Take Me to Your (BlissDom Community) Leader

It’s announcement time.

Hi. My name is Fadra. And I am a Community Leader for the BlissDom conference this year. Specifically, I’m one of the Community Leaders for the Newcomer community.

So what does that all mean? What’s is all about? And more importantly, should you care if you aren’t going to BlissDom this year?

I thought I would ‘splain it all with a little Q&A. And since there’s no one here to ask the Q, I’m going to interview myself.

***

all.things.fadra: What the heck is “BlissDom” anyway? People talk about it like I should have a clue.

Fadra: That’s fair. Those immersed in the blogging world tend to think that we all know the same things. There are a few big blogging conferences primarily for women every year. BlissDom is one of them and held in Nashville, TN. This year, you’ll find it at the Opryland Hotel from February 23-25.

atf: How does this conference compare to the others? Why should someone attend?

F: Great question. And to be honest, I don’t know. This is considered my “First Bliss.” I’m a conference veteran and I like to try them all out at least once so I know if I want to return again and again. The one word that I always hear used to describe this conference is “sparkly.” That sounds good to me.

atf: Alright, so if you’ve never been, why did you decide to go this year?

F: If you’ve been reading my blog for some time (and I’m sure you have), you know that I was very envious of the conference last year. I never really thought about going until the date came close and everyone was excited. The feeling was contagious. And then reading all the tweets from the conference was just painful. I decided I needed to go this year.

atf: And what made you decide to become a Community Leader for BlissDom, considering it’s a conference you’ve never attended?

F: I applied thinking it was a shot in the dark and a good way to help me earn my way to BlissDom. Somebody somewhere thought it was a good idea too.

atf: What exactly does it mean to be a Community Leader?

F: In my case, I’m one of the Community Leaders for the “Newcomer” community. It’s a catch-all for anyone that is new to blogging, new to blogging conferences, or just new to BlissDom (like me). I’m meant to be a warm, friendly face in a sea of unknown bloggers. I’ve been practicing my smile and my hugging skills.

atf: If BlissDom is all sparkly and full of giggles and hugs, why are you going?

F: I know, I know. I’ve previously stated that I am NOT a hugger. And yet, every time I get around bloggers, I find myself hugging everyone. I’m starting to think maybe I AM a hugger (shhhhhh).

atf: As a Community Leader, How do you plan to make newcomers feel at ease?

F: I’ve thought about bringing baked goods. I find chocolate chip cookies are always good for breaking the ice. But more tactically, I’ve been spending time “meeting” people through the #BlissDom and #blissdomnewbies hashtags on Twitter. If I can help people connect to others in advance of the conference, that’s a good thing. It’s always easier when you have a wingman (or wingwoman, as it were) to at least meet up with as a start.

atf: But weren’t you a shy wallflower once upon a time?

F: Thanks for bringing up painful memories. I was always sort of shy because I lacked confidence in myself. I was always very self-conscious of what others might think of me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown more comfortable in my skin and especially so when I get around “my people” (i.e., bloggers). Now I feel totally confident finding the one person that might be sitting alone having those feelings of self-doubt and at least striking up a conversation.

atf: With all this talk of newcomers, I’m sure you have some great advice  and tips for newcomers. At least I hope you do.

F: Luckily, I’ve already written a couple of posts on this topic. I wrote “A BlogHer Veteran Weighs In” before heading out to the blogging conference of the same name. And I guest posted on a fabulous blog called edenland a few months ago before she was set to attend Australia’s first big blogging conference.

atf: Can’t you just tell me a few quick things in case I don’t feel like clicking on any of those links?

F: Okay, fine. Here’s the advice I’ll be following:

  • Bring business cards (and plenty of them). Don’t be afraid to force them on other people. I’m almost always the first one at my table to start the card exchange.
  • Sit at different tables for each session and meet new people.
  • Bring your favorite notetaking method: laptop, iPad, or good ol’ pen and paper.
  • Plan for sketchy wifi and limited power outlets. This may or may not be true but always plan for it.
  • If you’re like me and you can’t live without your smartphone for one second, buy an extra charger (I personally use a New Trent).
  • Bring a camera (dSLR, point and shoot, or a good phone camera are all acceptable).
  • Dress in layers in case you’re too cold or too hot in one of the sessions (scarves are always my accessory of choice).
  • Don’t overpack. Seriously. Just pick your clothes and go with it.
  • Hook up with other travelers on Twitter to see if you can share a cab.
  • Save all your travel receipts! You can use them as tax deductions next year!

***

Well, I hope you learned something from one of us. A little background, a little advice, and hopefully a little excitement. I haven’t been to a conference since last August and I’m ready to get my blogging on!

Please connect with me on Twitter if you haven’t already (@allthingsfadra), stop by my other blog where I write about BLOGGING (www.socialdialect.com), and if you see me before I see you at BlissDom, PLEASE come up and say hi! And introduce yourself by your Twitter name (that’s just how my brain works).

And if you aren’t headed to BlissDom or any other conference this year, tell me what you’d most like to hear about as I always do a full brain dump when I’m back.

 

  • Cynthiakreed

    You are my LEADER?! How lucky are we newbies?! I am so glad I took the plunge and registered last night. This is my second conference, but I didn’t even have a blog up yet when I went to TypeACon last summer. Thanks for the tips!

    • Anonymous

      I’m ONE of your leaders. There are lots of us but if it makes you feel better, you can consider me YOURS.

  • http://www.liveandlovework.com Chrysta Bairre

    Great newbie post, thanks so much for this! This year will be my First Bliss, too, and though I have some conference experience I’m always nervous and excited to attend a new conference- especially one where I don’t already know anyone attending.

