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.