Getting excited about FitBloggin‘ coming up June 27th in Portland, OR! I'm so excited to see my blogging friends and to meet new people. It's one of the most supportive environments ever, and it's like getting a hug for 3 days straight (in a totally non-creepy way.)
Even though I've been to the past 2 FitBloggin conferences, I still get nervous. This year's location is brand new, so it will be new to all of us whether or not we have been to these conferences in the past. I remember walking into the hotel lobby in 2011 and praying that I would recognize someone, ANYONE! I was off the airport shuttle for all of 30 seconds before I was tackled by Brittany and then Tara. I remember during the name tag party the first night, I saw Shauna and Jennette and was so shy that I didn't think I'd speak to them. Liquid courage helped me get over that, and I'm so glad that I did!
2012 was a little less stressful, but there's still anxiety for anyone going into a situation with a big mix of people! I remember seeing Sheryl and contemplating for about 3 hours if I'd go talk to her. I finally did and she was awesome. I've never encountered an unkind person at FitBloggin, so don't be afraid to put yourself out there! Also, don't get shy if it seems like a lot of people have known each other a long time – jump in! Remember that some of us talk or Skype regularly (even more sometimes than our local friends so it's our time to see each other in person. It has nothing to do with being cliquey – say hello!
Here are my tips for FitBloggin' newbies:
- Don't stress about what to wear. Seriously. There are workouts in the morning and sometimes there isn't enough time to change before sessions. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable! I have to limit workouts on my foot, so I won't be wearing much workout wear, but I am just one of those people who dresses up for everything (as I was told by my Starbucks barista yesterday). I'll likely be the out-of-place one. Go comfy and wear what makes you feel great.
- Swag. The FitBloggin' sponsors are very generous and you'll have loads of things given to you. This means 2 things: 1) Leave lots of room in your luggage for swag, or bring an empty duffel bag to fill for your trip home; 2) If you won't use the swag, leave it at the swag exchange at the end of the conference. I limit the amount I bring home as some of it just ends up sitting around collecting dust. Give it to someone else who will use it.
- Tag along. Not sure what you're doing for dinner or for after dinner? Join others! Ask people after sessions what their plans are, or if it's last minute, check out the hotel lobby to see where people are headed. If all else fails, tweet under the #fitbloggin hashtag for a companion.
- People time is important. There are so many awesome sessions packed in a short period of time. Don't forget people time too though. Don't feel bad if you want to skip a session to gab with others. I learned this last year when I skipped a session to grab coffee with Shauna. Learn things, but also make connections.
I'm looking forward to emceeing the FitBloggin' athletic fashion show which I've worked on the past few months. I'm also excited to lead the discussion about “when you have a lot to lose” Saturday at 1:30pm. Bring your tissues for that one – it always ends up being emotionally charged and extremely uplifting.