10 Things You Will Most Likely Experience When Attending a Blogging Event

January 11, 2010

Monday~January 11, 2010


Cupcake ’10 was small and even cozy. It was at times over-stimulating and other times completely peaceful and intimate and raw and real. It was beautiful, really. (We’re sharing much more about it (including photos) over on the Cupcake blog.) All drama (of the weather and traveling variety) aside, we had an absolutely lovely time together.

There were less than 30 women at Cupcake, and yet I found myself thinking about how I was having many of the same feelings and experiences that I’ve had at bigger events. Then I started to think about blogging events in general and will now share with you my very scientifically studied top ten things to be prepared for when attending any blogging event…

(OK fine, they aren’t studied. They are more like something a person thinks about on a seven hour trip home while trying to stay awake. So they may be a bit tinged with delirium. Just so you know.)

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1. No matter how comfortable you are in your own skin. No matter how confident you are about yourself or even your blog, you will experience anxiety. This anxiety will most likely hit you the hardest as you enter the event and scan all the faces, most of them either foreign to you or only vaguely familiar, as if you were seeing them through a computer screen. You will look for wine or mutter prayers to yourself while you force yourself to keep walking. All the while, through your nerves, you will be grinning from ear to ear without really knowing why. Then most certainly you will be approached with BIG HUGS while you take a deep breath and say (hopefully INSIDE your head) “I can DO this.”

2. Almost no one looks anything at all like their avatar or profile picture. So you will second-guess yourself upon warmly greeting someone. And even might get mixed up at some point and say, “Oh HI (fill in the blank with wrong name). I LOVE your blog.” Then you will feel more anxiety as you realize from “fill in the blank’s” confused look that you are dead wrong. Then you will get to dig a deeper hole while you try to explain that so and so looks like such and such “but I do really know who you are.”

3. It’s hard to sneak glances at someone’s name/blog name on their name tag to double-check if you’re remembering them correctly. Especially if you’ve been introduced once already in the last 24 hours or you feel as if you know them. This is especially difficult if their name tag is dangling from a lanyard because then you have to look down at their belly button for your quick re-check glance. All of this might get you thinking about how strange it is to feel like you know someone when you don’t know some very important bits of information about them. Then you will be glad you’re there, to learn these bits in person.

4. Prepare to be up to the wee hours of the morning talking until your voice is rough and your throat is raw. There really is no end to the exceptionally witty, talented and friendly people to chat it up with at a blogging event.

5. Even if your life is full to the brim with good friends and family, be prepared for the inevitable stretching of your heart to make room for more. Because even if you feel a bit leery about whether or not you actually KNOW these people, if you feel a kinship with a blog friend on-line, it is likely you will look at them and talk to them in person and know for certain you’ve found yet another very good friend to love.

6. Sometimes you will know exactly what people are talking about because hey, you’re with fellow bloggers. And other times you will have NO idea what social media language people are speaking. It’s best not to ask though, because if you do, everyone will start explaining at once and you’ll get all overwhelmed and possibly even anxious again. You can always just jot a note before you head to bed (around 3 a.m.) as a reminder to yourself to ask Google later. Google is a lot quieter even if he is sometimes just as overwhelming.

7. You will most certainly meet a large number of bloggers who are new to you that you will be SO glad to have found.

8. You will most likely cry. Several times. Because blogging is all about stories and people and when they’re shared in person they are inspiring and moving and sometimes sad and you just totally get it.

9. Expect the unexpected. No matter what your preconceived notions are about what an event will be like, most likely you will be wrong about at least some of your assumptions. There will be parts of the event that are exactly what you hoped (or didn’t hope) for, and then other things will completely surprise you. You will leave and after you’ve had some time decompress, you will almost always end up saying to yourself (and anyone else who will pretend to listen), “that was amazing.” Because bloggers are a diverse, intense and perspective-giving group of people. And people are always so much more than you imagined them to be. This makes me want to do a play on “can’t judge a book by it’s cover” cause there’s so much more inside with something like “can’t judge a blogger by their header” or something, but I won’t.