    Conferences can be tricky for me as an introvert because while I’m usually having a great time, I also find I can wear out by the end of the day and need time to recharge. I can be outgoing or shy, depending on the situation.

    One aspect of BlissDom I feel really empowered by is the Community Leaders and the awesome community being built before the conference. I feel far less nervous having had the opportunity to connect with other bloggers, but really it’s more than that. BlissDom encourages engagement of all attendees and there’s a feeling of welcome that goes beyond any conference I’ve attended in the past. BlissDom Community Leaders aren’t just friendly, they are finding creative ways to reach out and connect with attendees. It’s awesome!

    I’ll be looking out for you, and look forward to meeting you at BlissDom!

    Chrysta

    • Anonymous

      Chrysta – I used to test as an introvert and now I’m considered an extrovert so I don’t know what I really am. I can tell you that by the end of the day, I also need time to recharge. It’s fun, exciting, and overwhelming all at the same time.

      I’m excited to have a chance to connect with so many people in advance and look forward to meeting you!

  • http://www.liveandlovework.com Chrysta Bairre

    Great newbie post, thanks so much for this! This year will be my First Bliss, too, and though I have some conference experience I’m always nervous and excited to attend a new conference- especially one where I don’t already know anyone attending.

    Conferences can be tricky for me as an introvert because while I’m usually having a great time, I also find I can wear out by the end of the day and need time to recharge. I can be outgoing or shy, depending on the situation.

    One aspect of BlissDom I feel really empowered by is the Community Leaders and the awesome community being built before the conference. I feel far less nervous having had the opportunity to connect with other bloggers, but really it’s more than that. BlissDom encourages engagement of all attendees and there’s a feeling of welcome that goes beyond any conference I’ve attended in the past. BlissDom Community Leaders aren’t just friendly, they are finding creative ways to reach out and connect with attendees. It’s awesome!

    I’ll be looking out for you, and look forward to meeting you at BlissDom!

    Chrysta

  • http://chroniclesofpookahsmom.com Rose’s Daughter

    Sigh. I wanted to go to Blissdom but the finance Gods won’t let me . :-( I’m looking forward to living vicariously through you!!

    • Anonymous

      I lived vicariously for the past 2 years and kind of excited it’s my year. I will definitely keep you posted!

  • http://www.ericasays.com Erica Mueller

    I can’t wait to meet you! I’m a CL too (Tech/Biz) and this is my third BlissDom! I love, love, love the community BlissDom brings together.

    • Anonymous

      Erica – I have a side of geekiness too (former high-tech worker here). I definitely can’t wait to go and to meet you!

  • http://www.thewholeheartedlife.com Jen at The Wholehearted Life

    Hm. How did I not know about Blissdom?!? Drat and damnation. Ah well…the newcomers are lucky to have you and perhaps my year will be 2012 :).

    ps – I’d bring you lots of wine if you find a way for me to still attend the conference. I mean lots. of. wine. (jk…kind of)

    • Anonymous

      You know, it’s never too late ;)

      And I can be swayed easily by wine. And cheese. Specifically, triple creme brie.

  • http://twitter.com/CiaoMom Elena Sonnino

    I am not going to be a Blissdom–but I love this Q&A for all the great tidbits that are perfect for any conference!

    • Anonymous

      Glad you liked it! I had fun interviewing myself :)

  • http://reallywhatwerewethinking.blogspot.com Dana K

    You don’t have to hug me but feel free to compliment me on my sensible footwear. ;-)

    I can’t wait to meet you!

    • Anonymous

      My footwear will be moderately sensible. But if I do hug you, you have to hug back so I don’t feel foolish. And I don’t mean a dead fish kind of hug.

  • http://twitter.com/dutchbeingme Julie

    I love that you are a leader — and I can’t wait to see you again… and maybe (just maybe?) talk for a while at this conference. {Yes, I am aware there’s a pretty good chance since we’re rooming together and all…) :)

    Less than 40 days to go. And yes, I am totally counting.

    • Anonymous

      I’m pretty sure we’ll have some time to chat :)

      Totally excited and looking forward to it!

  • http://www.mommyslittlemonsterblake.com Carri

    I’ll see you there!

    • Anonymous

      Looking forward to it! But will I recognize you without your mouth open?? ;)

  • http://www.datingdementia.com/ Nancy Wurtzel

    This is my first Blissdom, too! Glad to know you will be our friendly face for newcomers.  Thanks for the post — and hope we can connect for one of those hugs before the conference starts.  I’m a Boomer aged blogger — not a mommy blogger…so I hope there will be a few other “seasoned” women attending! Just connected with you on Twitter. Cheers!

    • Anonymous

      Nancy – there are mom bloggers, mommy bloggers, bloggers who happen to be moms, bloggers without kids, single bloggers, and definitely some Boomer aged bloggers. We’ll meet, we’ll hug, and we’ll hook you up :)

  • http://twitter.com/Skye820 Tania Gail

    Thanks for your welcome message, I look forward to meeting you at Blissdom :)

    • Anonymous

      Same here!

  • Greta @gfunkified

    Haha…I was feeling so at ease reading this until I imagined myself saying “hi, I’m gfunkified.” Snort! Can’t wait to meet you, Fadra!

  • Pingback: BlissDom 2012 - Quirky Conference Tips | Midnight Blue Says()

  • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

    Fadra,
    I was there last year too and I want to try my hardest not to be such a wallflower and nervous nellie this year. I also want to meet you….been trying to catch up around the blogosphere, but it’s hard w/ new baby and trying to juggle all 3 kids and have time for myself. Ugh. But I’m so excited for the conference and to get away and get my BLISS on!!!! Congrats on being a community leader!!!

  • Pingback: The Glittery Side of BlissDom ’12 | all.things.fadra()