Bring the Bliss

I feel like I should write something about Blissdom, since I made such a big deal about going, but I’m not quite sure what tone to take.

Here’s what I can say: I had a really good time. I learned some good stuff. I had a truly life-changing cheesecake. (SERIOUSLY. Will be dreaming about it for years to come.)

Sir Monkeypants and the kids were great. I skyped with them and that was fun, I had a nice relaxing train ride and a happy couple of days among adults.

I don’t know, I feel like a lot of people gush after conferences, feeling as though their creativity has been sparked, their social lives transformed, their community feeling cemented.

I did have a nice time, really. Just perhaps not transformative. I think I need to process things more, maybe.

I think my biggest thing is that I didn’t socialize enough. I had read ahead of time that you need to plan for what you want to get out of a conference before you go. Maybe you want to learn things, maybe you want to meet new people, maybe you want to party it up, maybe you want to connect with brands, maybe you want to score swag. All perfectly valid, and I got the fact that I should have goals, but what I did not realize is that when you choose one of these things to focus on, it comes at the expense of the others. It appears that at conferences, as in life, we really can’t do it all.

My primary goal was to learn stuff and as a result I attended every single session and lecture. And I loved them all, and learned a lot, and am still thinking about what I learned. I took away useful information about improving my writing and my blog.

But because I attended every session, I missed out on meeting a lot of the people I wanted to meet. I didn’t realize until very late in the day on Saturday that people were actually just hanging out in the lounge, instead of sitting in the lecture hall. I didn’t even think of that as an option. So I didn’t manage to bump into people I really wanted to meet, and although I hung out with four fabulous women (shout outs to Kim, Vi, Char, and Melanie), I wish I had done more mingling and networking.

(And maybe more swag seeking, although I did manage to score two cheesecakes, then promptly passed out from sugar overload. TOTES WORTH IT.)

But then I would have missed the speakers! And they were good! So, who knows.

I am feeling wishy washy. I blame the grey weather and the cold and a slight bug I have that I am milking for all its worth.

I feel like shaking things up around here, shaking myself out of this rut. That’s a good thing, right?

So to sum up: I had fun. I learned stuff. I ate cheesecake. I feel like it’s time for some changes.

Perhaps that’s bliss.

10 thoughts on “Bring the Bliss

  1. I think next year we both need a battle plan. Shaking things up is never a bad thing. Go for it. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. I think I’m gonna dig out the recipe and make that damned cheesecake!

  2. I’m with you on this one, Lynn. I usually go into a conference with a battle plan. What sessions am I going to attend, who is on my “to meet” list. This time I didn’t and I really regret it… Somehow I thought I wouldn’t need one seeing that it was one day, but I was wrong. Lesson learned for next time!

  3. Considering how on the fence you were about going, I think just the fact that you made it there is a huge triumph. And I felt much the same after BlogHer, compounded by the fact that it was in NYC, so I had the added pull of wanting to see more of the city. I don’t think it’s possible to come away from one of these things feeling like you squeezed absolutely every positive thing out of it – if you got something, it counts as a win.

  4. Heck, it sounds like you had a great time! You just don’t know it. Here’s why:

    The people who gush about conferences are *extroverts*. They meet their goals, like you did, but they also get the high of drowning in people of their kind for 48 hours. Just *being* in a crowd is bound to drain an introvert.

    You hung with 4 other gals? That’s huge! Would you go to a party and chat up everyone there? Were you the kind of person in high school who was casual friends with everyone? NO! You like to have close relationships with a few people, and that’s exactly what you did.

    Ya, so what if learning goals aren’t as exciting as party goals? Those are *your* goals. And you met them. Be proud!

    Learning is fun but it’s no party, so naturally you’re not all “rah rah rah!”. You’re pensive, reflective… still processing the information. Sounds good to me!

    And as for the cheesecake? Bonus! Mr. Chatty always gives me heck about citing food as a highlight of any event (ask me about the cheese plate he bought me for our anniversary dinner. I talked about it more than anything else on our trip!), but if you like food, food is going to get your excited.

    So know who you are, then figure out what you like, then go get that stuff.

    Sounds like that’s precisely what you did.

    I declare Blissdom a success!

  5. I like to have a plan. I think that with every conference though the plan changes. My first conference was all about the sessions. My last one had the motto “don’t say no” and so I did everything that came my way.

  6. I’m on the fence about conferences. This one was pretty much in my back yard and there was so many people I would have loved the opportunity to meet… like you!!!!…. but I’m not sure what I would take away from a conference. I would never suggest that I am as serious about blogging in terms of networking and promoting as some are, so I wonder if there is a point to it all.. for me. Maybe one day. Not a lot of people get blogging, so it would be great to hang a with a lot of like minded people who understand what blogging and twitter etc is.

  7. 1. I am so glad you came and I know I would not have had nearly as much fun without you.
    2. I feel sure that I myself wouldn’t have felt right skipping programmed events my first time. And yet, same as you–I feel like there were SO MANY PEOPLE there that what if there were more like US? You know? And how could we filter them all out and have them sit at our table so that we didn’t lose them? If I go back next year I would feel more fluid because I’d know what to expect.
    3. I really think the Sunday things were SO incredible. Maybe Vi could chime in on this because I know she went to one as well. The small groups, the shared experience, the lack of noise and distraction and swag and advertising (well, *less* advertising*)… it was a huge deal for me and I am so glad I didn’t wimp out on it.
    4. It has now been more than a month since I blogged and I haven’t written about this, either. I really should.

  8. I had to laugh when you say you didn’t realize hanging out in the lounge networking was an option … that is so me! I am such a “goody two-shoes” when it comes to learning events. I feel that I *must* attend and absorb as much as I possibly can. I kinda of have a guilty about it. But then I am totally exhausted and don’t make it to the socializing events in the evening.

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