I Saw A Million Faces; Well, You Know The Rest! #BlissDomCA

Where do you even start in formulating a proper recap of the weekend that was Blissdom Canada? I could write about all the great people I met, but listing only a few would be unfair and listing them all would be way too much! I want to write about the experience but speaking about the experience would pay it far more justice. That way, you could see my smile and my arms flailing wildly as I describe each session, interaction and excursion.

That still brings me back to my original question, “How do I accurately describe my time at Blissdom Canada?”

I guess I’ll start from the top. Being of the male persuasion, the thought of heading to a 500 person conference, where the ratio of women to men is 490:10, was a little overwhelming. Nightmarish thoughts of walking into the room and everyone glaring at me with disapproving eyes, filled my head in the days leading up to the event.

Once I arrived on site, it took about 30 seconds for those fears to disappear. That’s because 30 seconds is all it took for me to get my first warm welcome. The next one came at 45 seconds; and then at 60 seconds, it happened again. In fact, every single interaction I had the entire weekend was positive and welcoming.

Not one time did I feel out of place, as a blogger or as a man. I got nervous; and anxious; and overwhelmed at times, but that wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own. It’s a lot easier to say you’re going to go up to someone you idolize, than it is to actually do it. I was lucky to have some people watching out for me and making sure that I felt included in the fun and for that I am eternally grateful.

I went to Blissdom Canada to learn how to become a better blogger but I left with so much more than that. I left with a sense of belonging. I left with great connections. I left with a new found confidence in my abilities as a writer. Most importantly, I left with new friends. Not “friends” in the Facebook sense either, but real friends who are willing to help you when you have questions and who genuinely want to see you do well, as I do for them.

I could write a book about how fulfilling this conference was. I won’t, but I could! I sang, I learned, I laughed, I cried (Let’s not get into that, I am a man after all and I was watching a family video), I gangnam styled, I interpretive danced (see above), I connected, At Blissdom Canada, I saw a million faces…

And I rocked them all!

Thank you so much to the organizers, community leaders, sponsors and attendees. You made this experience one I will never forget and I am going to make it my goal to let the other male bloggers know that this is a conference that will accept them for who they are and not judge them based on their gender.

I’d also like to say a special Thank You to my wife, who was nothing but supportive of my time away and never made me feel like I was doing something wrong by being there. She is a great woman and my family is incredibly lucky to have her!

Cheers!

Oh yeah, I also got to spend an afternoon with Canadian Family Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief, Jennifer Reynolds. It was incredibly rewarding!

57 replies
  1. Becky
    Becky says:

    I’m glad you had such a great time! It was lovely to meet you at a microsession and put a face to the name. See you next year at Blissdom ’13? 🙂

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Same here, Becky! I really did enjoy my time there, although it was most likely difficult to tell…. Definitely in for Blissdom ’13!

      Reply
  2. Krista (@kristahouse)
    Krista (@kristahouse) says:

    I am so glad you enjoyed Blissdom Canada. It was a pleasure to meet you!

    PS. If you are wondering, Erin introduced us Saturday night. I was the Hershey’s Kiss (the problems of meeting new people at costume parties). haha

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Hahaha, I definitely remember! Funny, I was thinking the same thing while going through my photos for this post. They all had me in a ridiculous costume/pose and I had no idea what to go with! It was great meeting you!

      Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Yeah, the dance wasn’t one of my finer moments and I hear there may be a video circulating shortly…. Notes for next year 😀 It was great meeting you as well!

      Reply
  3. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    omg Krista’s reply just made me laugh.

    It was great to finally meet you, even if it happened in Toronto. You quickly discovered I’m a hand talker I’m sure, something that doesn’t translate on Twitter.

    I’m really happy to hear you got a lot out of the conference!

    Reply
  4. Nolie
    Nolie says:

    Didn’t you know the sign of an awesome time and is awkward high fives. Glad I got the chance to meet you. My goal this year was to actual meet people, have conversations and form relationships. I feel I achieved that.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Hahaha!! That was the most awkward High 5 attempt in my history as a High 5er. Note to self, introduce yourself before High 5ing strangers! 😀

      Reply
  5. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    Sounds like a good time was has by all. Yeah, I know that feeling when you walk into a room and don’t know anyone…a challenge. You dove right in!

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks, Sarah! It was great to meet you too! I really enjoy the connections because in a world filled with pitches and self promotion, they felt very genuine and real. It was a great conference!

