January 17, 2010

What I'm Bringin' to Blissdom (and a Tip You Won't Hear Elsewhere)

Great things happen when bloggers get together. Or, well, fun things at least. Maybe I should have said CRAZY things happen. You might oughta watch your back because whatever you say or do might end up on someone's website the next day. Like these pictures. I'm sure all these awesome bloggers have no idea that I have these photos up on my blog. I wonder how many of them will saunter by and find out? Only time will tell.

Can you tell I'm excited about Blissdom yet? It's less than 2 weeks away from blogger blissland. And until I can get another massive, memory-card frying amount of photographic data. Pictures of 500 crazy women, one piano-playing musician, ... and most likely a few trillion of the baby just for good measure.

I'm still fund-raising, but I feel like a jerk for asking for help when the people in Haiti are suffering. Perspective tells me that it's not such a great big deal if I don't end up covering the cost, but I can't help but want to go anyway.

Repeat after me: I will not put this trip on my credit card.

Saying no to yourself is hard. But so is homeschooling. I'm no chicken. If I have to, I will say no. But not until the very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very last minute. And then I'll cry. And eat chocolate. And watch chick flicks. And not turn on the computer from February 3rd to February 10th so as to avoid the chatter about Blissdom and prevent myself from needing Prozac.

But we'll pretend I didn't say all that and just go on believing the funds will come in soon to make all this possible, shall we?


Anyway, I am enjoying listening to all the Blissdom, buzz while I wait for my conference sponsor in shining armor to ride in on a white horse. Did you know that you can listen in to what everyone is saying about Blissdom by just typing in #Blissdom in your Tweet Deck search grid? The number sign is called a 'hash tag' and everyone posting about the conference is using that 'secret code' to tag their posts so that it's easier to find them. The tips from those posting about the conference have been great.

Since I've been to a blog conference before (and therefore that makes me such an expert - NOT), I figure I would tell you what I'm packing if I go. I'll even share a few tips with you. One of these tips you won't hear anywhere else. Let's see if you can figure out which one it is.


1. Jeans

You want to know what I went out and bought at Good Will before Type-A Mom? A bunch of jeans. Why? Because I wanted to be comfortable - and I knew I would wear them when I got back home. Don't buy something you won't wear again. Remember that the conference is only two days and you still have the rest of your life back home that you'll need to have clothes on.

It's great to have nice things to wear, but think about what you will feel like in them - be yourself. Be comfortable. Think about what you'll need if:

... the room is too hot or cold
... you end up rooming a mile from the sessions (or your ankle gets sprained like mine did at Type-A and the Earth Footwear sponsors had to sell me some tennis shoes)
... it rains on the photo walk (heaven forbid - I look like a drowned rat when I'm wet)
... the baby pukes on your favorite jacket
... you dribble lunch down the front of your blouse
... etc.

Pack things that are what you feel like yourself in; the stuff that makes you smile. I guarantee that someone else is going to be better dressed; but I also promise there's someone who will be in t-shirts and jeans (and maybe even bunny slippers).

Want more on 'what to wear'? Check out Real Life Sarah! Or this hilarious post at www.shortpumppreppy.com, 'barbie style'.

2. Electronics

What would a blogger conference be without scads of beeping, clicking, buzzing, humming, blinking toys to play with? Just remember - these items need POWER. So please be smart and bring your CHARGERS, BATTERIES, EXTRA BATTERIES, CORDS, MEMORY STICKS, ETC. If I were me - er you, I would make a list of all the items you want to take on your trip NOW while your brain hasn't taken off for Tennessee. I would also ask your insurance agent if they are covered on the trip - and photograph them ahead of time if need be... and label them and the bags you carry them in so that they can be returned if lost. Your camera may look recognizable to you now, but in a room full of 500 blogging women, it may be hard to distinguish one DSLR from the next.

3. Food

If you are broke financially challenged like me, having snacks and food to take on the road (and a menu to stick to so you won't cave in and buy fast food in a moment of cheeseburgerlessness) will save you a TON of money. It might help you not get pulmonary artery disease, too. Fries are deadly (if not delicious).

We'll be packing the car with the following goodies:

sandwich stuff
(tortillas, bread, meat, cheeses, mayo packets, onion sprouts, lettuce)

snack stuff
(nuts, fruit leather, cookies, chips, crackers, fruit, cheese, chocolate, candy, gum)

boiled eggs, cereal, packaged muffins, yogurt, granola


I'm giving myself a limit for the groceries on the trip and the amount we will spend eating out. I'd rather not put my money where my mouth is.

4. Business Cards

This one is on everyone's list, but it needs to be said, regardless. I felt sorry for the folks who didn't have them at Type-A Mom. It was a sheer fluke that I did. My mom made me order some by passing me a link to Vistaprint one night and I created some 'free' cards and only paid shipping on them. I like them, and I'll use them again if I have to, but I would love to be able to afford custom cards like many of my friends had. There were so many amazing and creative cards.

I can't wait to get to Blissdom to collect another set of everyone's business cards. They are keepsakes for me as much as networking tools. I heart business cards and paper goods. I format words in my sleep. I used to be a desktop publishing wanna-be. I scrapbooked until I ran out of time to do it. I take pictures. I draw and doodle like I breathe. I collect greeting cards. It's only fitting that business cards make me happy.

...and that brings me to...

#5. Business Card HOLDER

Bring a business card case. Preferably one that has your name and mobile number on it in case someone finds it and has the moral decency to contact you. Where did I get this special tip? Past failure. I'm just trying to spare you my pain.

I lost every single card I had collected at Type-A Mom. It was like having the air let out of my sails. Very sad moment when I discovered it missing - along with a bag full of swag. The swag was great, but the cards were irreplaceable. Thankfully, many of the Type-A cast will be at Blissdom. And this time, their cards will be going HOME with me.

The most important thing you can bring isn't something that needs to be listed, though: it's just yourself and your smile. I told a friend on Twitter today that I probably won't be able to pay attention during the sessions because there are so many necks I want to hug. Once you get to the conference, all the nervousness gives way to 'bliss'. It's great to be in a place where you can talk to your blog friends without 140 character or geographical limits. It's so great to put the real, warm, wonderful people to those tiny avatars you have stored away in your mind.

It's great to know your imaginary friends are real.


Melissa Stover said...

that's the fun part, meeting all the people who live in your computer. can't wait, and i will be wearing jeans!

Meesa said...

This is such a sweet post, mommy. I really hope that we get sponsered so that we can all enjoy a nice, refreshing getaway to Tennessee in the Opry Land hotel with 800+ bloggers that are just dying to meet a sweet loving person like you. I love you mamma, and God will provide. God will provide.


Michelle said...

I look forward to going and meeting some of my favorite bloggers-someday!

I am going take a guess and say that it is the Business Card Holder? Don't know as I've never been before!

Dawn Camp said...

Praying it all works out and we'll meet again!

Karin Katherine said...

Great tips and I look forward to meeting you at Blissdom!

Ruthanne said...

Good tips, girlie!

Amy @ MomsTravelTales said...

Loved your tips!
Thanks for swinging by the Blissdom wardrobe roundup on MomsTravelTales. I promise I'm not a size 0, but I will say I worked hard to get where I am, thanks to Weight Watchers.:)
Looking forward to meeting you soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited for you!!!



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