I was TERRIFIED. What the hell am I doing? Why am I here? What makes me think I belong? Strains from the music on the plane drifted through my head, and I forced myself to breathe.
I can do this. I must do this.
Opening the door, I forced myself out for the evening. First stop, Arta Gallery where we nibbled on snacks, sipped wine, and I introduced myself to fellow bloggers. Music, great people, bits of food, I wandered from person to person, trying to remember names and not look too obvious about staring at people's name tags, which were most often pinned on their chests. My head was spinning part way through-I must say, the most overwhelming thing about Blissdom was trying to keep everyone straight. Of course a few people I recognized immediately, but some took some time. Some, unfortunately, I saw and didn't clue in at ALL until I came home.
Next stop was the Body Blitz Spa with the Yummy Mummy Club, where I got to soak with 50 fellow Moms in a lovely salt water pool, complete with jets. After a long day traveling, it was just the thing to relax me! Of course, a good way to break the ice with all these fellow women was to have to get naked in front of them as we all changed. Yikes! We were encouraged to at least dip our toes in the cold plunge pool, which was like an "Ontario lake in the middle of May."
Um, right. Toes. Only. Half the fun was watching everyone else go in the cold pool and laughing at their faces while they squealed. I met so many amazing women! We sipped on delicious smoothies and relaxed.
Back at the hotel, I thought I wasn't tired but the second I sat on the bed, I began to fade. Tomorrow? Another day. Meeting people wasn't so bad. I think I really could do it.
My first full day at Blissdom had a few embarrassing moments. When I had registered, I was asked if I was nervous. Let's go through the check list, shall we?
1. First plane trip in 17 years
2. First big conference
3. First time in Toronto
4. First time on a PANEL speaking to people
HELL YES I'm nervous! I was then asked if I wanted a little happy face sticker on my name tag. Now, what I didn't know was the happy face stickers meant that I was alone, didn't know anyone, and possibly needed a little extra sugar from all the other ladies to make me feel at home.
So at one point, when we happy faced ladies were asked to stand, I did.
Which was kind of stupid in my case. Why?
Because everyone in the room knew who I was. (sheepish grin)
There is something a little strange about being known by everyone in a room full of people that you have never met. It feels backwards, somehow. Everyone knew about Kevin and John, talked to me about cookies and Food Revolution, and there I was staring at their name tags trying to place them. People kept coming up to me and saying, "OH! I follow you on Twitter!"
And then I felt bad. Mostly because with over 4, 000 followers on twitter and a brain that can't even remember where I parked the car at our mall with only FIVE STORES, I can't remember all my twitter followers. I can't even remember where my house keys are, people.
They are around here somewhere. I think. I haven't seen them since Tuesday.
I made it easy for all of you, with my twitter handle right on my shirt from Foundation Studios, and my business cards that used my avatar pic right on them. By the way I loved my shirt and I highly recommend them when you attend conferences or tweet ups, because everyone will know who you are!
The second embarrassing moment was as I was talking to someone over by Clippo's table, where she was graciously giving away some free products, and as I reached for something I squeezed my coffee cup. The top leaped off as if it were trying to break free, and coffee dumped all over the table.
I wanted the floor to swallow me WHOLE, thank you very much.
Scott Stratten was amazing as a key note-probably one of the best keynotes I've heard, and all I wanted to do was listen to him some MORE. If you haven't read his book Unmarketing, RUN to the nearest bookstore and buy it. Seriously. Required reading.
Sessions were good and informative, and I noticed that I probably have the smallest bladder in the room. Petit Bon bon candies were on the tables and I worked hard at NOT eating them all when everyone was busy listening. (not so successful in some cases) I admit that at one point jet lag was catching up with me and in order to stay awake I chugged coffee because dude, I was beginning to snooze at the table and that would NOT look good.
Besides, later that evening I almost had to give Redneck Mommy the Heimlich, so I needed to be awake. She's just so full of awesome we couldn't lose HER at a party, could we?
You'll have to come back for the whole story.