My heart was beginning to pound rhythmically against my chest as my shoes tapped gently against the ground below and my anxiety level began to rise. My eyes darted around the unfamiliar room as I tried to decide which way to go. They landed on the front desk where a line where people waited with their furry family members to be checked into the hotel. After being pointed in the right direction, I smiled at my husband and made my way toward the elevators. My breath caught as I realized, I was at my first blogging event.
On Saturday, April 27th, The SITS Girls and Invisalign hosted a Mini Bloggy Boot Camp in Philadelphia. To say the least, I was a nervous wreck considering I’m not the most social of people and I had high expectations of myself when it came to networking. I had spent the morning preparing myself to attend the blogging event, getting things together, deciding on what to wear and tweeting more than I think I’ve ever tweeted before. After the drive to Philly through the traffic and crowds of people that I always forget exist, I made my way into the Hotel Palomar. The hotel was immaculate and I found myself wondering how much a night it was to stay in one of their rooms.
Speaking with the receptionist, I made my way to the elevators where I, admittedly, had no idea where I was to go next. Thankfully, I ran into a couple of other lovely ladies there were also attending the same blogging event that I was. And then the nerves kicked in.
Everyone wears different hats.
No, not always literally; though, I do think that I don’t look half bad in hats! Figuratively speaking we all have different hats, or personalities, for different situations we’re in. Take me for example; I have a personality for work, when I’m spending time with family and friends, when I’m at school and during social events. Now mind you, I had never been to an event like this and my anxiety level was already through the roof after trying to locate my destination, missing a turn and then almost being hit by a couple of regular city-goers who just wanted me out of their way. When it hit me that I didn’t know which hat to wear to this blogging event and that I wasn’t quite sure where I was going, I could feel myself wanting to turn and run. Thankfully I didn’t. You can only imagine how much my heart was pounding when I turned to one of the other women waiting for the elevator to ask if they were also going to Bloggy Boot Camp.
I kept telling myself to just be myself and that everything would be okay, that the other ladies would not bite my head off and that I would eventually make it to my destination. It turns out that asking the other women present wasn’t that bad and as soon as they smiled at me, I could feel my anxiety level slowly starting to slip away. We rode the elevator up together, though, we were puzzled when we reached the 24th floor when we were supposed to go to the 25th and ended up walking up the stairs to the last floor, but the point being, everything was fine. Until I walked into the room where the event was being held and I could suddenly feel myself beginning to panic once again.
I followed the group that I had come with while taking a couple of deep breaths. I could do this! Or so I kept telling myself. Going into this, I knew that I would have to network which I don’t believe is one of my stronger traits, but I was determined to do it. Unfortunately for me, I think my anxiety got the best of me when it was time for us to socialize.
I had spent most of the morning preparing myself to do some major networking during this conference. Me being the procrastinating queen that I am, or maybe I was just being forgetful since I had so much else going on, I had to create my own business cards before the event began. Let me just say this, creating business cards on the fly like I did it not easy and you could avoid the frustration that I experienced by ordering them offline in advance like I should have. The business cards came out just fine though and I planned to pass all seventy of them out while at the event.
Needless to say, that did not happen and after the event was over I felt like a complete and utter failure because my fear got the best of me and I only really interacted with a handful of people. I was so disappointed in myself. I have to admit though that I actually did a lot more than I realized at the time. The thing about networking is that sometimes just being present can go a long way.
The next day, I found myself with more Twitter followers from the event than I thought I would ever get. Even if you leave an event feeling as though you completed failed at everything you had wanted to do just remember that sometimes feelings lie.
How Was Bloggy Boot Camp?
I have to admit, though my anxiety got the best of me and I wish I would have networked more and made more blogging friends, Bloggy Boot Camp was a blast. Yes, despite the fear I felt and feeling as though I didn’t do enough, I still had fun and I did make some new friends. I also learned a lot not only about blogging, but also about Invisalign (@Invisalign) that I hadn’t previously known. I have been able to take the tips that Tiffany (@TiffanyRom) and Francesca (@FranBanducci) of The SITS Girls gave and I have thus far applied them to my About Felicia page, my sidebar and even this post.
If you’ve never gone to a blogging event such as Bloggy Boot Camp, I highly recommend it. I’m not going to lie, it can be frightening—especially if you’re by yourself and you’ve never been to one before, but I promise, you will get through it, you will learn a lot and you will make new friends.
Until Next Time!
Have you ever attended an event like Bloggy Boot Camp? What was your experience?
If you’ve never attended, do you think you ever will?
What kind of social situations raise your anxiety level?
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Posted on April 29, 2013 by Felicia