…from a conference newbie.
Type-A Parent Conference. Wow. Where do I even start? This was a truly amazing experience for me. I had no idea how overwhelming being in the presence of so many talented women (and men – yes – it’s open to men too) could be! I arrived skeptical, not knowing what to expect, and now I’ve been home a few days and I’m still completely in awe. I have come to realize some very important things in the last few days.
#1) Conferences are FUN! I’m the queen of social anxiety, so the thought of chatting it up with hundreds of people I’ve never actually met before made me want to crawl in a hole. I learned something real quick though… I was not alone. Social anxiety seems to be pretty common amongst those of us who live inside our computers. Lucky for me, my nervousness manifests itself through my inability to shut my mouth, so if you were on the receiving end of one of my never ending, rambling-filled conversations, I’m sorry. I was just nervous to meet you. Once I connected with a few friendly names – er, Twitter handles – it was really smooth sailing from there. A lot of rambling still, but smooth sailing.
#2) You will get far more information at a conference than it is humanly possible to absorb. Some of this will make you question decisions you’ve made and some will solidify things you already knew. Ask around, find out who’s attending which sessions and make arrangements to swap notes. It’s a win-win for everyone. Keep a short list of ‘take care of asap’ items to deal with when you get home. I’ve already made several changes spurred by the sessions I sat in on at Type-A Con.
#3) Bigger isn’t always better. Type-A Con isn’t the smallest out there, but it is a great size for a first conference. After hearing the stats on how many bloggers attend some of the larger conferences, I think as a first time conference goer, I would have been rocking in a corner somewhere at one of those. I enjoyed actually being able to connect with people over the three conference days, and that’s something that I think a larger conference just won’t offer, at least not as well.
#4) The connections you make will be the most important thing you take away. Don’t get me wrong, the information is great and the swag is nice, but the connections…they are invaluable.
If you’ve thought about hitting up a conference and just aren’t sure which one is right for you, I highly recommend Type-A. You won’t leave disappointed.
Have you attended a blogging conference? If so, which one and do you think it was the right fit for you?