      Reply
  6. CL
    CL says:

    Hey Chris, I’m so happy to read that you had a great time and weren’t to overwhelmed. It was great to spend time with you as usual.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      CL, you are one of my favourites! The number of times you went out of your way to make sure I fit in, is not repayable. Thank You!

      Reply
  7. shannon
    shannon says:

    It was super great to meet you (we sat together at the noob table on Saturday morning before they started splitting us up). And I’m glad everyone was so welcoming. I found the same thing.

    A vagina in a sea of vagina is scarier than being a dood; trust me.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      It was so great meeting you too, Shannon! The more I reflect, the more I realize that it was probably easier being a man at this conference. Maybe I’ll keep this little secret from the other guy bloggers 😀

      Reply
  8. Katja
    Katja says:

    When we show up at conferences like this with an attitude of excitement for whatever comes our way, even through our fears, it’s impossible to walk away with a negative experience.
    Your interpretive dance was a big highlight of Saturday evening. You’ve got humour on your side and people respond to that.
    See you next time.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks Katja, I have to say that it would have to have been really terrible for me not to have had a good time 😀

      It was great to meet you. Your personality is the type that lights up the room and it was awesome to see!

      Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Tara, it was a pleasure to meet you. I know how busy you were but you did an amazing job with everything! Hopefully we’ll get some time to talk next time!

      Reply
  9. ErinC
    ErinC says:

    You mentioned the interpretive dance! 🙂

    I knew barely a soul when I arrived in Toronto and it was definitely overwhelming. I guess the more of us who feel that way, the more likely we are to be welcoming to each other. I trust you’ll be there to get up on stage with us again next year….

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      How could I not mention it? It was the single biggest step out of my comfort zone the entire weekend. I’m happy to have met you and will always be ready to hop onto the stage! 😀

      Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks for visiting, Tenille! You were so well spoken in the CF excursion that I was a little intimidated but I know success doesn’t happen overnight and I’m ready to start learning!

      Reply
  10. Crys Wiltshire
    Crys Wiltshire says:

    Chris, you perfectly summed up the weekend! It was my first ever blogger conference and I was definitely nervous, but it was so completely worth it. On the note of approaching bloggers you idolize…I had to continually remind myself not to act like a crazy groupie…

    I am seriously thrilled to have met you and look forward to getting to know you better going forward. Super pumped about working on our Canadian Family piece – that was likely one of the biggest highlights of the weekend for me 🙂

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      I agree about the Canadian Family time, it was priceless. It was great to meet you too!

      Also, PS, I totally acted like a crazy groupie…and I don;t even care, haha! 😀

      See you soon!

      Reply
  11. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I wish I could have gone! All the recaps I’ve been reading this are killing me a little 😉

    Hopefully next year – although I don’t think my hubby would be as supportive as your wife (luucckkyyy!!)

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks Ali, same here! I still wish I had been a little more pushy in talking to people like yourself, instead of hovering around you and Gav until I finally decided not to come over, lol. It’ll come with time and conferences but I really enjoyed your session!

      Reply
  12. Imie
    Imie says:

    Wow! I never thought a man would enjoy the company of a over 400 women:) But I am glad you did and I hope this will encourage more men bloggeres to chill out with us women.

    Reply
  13. Brian Baas
    Brian Baas says:

    Chris it was an absolute pleasure to meet you I loved how you said that you left with friends. It was a great conference and I totally feel the same.

    Thanks for making me feel welcome as well

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks, Brian! It was great to meet another guy and a local one at that! Good luck with your new project and I hope you’ll keep me up to date on it.

      Reply
  14. Dee Brun
    Dee Brun says:

    SO GLAD you had such a fab experience…It was so great seeing you laughing , mingling and fitting right in..it’s like you actually had a vagina..;)
    Keep up the great blogging..and just being a fab superhero dancer…Cus ..”I’m a Dancer”…said in my best SNL skit Justin Timberlake voice…

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      You totally Pwned me on that one! I’m guessing you’ll be seeing more of me that you would like. I’m really going to try to make an effort to attend the local events.

      Reply
  15. Shash
    Shash says:

    MOAH!!!

    You threw yourself into the pack like a rockstar!! It was so great to finally get to meet you IRL.

    p.s. I totally loved the interpretative dance!

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks Shash! I don’t really know any other way to do things! I had a blast, it was great to meet you and I already can’t wait for next year’s edition!

      Reply

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