I was recently asked to share my tips for attending a blogging event.
“Dear Kate on thin ice,
This will sound really silly but I have blogged for a year or so and made some good online friends. I have seen the adverts for blogging events like BritMums Live 17. I would love to attend one day to meet people in the real world and to learn more about blogging. However, I get really anxious in social situations and just think I will be left standing on my own feeling isolated and stupid.”
Dear Bricking It Blogger,
Thanks for getting in touch. The first thing to say is that your feelings are completely normal and opening up about them in a brave first step. You obviously really want to go deep down or you would not have put pen to paper about the situation. Here are my top tips based on personal experience and from talking with other bloggers.
It’s not all about you!
1. Instead of focusing on what ifs which involve you having a terrible time or making a fool of yourself, focus on the what ifs that see you making a new friend, having a giggle and just feeling like a person in your own right for a change.
2. Read about the experiences of other bloggers and you might realise just how many feel like you or have done so in the past.
3. Could you reach out to a blogger that you could travel with or at least meet up with to enter the venue together? It’s a courageous step but you could be doing that blogger a huge favour too.
4. If you really want to go for it. contact the event organisers and ask if you could have a role at the conference perhaps on reception or even hosting a workshop. Often if we have a role, we can hide behind that label a bit.
5. Read up the facts about social anxiety and find out how you can take baby steps to overcome it.
The event itself
6. On your way to the event, perhaps read an inspirational book. I find “Feel the Fear” by Susan Jeffers very simple but also very powerful.
7. When you get to the event, look out for people who are on their own or trying to merge into a wall. A really good place to find the nervous tribe is in the loos! That is why they get so crowded!
8. If it all gets too much for you , build in breaks where you can go somewhere just to breathe and take things in a bit. You do not have to attend every aspect of blogging events.
9. Reflect that whatever your fears, it has to be worse to be sitting at home reading the social media updates from everyone who is there and having an amazing time.
The really great thing is that WHEN you go, you can come back here and say what worked best for you thereby helping others in the future.
Can anyone else share their tips for attending a blogging event to help a anxious blogger?