People often ask me, Why do you attend blog conferences? You spend money that you really don't have, you take time away from your family, it stresses you out when you are getting ready - why do you do it to yourself? After all, you have real life friends and you have fun with them. Why go through all of the aggravation?
I do it for situations like the one I'm in right now, where I have two friends sitting on beds in my room - and we are all on our laptops and not talking to each other - and we are ok with it.
We get it.
It's being in a room of people all texting and facebooking on their phones, not looking at each other - but they are most definitely interacting with each other and knowing that no one is offended.
We get it.
It's not so much going to the sessions, which are often all kinds of amazing and sometimes aren't, and sometimes are as sparsely attended as my fitness panel - with only 4 people listening to me. It's not getting knowledge, for I can do that in my home. That's the beauty of the Internet. I can research and google, craft and prepare to my hearts content.I can learn at home on my own time. In my pj's.
Conferences are different. Hard to explain. I have many friends in real life, and I adore them. I laugh with them, I hang with them, cry and support them in ways that are magnificent and breathtaking, rich and deep and fulfilling.
Internet is different. Meeting with online friends refreshes my soul and completes me in a way that's untapped, unfettered. Solid and true.
It's sitting in a room of people who just GET YOU. Who ask for your name and your blog and your twitter handle all in the same breath, before they ask who you work for or who your children are or where they go to school. It's meeting up with people that you know online for YEARS - hello, Liz of Hallmark, I'm talking to you! - and not having to do all of the tired and trite intros. It's getting right into the meat of a conversation, adding a new twitter follower and knowing that you are just understood in a way that transcends both explanation and acknowledgement.
It's laughter. Laughter until you pee your pants and can't breathe.
Taken by the amazing and uber talented Heather of Heather Durdil Photography. I was laughing at a funny story she told. And then she showed me tricks on Lightroom that I haven't ever been able to figure out.
I will have many many many more pictures later next week, as they show up on Flickr and I grab them. I don't know if I've even touched the tip of how I feel when I go to conferences - but this is close.