Bloggy Boot Camp

My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?

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.

Different Hats

Everyone wears different hats.

felicia

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.

Anxiety

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.

Networking

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?

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!

Let’s Ramble:

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?

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy others like:

In Session

Staying Calm: How do you do it?

Phobias and Corrals

 

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Felicia is currently in pursuit of a Master’s degree in the field of Couples, Marital and Family Therapy. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, singing, watching television and movies, and writing. In addition, she is profoundly interested in the many aspects of family and relationships and for this reason Familial Ramblings was created.

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51 thoughts on “My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?

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  6. I plan to attend a blogging conference this year. I look forward to meeting all the people I read about and have learned from. Glad you enjoyed yourself and picked up some valuable info from the conference. Happy SITS Day again.
    Whitney would luv for you to read..What’s Brewing at The CafeMy Profile

  7. I’ve never been to a blog meet-up of any sort but I think I would have a bit of anxiety, too. I think the hard part for me is knowing that so many of the other bloggers have already met (in person).
    I’m hoping to go to one at some point!
    I love hat analogy – so true that we all wear different hats for different parts of our lives.

    BTW – congrats on your SITS day (I found you through the SITS site).
    Kim would luv for you to read..Zumba – A Few ThoughtsMy Profile

  8. your post makes me want to attend a blogging event myself! Thank you for sharing your experiences. What a wonderful opportunity for you to meet some great people out there! Stopping by from SITS. Hope you are enjoying your day :)

  9. Great post! Really enjoyed reading how you took an opportunity to do something that you wanted to do, and you were honest about the experience and shared how you felt through the process!

  10. I have been to a Bloggy Boot Camp and it was wonderful! Wish I could have gone to one this year. It sounds like you formed some great relationships!
    Raquel would luv for you to read..Quinoa SaladMy Profile

  11. I was so nervous before my first BBC. I went last fall in Vegas and I also forgot to order business cards. I had to make them the night before and the design options were sucky. Oh well! I’m so glad I went, it was so much fun and I learned so much!
    Twingle Mommy would luv for you to read..Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Enchiladas Style RecipeMy Profile

  12. I’ve never been to a BBC but I’ve heard they are great. It’s funny how we all get nervous before these events. I went to BlogHer last year in NYC which was pretty intimidating. But I had a ball. I’ll be at BlogHer 13 in Chicago.

    Happy SITS Day!
    another jennifer would luv for you to read..Wordless Wednesday: New Meadows River, Bath, MEMy Profile

  13. Sounds like it turned out to be a good thing even though you were anxious.

    I haven’t been to a blogging conference. I don’t think I blog the same way others do. I don’t have the same aspirations that are frequently discussed on SITS and other blogging groups. I write because I need to write. I publish because I think my story can help others. I have no desire to make money or have a huge audience. Maybe someday but not now.

    I went to a conference for work many years ago. It was huge and a bit overwhelming. It turned out to be a fun thing once I relaxed a little.

    I’m glad you had a good time. And now that you know what you’re doing, next time will be even better.
    misssrobin would luv for you to read..Trying to Be BraveMy Profile

  14. I have never been to a blogging event :( I do not know when I will be able to go, if ever…long story! But let me tell you, I will be a bundle of nerves! I am horrible in group settings, and I am extremely shy. Next time, you will be a pro :) Happy SITS Day!!!

    • Thank you, Alli! I hope you are able to go to a boot camp one day, despite being a nervous wreck, I learned a lot and had a great time. Thank you for commenting!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Happy SITS Day to Me!My Profile

  15. Happy SITS day!
    I’ve never been to a blogging camp but I have been to interior designer’s networking events and felt the same way as you!

    I don’t suggest this for you but what I do is drink a little wine..not too much to get drunk but a little to loosen me up and make me feel a little more unaware of myself and stop the over thinking because sometimes I feel like we are our worst enemies.

