BlogHer16 is just two weeks away and to say I’m simply excited would be a gross understatement. To say I’m a bit nervous would also be a gross understatement. Mostly excited, only a tiny bit terrified.
You see, this is my first blogging conference and it’s arguably the largest blogging conference out there. In the world of blogging, I’m an infant that’s barely ready for solid food. But this blog has been years in the making and as my darling husband Rich said, “If you are going to do it, let’s get you set up to do it well.”
He’d said that before, but I couldn’t quite get my business together. But when he started encouraging me again last fall I thought that I might be able to do it this year. Then BlogHer16 made a big announcement: Mayim Bialik would be a keynote speaker at BlogHer16. That’s when I knew; this was my year.
Now, let’s be clear here, I get totally tongue-tied around celebrities and don’t think I will meet Mayim and we will instantly become best friends. But, I do adore her. I’ve loved her acting since Beaches days and often write with The Big Bang Theory on in the background. While I’m not a vegan and can’t speak about her cookbook, I loved her parenting book and am really enjoying the content on her new website, Grok Nation.
And then there’s her work in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) community. As a woman who works for health science university, Mayim’s passion for getting kids excited about STEM subjects is particularly dear to my heart. She’s a wonderful role model for women and girls on a variety of levels.
So that’s how my BlogHer16 conference registration became part of my Christmas present last year before I had written a single word on this site.
Since that initial announcement, there has been a flurry of additional speaker announcements that have me even more excited than I was in December. (All the specifics can be found on the BlogHer16 conference site) Earlier this week, I mapped out my conference schedule in the app and on paper (control freak, much?) and there is at least one topic in every session that will help me make this space what I have been dreaming about for years.
I’m also looking forward to connecting with writers and content creators that I read regularly. I’m not great about commenting on other people’s posts, which may make some initial conversations awkward (I read you, I promise I do), but I’m hoping my shyness doesn’t get in the way and I can make some friends in the blogging world. I’m going to work hard to not be the strange quiet girl at the table. I’m a bit slow to warm up, as one dear friend explains it, but once we’ve made it through that initial “getting to know you” phase, all is well. I’ll try to skip that phase at the conference. 🙂
I’m also excited to check out the Expo and talk with some of the sponsors, as I already use some of their products and I’m looking forward to hearing about their new lines. Who knows, some great connections may be made that turn into long-term relationships. (I sound like I’m looking for a date. Mercy.)
The reason I started Outrageously Wonderful was to create a safe space for women to be vulnerable and encourage each other online. This site was made to share our experiences openly so that others can learn from our successes and mistakes and be encouraged when they are going through something similar. I strongly believe BlogHer16 will give me some of the tools needed to make that a reality.
So yeah, I’m nervous about meeting other bloggers, traveling by myself (I’ve got to learn how to Uber) and navigating such a huge conference, but mostly I’m ready. Business cards are ordered, my schedule is filling up fast, my packing list is almost complete, there will be a shopping excursion this weekend to finish out my wardrobe plans and I’ll be in Los Angeles before I know it. I’m going to miss Rich, Wild Man and Bunny like crazy (this is only my second trip away from them) but LA is going to be awesome.
Speaking of LA, the location was another big part of why I decided to go this year. I’ve wanted to plan a trip to LA for ages so I could see my best friend from elementary school who lives there and meet her husband. I’m beyond excited to have dinner with them one night while I’m in town. So much fun.
So yeah, BlogHer16. I’m excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. It’s going to be great!
Leave me a comment if you are going too and let’s see if our schedules overlap. I’d love to have a friendly face or two to sit with.