A few months ago, as I prepared to attend BlogHer 13, my first blogger conference, I was in full blown panic mode. Stressed out about everything from what I would wear, to where I would stay, designing business cards, practicing elevator pitches, learning an elevator pitch is NOT a drinking game nor does it require athletic ability, and well, you get the picture. Yet, last week as the countdown for Blog Elevated ticked down, I was as calm as a child after pre-school.
Maybe I underestimated the value of attending a conference just 20 minutes from home. Maybe after surviving the fast paced, non-stop, marathon of BlogHer I felt I was a conference veteran. Or maybe, it was because I knew some of the awesome bloggers attending, and felt like being surrounded by friends, meant I would be in my comfort zone.
Thursday night after I checked in, I ran into Houston bloggers, Alba from Independent Mami, Jennifer from Still Living the Dream, and Fred from Mocha Dad. Friendly faces and hugs all around, and I was ready to party with Kroger at the welcome reception.
Navigating the Blog Elevated Conference Dress Code
I spent hours (minutes really) worrying about what to wear, but when Alba changed into her Kroger dress, I panicked again. Not because I was overdressed, but because I was reminded of just how creative and amazing the bloggers attending Blog Elevated are. Where would a fashionably challenged newbie like me fit in?
The answer, involves adoption. After seeing how much fun the San Antonio bloggers were having with the photo booth, I knew they were the group I should stalk during the conference. Colleen from San Antonio Mom Blogs had warned them about me, but I left them no room to run! Stacy from Kids Stuff World AKA the Queen of Pinterest and I had chatted on Facebook, so I guess she had an idea that I’m a huge fan of hers.
But the others, Debi from San Antonio Busy Kids, Katie from Texas Tigers, Lisa from Lisa Branam, and Amanda from Arg Photographs, had no idea what they were getting into by adopting me into their group! They accepted me from the beginning and were incredibly hospitable.
Cotton Candy Grapes Really Do Exist
Debi took photos without labeling me the misfit. Katie pretended that my loyal devotion to Auburn University had no impact on her love for LSU. Amanda didn’t cover me in anything pink or sparkly (thank goodness). And Lisa, well Lisa, made sure I wasn’t the only one at Blog Elevated that hadn’t sampled cotton candy grapes!
I learned so much that I promise to write more about the conference in another post, but I’ll forever be grateful for the friendships strengthened and new ones forged. Speaking of which, if you ever have the chance to meet Stacy from Kids Stuff World, while Pinterest may be on the brain, you really need to ask her to tell you a story. You’ll laugh until you cry, never think about Chapstick the same, and will have heard one of the best storytellers ever, share a piece of their lives with you!
Stay tuned for other lessons learned and start making plans to attend the next Blog Elevated conference!