10. You will miss everyone after you leave.

P.S. Although many blogging events bring on the same feelings and experiences, I must add that Cupcake had a completely different vibe to it overall. More on that to come…

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin January 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Amen to #10. Right now, I even miss the girls who live nearby. It just felt so very right to all be together this weekend!

(Also, I won the most cupcakes eaten award, right? I mean, I only ate so many cupcakes because I thought there was an award.)

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Becky January 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

So beautiful! Can I just cut and paste this for my blog? Or just do a "Had a great time. For more info look here…"

You said it all girl! Much love for the REAL Heather of blogging. ;-)

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a Tonggu Momma January 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I'm so glad y'all had such a wonderful time. Can't wait to hear more.

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Lisa Page Rosenberg January 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Sounds fantastic.
Are you bringing the cupcakes to BlogHer?

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Jo@Mylestones January 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I tried really hard not to be jealous. It didn't work. But I tried.
I don't know that I'll ever get to an official bloggy event, but one day I swear I will meet you, even if I fly to MN for no other reason! (Oops, that sounded kindof stalkerish, didn't it?)

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Boy Crazy January 11, 2010 at 12:48 pm

If Jo comes to visit you, I'm coming the same weekend. :)

I feel a little regretful that I didn't stay overnight – the best talks usually happen between midnight and 3am. Oh well. Next time. :)

-elizabeth

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Mommy Mo January 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm

This is exactly how I felt after Blogher, and hanging with you and the rest of the crew. Glad you had a wonderful time, wish I could have been there.

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Sabrina January 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I'm so glad it went well!! I'm hoping to attend CupCake 2011!!! :)

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Ann's Rants January 11, 2010 at 12:52 pm

And someone can rip your heart out just by knowing they sewed 30 lanyards by hand, painstakingly adding the tiniest of cupcakes to each one.

Just one example. Again.

I just love you.

Ann

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Christy January 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Sounds wonderful! And those lessons sound about right – based on my experience last year at BlogHer!

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Kristina P. January 11, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I would have loved to be there! This makes me even more excited for the CBC.

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5thsister January 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Oh! I want to go! Sounds like an exceptional time. Thanks for sharing your insights.

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Lee the Hot Flash Queen January 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Sounds like you had such a nice time!!

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Jen January 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I LOVE your reason #8. It is so true. Meeting blogger in real life is everything you said and more. I just wish there was a way to do it more.

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The Rambler January 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I don't know how many times I can say how I adore and love your blog. Your, Michelle, right? :)

I KID.

No, but really…I do love your blog Heather…because you always make me feel more real and at home.

xoxo

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Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting January 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I miss you guys, and I wasn't even there :(

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Corinne January 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm

What Jo said. I hope she doesn't mind that I'm planning on jumping in her suitcase.

And also – I got goosebumps for you all reading this! What a great weekend it must have been :)

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Life Laugh Latte January 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Sounds so great. Glad you made it happen and got so much out of it. Now, take a long nap! Holly

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warmchocmilk January 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Sounds like fun. Sorry I missed out.

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blueviolet January 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I'm so glad it was a wonderful event! I wish it had been closer. I agree that nobody looks like their avatar.

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Anti-Supermom January 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Agreed on every.single. point.

It was a honor to be part of this event – thanks again, Heather for helping organize it.

It was wonderful.

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wendy January 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I think a blogging event would be very cool indeed!! Wouldn't it be heaven if we could just meet all the people whose blogs we read and comment on. Really!!
I'd need for everyone to wear name tags –I am horrible with names.
My last child, always tells everyone his name is Troy-Matt-Travis-Trent. (his name is trent but I usually go through all the boys before I get to his…kinda funny)
anyway, glad you had a great time

and yes, I would experience anxiety, a certain sense of "not as good as" you know the feeling.

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JCK January 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

You describe a blogger event so well! All of it. So emotional. And special, and overwhelming.

Happy New Year to you!!

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Ambrosia January 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm

What a special event! Sounded quite lovely.

