Non-BlogHer attendees: Please ignore. Come back tomorrow. Or check out Sam, Quinn, and my trip to the the-ah-tah yesterday.
The pre-BlogHer flurry of posts has begun. Or continued. I’m not sure it ever stops. As far as I can tell, all the BlogHer posts out there are of two types: tips and freak outs. While I’m not generally the person to offer tips about…anything, I figured why the hell not? I’ve been twice. I’ll share my (snicker) wisdom.
Here is what I have to say about the whole thing:
Tips for BlogHer!
1. Take $1 bills. Every time I go to a blogging event I forget to do this, especially because drinks are often free at such things. Here’s the thing though: tips aren’t. You will want to tip your bartenders. Loudly lamenting about your lack of anything but $20 bills in front of the dude who just made you a drink is way not slick.
2. No one will think you’re fat. Everyone will be too busy feeling insecure about the way they look to notice your flaws. So don’t worry. Except, wait. Now that you’re not insecure anymore, are you going to notice my fat? Dammit. I’ve Catch-22’ed myself.
3. Take business cards. I’ve always made mine myself with Quark, Photoshop, and an inkjet printer and they are just fine. Alternately, there are some fine online business card purveyors that offer rush shipping. This year I got lazy and decided to go with that option, minus the rush shipping. Some people (me) will hand out small items of swag. We are nerdy idiots. Ignore us.
4. Take some down time to get to know someone new. Really chat. Don’t just rush around and try to do everything. Don’t get so bogged down in telling everyone about your blog that you forget to make actual connections. Also, remember that probably not everyone will know who you are. In fact, it’s likely that most people won’t. At least that’s been my experience. There are a lot of bloggers at this conference. Don’t feel bad about that. Think of it as an opportunity to make a new friend or reader.
5. Try to go to panels. Lots of people just attend BlogHer to hang out with their buddies from across the country. This is a very valid reason for attending BlogHer. However, I LOVE sitting in a room and really getting to hear what some of my favorite bloggers have to say about a topic in detail. I hear there’s a great panel on autism this year first thing on Friday! Also attend the community keynote. One of my roommates, Susan, will be speaking. Cheer for her. Also, you will be inspired. Furthermore, know that you can’t do everything. Pick and choose what you want to do, but be willing to change your plans.
6. It’s not about the swag. Swag is awesome. I love it. I really do. I’ll take it if you hand it to me. I’ll enjoy and appreciate it. But I tell myself before any blogging event that I go to that if I don’t get swag—even awesome swag that I was “supposed” to get—it’s okay, because the reason I went was to meet people and hang out with friends anyway. You will remember making a new blogging buddy a year later, but you will probably not remember whatever was in the swag bag at the party you met her at.
7. Everyone says to take Advil. I say take Pepto Bismol. Last year, I had to buy a $10 box of it in the hotel gift shop for my gastrointestinal…discomfort. Come to think of it, take both. Or come see me. I’ll have them.
8. Seriously. Comfy shoes. And, really, wear whatever you want. Maybe not a stained t-shirt and ripped shorts, but if you look fairly tidy, you’ll be appropriate. Don’t pack everything in your closet.
9. Ignore the drama. There’s always drama. Don’t worry about it. We’re not there to rip each other down. We’re there to support each other. Live and let live, I say. Don’t let people looking for problems ruin your weekend.
10. Come up with an elevator pitch, even if it is as lame as “I write a humor blog about autism.” And, seriously, if that is what you come up with, prepare for some strange looks. But even that is better than 10 minutes into my first BlogHer when someone asked me (literally, in an elevator) what I wrote about and I didn’t have a good answer, but mumbled on and on.
11. If you see me say hi. Please. I want to meet you. If you’re a reader of my blog, I super extra special want to meet you.
As long as I’m trying to be everything to everyone, I might as well go with my freak out post as well. Although I don’t really freak out about BlogHer. I’m really just excited. I was freaked out before BlogHer ’08, but then I walked into the hotel and met Erika Jurney at the front desk and she was awesome to me and all was well.
Both years I’ve been, I’ve walked into my room and been a little bit like, well, what now? Make sure you have someone’s cell phone number. Call them and make them meet you in the lobby. Tag along wherever they are going. They will be happy to have you. I almost guarantee it. Alternately, take your laptop and go sit in the lobby. Look up and smile a lot. Oh, wait. That sounds a lot like Tip #12.
Okay, so instead of a freak out post, I’ll update my things you should know about Stimey before you meet her at BlogHer post. Most things from my original post are probably still pretty much true. I’ve updated the list a little bit although parts of it are verbatim from my pre-BlogHer 2008 post.
Things you should know about Stimey before BlogHer!
1. I’m a nervous laugher and may guffaw inappropriately. If you start telling a story and I laugh waaaaaay before the punchline, just assume that I can see the funny coming in advance. I may also laugh even if I don’t get the joke, just so I can fit in.
2. I will say, “That’s so funny,” a lot. Every once in a while I will switch it up with, “That’s hilarious.” I also say “dude” more than is really necessary. I will either curse more or less than you expect me too. I hope to not do so when I am speaking at my panel.
3. I will blush a lot. Don’t worry, you haven’t embarrassed me. My body seems to think I am embarrassed more than I really am. So my rampant blushing means that my body thinks I should be embarrassed. I find that the blushing embarrasses me more than almost anything else in my life. In truth, I don’t take myself very seriously, so it’s difficult to cause shame or embarrassment in me.
4. I may abruptly interrupt your conversation. I may just as abruptly wander off during a conversation. My social skills aren’t quite up to par and sometimes I feel a little scattered at BlogHer.
5. It’s quite possible that I will attach myself to you and you will be all, why the hell is Stimey following me around? Feel free to say, “Hey, I’m going to run to my room/the bathroom/the bar/that empty table over there. I’ll see you later.” I won’t be offended.
6. If you’re talking to me and want my super awesome, super secret swag and I haven’t offered you said swag, just go ahead and ask for the swag.
7. I’m not as insane or as funny as I may seem on my blog. In fact, I’m kind of boring. Although I am wildly inconsistent, so sometimes that unintentionally comes across as insane or funny. If you don’t find my blog funny, then I will be exactly as funny as I seem on my blog.
8. I may come up to you very excited to meet you and then not have a clue what to say. Feel free to step in and lead the conversation.
9. Guaranteed I will not recognize you or remember who you are for more than five minutes. I will have difficulty remembering your blog even if I read it every day. I may meet you and then forget you by face, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t adore you. It means that you are an actual real life person who forgot to wear her name tag.
10. If you are not going, I will miss you.
There you go. Now you are fully prepared. You’re welcome.