Why You Should Attend Blogger Interactive 2014

29 Oct

BeccaLogoTX_largeThe very first installment of Blogger Interactive has come and gone. What started as a casual comment in a Facebook thread turned into something of which I am very proud. I’m glad I was a part of the planning process because if I hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have gone.

It isn’t that I don’t have the resources (vacation time, money, a child-free weekend) to do something like this. On the contrary, I live a very “no strings attached” lifestyle. The only thing that would have gotten in my way would have been myself.

I spent so much of my life invisible that being visible is a very hard thing for me to do. I don’t like meeting new people. I don’t like being in social situations without at least one friend there with me. I don’t like people knowing enough about me to have expectations because that could mean I disappoint them when we do meet.

Blogger Interactive forced me to go outside of my comfort zone, and I’m really glad it did. I learned that all of my fears were irrational, and would have caused me to miss out on a great time. If you could have gone, but didn’t, here’s why you should reconsider for next year.

It’s not as scary as you think it’ll be.

You know those people who are great at peer interactions? Yeah, I’m not one of them. I get sweaty palms, dry mouth, and my hands shake. That goes up tenfold when I’m with people I’ve never met before. While I definitely experienced that before getting to Austin, it disappeared once people started arriving. I’m not known for being a hugger, and yet I gave multiple ones this past weekend. I didn’t have to force a single conversation, and if hadn’t been for that pesky sleep thing, I probably would have talked to some people all night. It was easy being there, that’s the best way I can describe it.

It was fun.

That’s an understatement. I was exhausted the whole weekend because everything was at a level 10 when everyone was together. Several conversations were going on at once, people were dancing, there was loud laughter, the venues (and their staff) were incredible, and I was blinded several times by the flash of a camera. Having a group of people who’ve never met before come together for the first time, especially after knowing each other online for some time, creates an energy worth experiencing.

You will make connections.

I detest networking.  I hate shaking people’s hands and telling them a laundry list of things I’m good at. This is an un-networking networking event if I’ve ever been to one. Lauren from Key + Arrow mentioned to me that she was afraid to ask people if she could guest post, and I said I knew bloggers who would love to have her. Julian Gallo, one of our speakers, was able to connect with John from SocietyRed to talk about self-publishing. I have some ideas I’m tossing around that I’ll be approaching attendees about in the near future. This event made seemingly inaccessible things/people/information more accessible, and that is what networking is really about.

You will be inspired.

Between the guest speakers, and interacting with other bloggers in a more personal way, my creative juices are flowing hardcore. I want to self-publish a book now. I have several projects I want to start. I have dozens of post ideas. I want to revamp my blog. I want to take a more active role in community building here on WordPress. This weekend reminded me of why I was a writer.

“But Jen, this is all so easy for you to say. You’re one of the organizers. This wouldn’t apply to me.” Uh, yes it would. Do you want to know how I know that? Because other attendees echoed these same sentiments to me several times throughout the event. If it applies to us, it applies to you.

There will be an official wrap up post over at the Blogger Interactive site coming soon, but for now, I wanted to give you my “fresh from the trip” thoughts. Hope to see more of you at BI 2014!

I want take this moment to personally thank the bloggers (and blog supporters!) who attended the event, and encourage all of you reading this to visit their sites.

25ToFly

A Rich, Full Life In Spite Of It

Ardent & Awkward / in Austin

Brother Jon

Julian Gallo

Key + Arrow

Michelle Stodden

SocietyRed

The Grey Tales

The Indie Chicks

Vyvacious

87 Responses to “Why You Should Attend Blogger Interactive 2014”

  1. vyvacious 11/10/2013 at 12:58 pm #

    ❤ ❤ I CAN'T WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR'S!!! ❤ ❤

    • Jen and Tonic 11/10/2013 at 1:05 pm #

      I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. That was legit the best vacation I ever took.

      • vyvacious 11/10/2013 at 1:13 pm #

        It was fun being your roomie for a few days too!! Thanks for letting me stay with you au gratis, I still owe you that dinner! 😉

        • Jen and Tonic 11/10/2013 at 1:15 pm #

          Oh yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you were also able to party with the other building tenants. HA! You make a splash everywhere you go.

          • vyvacious 11/10/2013 at 1:24 pm #

            Bahahaha! I freaking LOVED it 😛

  2. Bryan Hoffpauir 11/07/2013 at 11:54 am #

    Jen, I loved your post, but you didn’t mention it’s slated for New Orleans, which may be a significant reason for some to attend in and of itself 😀

    • Jen and Tonic 11/07/2013 at 8:19 pm #

      At the time we wrote it we hadn’t yet talked about BI 2014. We will be soon, promise! 🙂

  3. Madame Weebles 11/03/2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I had heart palpitations just reading this. But I’m SO glad you had a good time. Big ups to you for planning and actually doing this, sister.

  4. philosophermouseofthehedge 10/31/2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Enjoyed your review. Austin has to be a perfect location for this.
    Paragraph 3 – can identify. But maybe….
    Thanks for sharing…really sounds cool

    • Jen and Tonic 10/31/2013 at 9:02 pm #

      I hope you mean that it sounds cool enough to actually attend next year. I’d understand if you couldn’t, but if you can, I’d encourage it!

  5. SocietyRed 10/31/2013 at 9:43 am #

    Jen, Jen, Jen,
    I can’t believe I’m back home. And at work. And that we have nothing scheduled for tonight. I’m having serious blogger friend withdrawals. And bacon. And BBQ.
    I can’t remember a weekend that had more fun crammed into it. Thank you for your work putting it together and especially for your encouraging words. I can’t wait until next year; we’re gonna need a bigger city because EVERYONE is going to attend!
    Now I gotta go find some bacon.
    Red

    • Jen and Tonic 10/31/2013 at 9:00 pm #

      First of all, I fully expect to be one of the first people to buy your book…and get it signed. I’d offer to help you during the writing process, but you live with a professional. I know it’s going to be great.

      Thanks again for coming. It was definitely the highlight of my year to meet everyone. We will be in touch about hanging out before the next BI.

      also…BACON.

  6. The Hook 10/31/2013 at 4:07 am #

    Well done, Jen.
    Well done.
    (By the way, Becca has gotten her due as well, so don’t come looking for me, okay?)

    And by the way, your new couple name is Jecca. Long may she live.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/31/2013 at 8:54 pm #

      Jecca sounds a holy land people want to visit every year…kind of like Blogger Interactive. HINT HINT.

  7. mabukach 10/30/2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Totally awesome.
    I’m at the next one

  8. La La 10/30/2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I am truly sad that I missed it. I loved all the pictures and posts and will definitely be there for the next one, even if it means robbing some old people to do so.

  9. jeanjames 10/30/2013 at 8:50 am #

    What a smart idea. Sounds like you guys had a blast! It must have felt like meeting bachelor #3 for the first time.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/31/2013 at 12:32 am #

      It was, except none of us got to have meaningless sex with each other. Maybe next year!

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