I went to my first blog conference (Alt Summit) in 2012 when my blog was only a couple of weeks old. I didn’t know anyone. Not.one.person.
I had my business cards and I had my elevator gab and I’d “work the room” in between sessions introducing myself and asking people about themselves. I’d chat to whomever I was sitting beside during sessions.
And I’d retreat to my hotel room or to the bathroom to take a few deep breaths and recharge a bit.
But you know what? I met people. And not only did I meet people, I met people who “got” what I was passionate about. And not only that, I made friends that first conference that I am still friends with today.
Friends that I Skype with once a week or so. Friends that I have collaborated with on creative projects. Friends for whom I write a bimonthly column on their blog. Friends that I have seen again face-to-face in Seattle and NYC and Palm Springs. Friends who encourage me to up my game and do the very best work that I can.
THAT is why I go to conferences. It’s not just the sessions – of course you’ll learn a lot. It’s about the friendships that you make. Finding those people who really “get” you and understand why good design and quality writing and images make your heart sing.
And that makes ALL the difference.
Sandra Harris is a writer and photographer and founder of Raincoast Creative Salon, an online destination and offline salon series based in Vancouver that inspires you to be a better creative. Find Sandra on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram – or chat her up in person at BlogPodium in September!