Blissdom Canada: Inspiration Is Waiting For You

Blissdom Canada

When I showed up at the Blissdom Canada conference last year, I had been blogging for about 8 months. I still had the feeling that I had been duped by my friend, Shannon (zchamu), who said that there would be plenty of men at the conference and that I NEEDED to go. She ended up being right about one of those two things…

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that I was outnumbered about 20:1 in the Women:Men department, and most of the men in attendance were well established bloggers and media personalities, so it was just a tad intimidating. That said, I made a decision before walking into the room at Blissdom, that I would not accept fear as a reason to not get the most out of my experience. So, I said hi to almost everyone I wanted to say hi to, I asked questions at my round tables, I met new and amazing people, I dressed in a super hero costume, I did interpretive dance, I sang karaoke as loudly as I possibly could and I walked into a room where I was in the clear minority, and pretended like I was just like everybody else, which I kind of was. All of those things combined, helped me to leave Blissdom Canada with a completely new outlook on blogging and what I wanted to be, both as a blogger and as a person.

Seriously, they are not paying me to say any of this. Even as new and inexperienced as I was, the take aways from Blissdom Canada have set me on a path that I could have never imagined when I started this little blog. I get to cover kids shows & music festivals, work with amazing companies and bloggers, raise money for charity, help people in need, do TV and radio interviews and now I can add speaking at conferences to my list of accomplishments. All of this started at Blissdom Canada, where I learned to have the confidence in my abilities that I desperately needed to try some of the crazy things I have done.

Now I ask you, other than money, why are you not sure if Blissdom Canada is for you? Are you shy? Think you are too new? Do you get hives because Tanis “Attack Of The Redneck Mommy” Miller might be standing right next to you and you don’t want her to notice how sweaty and unreasonably excited you are to meet her? Are you intimidated by Erica Ehm and her Yummy Mummy Club superstardom? I was, but guess what? Just say hi. They are incredibly kind people and I promise you they won’t bite. Or at least they didn’t bite me… There are so many excuses not to come but I hope my story is something that you can relate to, because you’ll write me a thank you letter once you get home from it.

Let me go one step further. Here is my offer and promise to you. If at any point, you get overwhelmed, lonely, nervous, shy, sweaty or any other thing else that happens to us for some unfair, no good reason, I invite you to come and hang out with me until it subsides. I’ve been there and understand how tough it can be to be the new kid on the block. Plus, I had some great people help me out on my first trip to Blissdom and want to pay that kindness forward. So, tweet me, DM me, FB me, find me, and say hi. Don’t let nerves ruin your experience.

And, finally, Men of the blogging/social media/brand world! This is NOT just a conference for women. In fact, I can’t think of one time where I was made to feel unwelcome or where the content was completely woman centric. So get off your butts and join me at this thing. If not, I am going to return to Blissdom Canada again this year, more confident that ever, and I am going to be one of the few guys again and I will get all the guy spotlight and …. Actually, on second thought, maybe you guys should sit this one out.

Captain Caffeine! At Your Service!

Captain Caffeine! At Your Service!

14 replies
  1. Rebecca says:

    great recap – it’s so true, there is so much that Blissdom offers to everyone.

    And it’s important to remember that even those who have been in this space longer are intimidated (and I can say that because I’m one of them!) it’s an exciting and nervous time all at once but so rich with potential

    looking forward to this year!

    Reply
  2. Suzanne Rudge (MapleMouseMama) says:

    I am breathing a sigh of relief here Chris, you make this sound easy! Okay, well not really easy, but doable so I am happy I bought my ticket that first day back in April :-) I have to admit I am scared witless, but so darn excited for my first Blissdom that I hope the fear is soon quelled. “Hope” being the operative word here…

    I am, however, super excited to rub shoulders with all these awesome bloggers I can only read about for now. I have to ask a question though; does everyone wear their name tags, all the time? I am super paranoid about forgetting names and with most bloggers having two ( and sometimes three) names, well, I’m already starting to feel that sweaty, overwhelmed feeling you describe :-( God help me! I am calling shotgun at your table now please?

    Suz

    Reply
    • Chris Read says:

      No need to fear! As far as I can remember, everyone had their name tags on the whole time. That is an area where I was definitely at a disadvantage, considering where the name tag hangs… I get one quick glance and have to remember for the rest of the time, lol. Son’t worry, everything is going to be fine. Deep breaths! See you there!

      Reply
  3. Vinma says:

    Thank you so much for the great post! I am one of the attendees this year and super excited about it! This is my first blogging conference of any kind and I am a nervous wreck already.. But I have this annoying habit of embracing the mysterious with an open mind and gets easily enticed by the hidden treasures that such opportunities may present lol I am determined to learn as much as I can and very excited to meet you over there. Cheers :)

    Reply
  4. Delta says:

    I am definitely getting excited! I am confident that this is a step in the right direction for me. Thanks again for your encouragement.

    Reply
  5. Jackie says:

    Wow, Chris – you have hit my inner voice of insecurity with a badly-needed dose of reassurance to almost all of my silly worries! Thank you! This is my first blogging/social media conference, and I’ve also only been blogging for a year, so I expect to be sort of like you last year. Without the superhero costume and karaoke…and the being male part, of course… Looking forward to meeting you and everyone else!

    Reply

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