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L.T. Elliot January 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I'd probably bawl the whole time. Especially if I met up with you. =]

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Kim January 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Still so sad I couldn't have come. I can't wait for May when you come out HERE!!!

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amanda January 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm

i just heart you.

bc that friend? it was brilliant.

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Cynthia January 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Sounds fun! I'll be going to a blogging event in May. Now I know more what to expect. Woot Woo!

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Keyona January 11, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Hopefully I can attend a blogging event one day!

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Brianna January 11, 2010 at 9:52 pm

#10 YES.YES.YES.

So wonderful to meet you, sweet Heather. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms.

Bri

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Rach@In His Hands January 11, 2010 at 9:52 pm

This made me giggle and sigh and laugh and smile. Blogging is great.

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Elaine A. January 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm

These are SO true! I'm so glad y'all had a great weekend. Can't wait to hear more (and still wishing I coulda been there…)

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april January 11, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Great tips! Man, I miss you, Maggie. {{HUGS}}

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Nap Warden January 11, 2010 at 11:55 pm

I am in a huge state of #10:(

Such a great weekend!

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Maggie, dammit January 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

What Ann said. I, too, just love you.

Loved the whole thing, every minute. Thank you again babe.

xo

p.s. Beer in a boot again SOON.

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Haley January 12, 2010 at 9:55 am

I think this list is very well stated. I really did have to most wonderful time.

Thank you for all your hard work and planning! You helped to make my weekend a blast!

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Kimberly January 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

I am so, so glad for you!

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Less Toil Traci January 12, 2010 at 11:48 am

So glad you had fun. Sounds like a blast. I am still wanting to get over to your house and deliver that chocolate. We are getting over the sickies and I want to be sure we are in the clear…

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Tiaras January 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

Oh I am so glad you had a great time- I so wanted to go to this – once I heard about it – it was completely booked up though!(I'm always – ALWAYS – late to everything) NEXT TiME!!! I will meet you someday!

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Crooked Eyebrow January 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Things I do know about cupcake10:
*we had an amazing time
*the organizers out did themselves
*there wasn't enough time to talk to everyone because everyone was simply amazing
*the food (a lot of it) was yummy
*there were cupcakes
*need more kleenex

and I totally agree with everything on your list. You mean I don't look like me in my avatar?
Love you and you all started something amazing and I was glad to be there!

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Chele January 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Heather, you are not going to believe this! You have to go read what I wrote about today. This just ties right into my confusion right now. I think you'll laugh at the fact of how much I needed these tips! #1 is definitely my problem right now! help! lol. BTW, I've missed ya and glad I'm back to blogging again!

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Real Life Sarah January 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I love this! I have been to a few Blogging Events, big and small, and you are so right about it all! Can I feature this on my MomTV show on Thursday? I'm talking about getting ready for Blog Conferences!

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Katie at A List Maker's Life January 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

So perfectly true & perfectly listed! It was an honor to be part of this amazing event. Thank you again for taking time out of your crazy busy to make it crazy amazing for all of us!

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Mama B January 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm

This makes me even sadder that I missed it because it sounds so amazing! I can't wait to be able to go to one, do you need help with Cupcake11?

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Tara January 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm

So very true Heather! And yes I had a huge list of things and people to Google afterward. It was so wonderful to meet you!

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Lee of MWOB January 13, 2010 at 3:07 am

Heather – awesome. I love 5 and 10. Yes and yes!!!

How have you had time to write all of this already?? Geez….

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Megan@SortaCrunchy January 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I WANNA CUPCAKE!!!!!!!!

(are you seeing my double entendre there? 'cuz see, I would like to eat a cupcake, but ALSO I would like to participate in a meet-up of local bloggers in which there is no agenda, no SEO nonsense, no laptops, and there is lots of food and laughing and crying and eating. And cupcakes.)

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Angie @ Just Like The Number January 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm

So nice to read this, especially with Blissdom just around the corner. Conferences can be so awesome and overwhelming at the same time. It's nice to know someone else feels the same way!

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kanishk January 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Thank you for all your hard work and planning! You helped to make my weekend a blast!

Work from home India

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