try to make meetups in the hall etc.

holly said...

awww, how sweet that jason is letting you have a cool computer so you can fit in with the other dorks...ahem, i mean very cool blogtastic bloggers. you know i won't be there, but better get dinner with you again on your way out of town. can't believe it's been a year! oh, and come a day early and i'll tak you shopping for proper cocktail attire. unlike you, the words 'cocktail' and 'party' make my heart flutter almust as much as HCJ! Luv your guts!

hollywood housewife said...

These posts are calming my nerves a little, so that's good!

I'll be at Blissdom and it's my first time at any sort of conference, period. But I'm excited to meet people who want to talk about the blogosphere with me...the topic doesn't exactly thrill my "real life" friends.

Hope to meet you - thank you for this great post!

Michelle said...

So jealous. I really wish I had been on the ball and gotten tickets. Have a fabulous time Hillary. I'm bookmarking this for next year. Oh yes, I will be going next year.

emily said...

Oh, Oh! I so hope to meet you there! You're going on my list of people I want to meet...

Rebekah said...

Never been....wonder if they have an iVillage conference. Now I would definitley be in on that! :)

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Kim said...

Hillary! You are so funny! I loved reading this post. I will be at Blissdom too and found your blog through that. Now I'm a fan! I'll be speaking on Friday with Lisa and I am SO EXCITED! I've now spent the last half hour on your blog -- promise I'm not stalking - lol - I love your sense of humor that shines through your writing. Thank you! Looking forward to meeting in a couple of weeks!!


Kris said...

I'll be there and would love to meet you! I'm so, so excited. You've listed some great tips. I've been to Mom 2.0, but this will be my first year at Blissdom. Can't wait!

Mama Laundry said...

Well, I'm getting more and more nervous by the day for this fab conference to come. It might be because I have done *nothing* to prepare for it! Except order biz cards. Yikes! Better get crackin'.

So get to know who the speakers of the sessions are, huh? Wouldn't have thought of that. Thanks for the insider tip!

See you there!


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