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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The post where I talk about going to BlogHer'09

I'll Be Hiding in a Corner
I'll be glad to make room and share the corner, though.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone with a blog and plans to attend a conference must write a post prior to said conference discussing her hopes, plans, and fears surrounding her attendance at the event. This is mine.

Too early on Thursday morning, I'm boarding a plane at LAX headed for Chicago, a city I've never visited before and probably won't get to see very much of during the few days I'll be there. They'll be filled with activities related toBlogHer'09, this year's edition of an annual blogging conference for women (and a few men) organized by BlogHer.com, which I'll be attending for the very first time. There will be presentations, panel discussions, instructional sessions, informal conversation and networking, and parties. LOTS of parties. (And even more parties that are private or semi-private, so they're not on the official party lists.) My attendance was generously sponsored by my mother-in-law.

I'm trying not to think too much about the parties. I've got a couple of invitations, and may stop by some a few of the public ones, but I really don't know. I'm not good in big crowds where it's hard to talk (it's part of the introvert thing), I don't drink much, and unless I can go in knowing I'll have some people to hang around with, I'm not sure I'll be brave enough to cross the threshold. And although I certainly hope I'll meet people, right now I'm not really prepared with names and times and places to do it. I don't feel as closely connected with bloggers from my area as I'd hoped to be by now - no one's fault, but I've missed a lot of off-line opportunities with them, and our paths around the blogiverse don't seem to cross as much lately. And I haven't come across too many book bloggers who have mentioned that they'll be going. In any case, I guess I'll be winging a lot of the social stuff - and that makes me nervous. Nearly all of my anxiety about this weekend has to do with socializing, since I'm not the most adept at doing it in person. I'm definitely one of those people who is more outgoing online - offline, I'm much more comfortable when I'm prepared for meeting people.
I can prepare for some things, though. I started getting things ready for packing last night, and since I'm starting my vacation on Wednesday, I can pack my bags without too much rushing. I arrive in Chicago early Thursday afternoon, so I hope to have plenty of time to find my way to the hotel, meet my roommate, and relax before a pre-conference get-together with fellow Moms Blog contributors from all over the country (and Canada, too!). Also, registration check-in opens on Thursday evening, so I'll probably try to take care of that then...you know, so I'll be prepared for Friday. I've put all of the sessions that interest me on my calendar - and though it wasn't premeditated, I've got something in there from almost every program track, so I should get a well-rounded experience during the conference days. It's the after-hours stuff on Friday and Saturday that I'm really not prepared for right now - so at this point I'm prepared to be a wallflower, or to be surprised by who I meet and what happens. And perhaps I'll be slipping away from the conference on Saturday evening and meeting up with a Chicagoland friend of the blog.

There's lots of talk about all the goodies that people will bring back from the conference, but I'll be leaving a few things behind. I've accidentally ended up with duplicate copies of a couple of review books, and I also have a few I never requested; I'll be bringing those with me to leave in undisclosed locations around the conference center, hoping they'll be found by willing readers! (I may not officially BookCross any more, but I still believe in it.) Of course, I will also be bringing a couple of books to read, and my Kindle - I'll need something to do during my flights (and all those times I'm not socializing).

I'm not sure yet if I'll have a post up this Thursday (I hope so, but it's not ready yet), but TBIF and the Weekend Review are getting this week off, and I may not have a new post here next week before Tuesday. My laptop is coming to BlogHer'09 with me, but I don't think there will be much time for drafting posts or blog-hopping while I'm there, so I apologize in advance for being a missing person around here for a few days!

If you'll be at BlogHer'09, I hope I won't miss meeting you! Please - even, or especially, if you've never commented here before - leave a comment to let me know you'll be there, and hopefully we'll find each other!

16 comments:

  1. I cant wait to hear your return post! WOW! I am hoping to do some of these events next year. By the time I heard about them I was already too close tot the dates to do anything about them.

    Have a blast!