    But for you, maybe taking some deep breaths before you go in..if you know of anyone who doesn’t get anxious, channel that person..”what would so and so do at this moment?” etc.

    I loved this post because I can so relate to this.
    KG would luv for you to read..Designer’s Eye: Hollywood RegencyMy Profile

    • Thank you, KG!

      I’m glad you stopped by to share your experience and tips! I’ll have to give taking some deep breaths a try and channeling a less anxious person for sure. I feel that if I would have had someone with me, even if it was my husband, I would have been more at ease. But those are some great tips to lessen the anxiety, I’ll have to try that out next time!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Happy SITS Day to Me!My Profile

  16. I’ve wanted to go to a Blog Boot Camp but no time. I hope to do so within the next 18 months. Glad you had fun despite the feeling disconnected. I think that would be me, but I still want to go.

    Enjoy your SITS Day. Thanks for the honest post.
    Sheila Skillingstead would luv for you to read..Persistence and patienceMy Profile

    • Time is evil I tell you! I have the same problem, it just so happened that Philly’s Mini BBC fell on a day that I was actually free. I’ve been trying to find another one to attend, but they fall on the days that I have class (boo!). Hopefully you’ll be able to get to one and hopefully I’ll be able to get to a second one! Thank you for commenting and visiting!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Happy SITS Day to Me!My Profile

  17. I am going to my first blogging conference this summer, and I know I am going to be super nervous. I can network, but I have to say it is not my favorite thing (especially making that first initial contact and/or jumping into a conversation to get started). But it sounds like it was a great time! I would love to check out one of the SITS bloggy bootcamps, I’m going to keep my eyes open for when there is one again in the northeast.
    Bev would luv for you to read..I Have a Really Big Secret to ShareMy Profile

  18. Happy SITS Day! I attended my first blogging conference (BBC in Charlotte) a few weeks ago, and I was so nervous – but it was awesome!
    Katie E would luv for you to read..Artists #iPPPMy Profile

  19. My first event was the mini Bloggy Boot Camp in NY. I loved it! I learned more in those 3 hours than I learned at any other conference I have been to! I have different personalities for different parts of my life…it’s funny, I can force myself to be outgoing for networking events, but at a personal event where I know no one, I feel much more uncomfortable! Strange, isn’t it?
    Michelle would luv for you to read..3 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Blog from HackersMy Profile

  20. Well done you for being scared and going anyway! And next time, it’ll be easier. As others have said, DO NOT beat yourself up for not “talking to everyone”, it’s impossible, and stressful, and when you try, you end up with a pile of business cards of people you don’t remember who don’t remember you either! My intention at networking events is merely to connect with the people I most need to meet – that can be 1 person or 12. Oh, and my top intention is to enjoy the event! Otherwise why go?! I’ve not been to a blogging conference…but I am putting in on my ‘to-do’ list right now! x
    Donna would luv for you to read..Podcast: Why Obstacles and Blockages to Your Big Dream Are AwesomeMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Joi! SITS day was absolutely amazing!

      I cannot wait to go to anther blogging conference. I was so nervous, but I learned so much! :) Thank you for commenting and maybe we’ll run into one another at a conference one day!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Happy SITS Day to Me!My Profile

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  22. I went to my first blogging event a few weeks ago (Bloggy Bootcamp in Phoenix) It was nerver racking but I’m so happy I went. I didn’t make a lot of connections but the few that I did make were amazing!
    Kristi would luv for you to read..Aveeno Gift Set Giveaway!My Profile

    • The SITS Girls have really been getting around these past few weeks! I hope that you had fun! Do you think you’ll go to another one? And one thing that I noticed was that though, at the time, I didn’t think I had made a lot of connections, I actually did. Keep an eye out, I’m sure you’ll notice some others from the BBC getting in touch with you!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Surviving Finals WeekMy Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by Janene, always a pleasure!! Blogging events are fun, but a little scary. It’s something I think ever blogger should give a try at least once! Haha, thank you for the compliment on the hat!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Surviving Finals WeekMy Profile

