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.