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  2. I have a ream of paper that I need to organize. Because I have no idea what I'm doing!

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  3. Sheila - Thanks! I'm trying to keep an open mind and not be too nervous to enjoy it :-).

    Magpie - I've gotten a head start on that, but I have the day off tomorrow and will probably go back over all of it again!

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  4. I hope you have the time of your life and come back with lots of tips for the rest of us.

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  5. Looking forward to your return post. Hope you have a wonderful time!

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  6. Florinda - You're definitely one of the people on my list to meet in person at BlogHer. Keep an eye out for red hair and a cowboy (cowgirl) hat (probably with my nose in a book b/c that's how I'm most comfortable)!

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  7. I'll be there and staying at the Sheraton...hope to see you. I have no idea what sessions I want to attend yet. Trying to figure that our right now.

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  8. i'll be there--i didn't get invited to all those parties--but i'll be glad to have a buddy for some of the other stuff. i'll be at the sv moms party...

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  9. Chicago is a great town and the people are very nice and friendly. It's also a very easy town to get around in so if you opt out of the parties, then hop on a trolly and head to the Pier.

    I don't have a problem being around people but when I am away from the kids, I usually like to be by myself. I pick up food and head back to the room to feast in private, have a nice bath and of course read a good book! That can be fun too.

    You are pretty friendly too though so I am guessing you will make some friends and hang out at all the swank parties. I can't wait to hear your update posts. Have fun!

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  10. I was just looking at the forecast, it's not supposed to get to 80 the whole weekend (cooler near the lake). SO, you got that going for you, which is good.

    Hopefully things work out, I would like to actually talk to you in person for a change. :)

    The conference sounds like a good time!

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  11. I used to be a BookCrosser, too. I got tired of reading about how people found my releases at the used book store. Grrrrrr.

    Have fun in Chicago...I'm looking forward to reading about your adventure!

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  12. Kathy (Bermudaonion) and Anna - Thanks. I'll do my best to take good notes :-)!

    TexasRed - We'll probably find each other...maybe we'll both be reading in that corner :-)!

    Brimful Curiosities - I'm staying there too. With luck, our paths will cross!

    Melanie - Looking forward to meeting you on Thursday, and NOT going to all those other big-deal parties :-).

    Ti - I'll be in downtown Chicago, and I hope I'll get some time to look around. I know sometimes the crowds will get to be a bit much for me - and I'm definitely bringing books (not just the ones I plan to leave there)!

    The Festival of Books was much more manageable for me - smaller, and I knew exactly who I would be meeting, so I was much more relaxed :-). It will probably all work out fine, though, as long as I keep my foot out of my mouth.

    Mike - Thanks for the weather update. We've been having a heat wave here, so that forecast sounds great! And I hope things get worked out too - I'm sure we'll be talking, one way or another.

    Jill (Softdrink) - That would be annoying, and SO not the point of BookCrossing! I did a lot of trading by mail when I was active. My wild releases almost never got found. I haven't decided whether I'm registering the books I plan to leave at the conference on BC or not...I just might.

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  13. Have fun! I would be a nervous wreck going into something like this without knowing anybody there, but I'm sure it's one of those things that, once you're there, you'll have a great time.

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  14. Dreamybee - Internet was spotty at the conference (ironic, huh?) so I'm not responding to your comment until after I've gotten home, and I'll be writing more about it in the next few days...but it was pretty much a worthwhile trip.

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  15. I hope you have a great time. I've never been to chicago, but people I know love the place.

    I haven't been to a BlogHer conference, though I am a member of their site. Odd I know.

    I'm sure that you will meet some great people.

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  16. Serena - I liked what I saw of Chicago; I want to go back when I have more time and can bring my husband with me.

    I think there are a lot of BlogHer members who have never been to the conferences, but they seem to get bigger every year.

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Now it's YOUR turn - speak your piece, please! Or just let me know you were here; I always like that. But you'll have to leave a name - I've disallowed anonymous comments due to some recent spam problems. Thanks!