  23. I’m attending my first blogging event next weekend. How essential do you think business cards are? I don’t have any, and I don’t think I’d have time to have any made. Thanks for the post, it helps to see what others go through at these kinds of events.
    Cindy would luv for you to read..Weekly workout wrapupMy Profile

    • Hi Cindy, thank you for commenting! Are you excited about going to your first blogging event? Which one is it? I think that business cards are a good thing to have on you just because it will make it easier for you to network yourself and your blog that way. I honestly didn’t have time to order business cards and ended up making my own, which came out just fine. I would like to order business cards for future events, but if you don’t have the time to order some, I would just make them. Microsoft Word has a ton of templates that you can use and edit to fit your blog; though, if you order them now, you can probably find a place that will get them to you in time. I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy your first blogging event!!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?My Profile

  24. {Melinda} I have been to number of writing and speaking conferences, but I have to admit, I’ve never been to a blogging conference. I want to go to one! Sounds like an amazing experience. I always feel nervous, too, at conferences … About the time I get comfortable and in my groove, the weekend is over! :)

    Happy Sharefest!
    MotheringFromScratch would luv for you to read..are our kids out to get us?My Profile

    • Hi Melinda, thank you for commenting. I’ve been to a couple of counseling conferences and have presented twice (which was nerve wracking!), but yeah, the blogging conference wasn’t the same, haha. It was a lot more fun in my opinion and I can’t wait to go again! Thanks for stopping by!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?My Profile

  25. Great post. I could feel your nervousness and anxiety. But it really goes to show that our fears are often unfounded. You were probably in a room full of fun-loving, caring people, because they are bloggers, right! :) I’m not sure if I would want to go to an event like that, well I would, but one of the reasons I like to blog is because blogging really puts you behind the scene…while at the same time you’re reaching out to people. Not sure it makes sense, but oh well. btw…love the hat!

    • Hi Cindra, thank you for commenting! The bloggers at the BBC were awesome and apparently I did a lot more than I thought I had. I really hope to go to another one in the future where I will be less nervous. Reaching out to people behind the scenes makes perfect sense to me, I totally understand where you’re coming from. :)
      Felicia would luv for you to read..My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?My Profile

    • Haha, thank you so much, Rebecca! I am apparently a hat person and didn’t even realize it! I hope you enjoyed BBC in Phoenix! Do you plan to go to any more in the future. Maybe we’ll end up at the same one at some point and we’ll be able to connect in person. :)
      Felicia would luv for you to read..My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?My Profile

  26. I’m so glad I came across this post, as I am actually planning to attend the SITS girls Bloggy boot camp this weekend in Chicago! I’ve never attended a Bloggy boot camp before and am a bit nervous about it. Thankfully, I will have a friend there who’s very comfortable and experienced with blogging conferences, so that will help. Thank you for sharing your experience!
    Patty would luv for you to read..The gift of a friend….My Profile

    • Hi Patty, thank you for stopping by! You’re probably currently at your Bloggy Boot Camp and I hope that you’re having a great time! I’m sure you are though. :) It’s good that you were able to go with a friend, I’m sure that will make things easier for you.
      Felicia would luv for you to read..My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?My Profile

  27. It sounds like you did just fine for your first blogging conference! Don’t feel bad at all about not passing out all your business cards. If you had passed out all your cards you wouldn’t have taken the time to TALK to people and make relationships. The purpose of business cards is NOT to randomly throw you information at people but to serve as a reminder to others that you had conversations with!

    • Thank you, Lynette, I tried really hard, haha. I actually didn’t talk to as many people as I would have liked to, but apparently I made more of an impression than I originally thought. After the conference, I started getting Twitter follows and emails from people that I had come across. It’s been great! I only encourages me to go to another conference in the future. Thank you for you comment, I really appreciate it!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..My First Blogging Event: What Hat Should I Wear?My Profile