In just 28 days, I’ll be headed to Philadelphia to attended the Healthy Living Summit. I went last year, had an awesome time and am really looking forward to going again. A lot has changed since last August: I’m feeling more confident about Relishments and myself as a blogger. So, if you’re going to HLS for the first time (or the second, or the third), or some other blogging conference, take a moment to learn from my experience.
7 Things I Won’t Do at This Year’s HLS
1. Not be able to clearly describe my blog
Last year, when someone asked me what my blog was about, my answer was something like this: “It’s a blog about…food…and it’s mostly vegetarian, but sometimes not, and I write about places I’ve been and recipes and stuff…”. It doesn’t matter if I was talking to a sponsor or a new friend, that answer just doesn’t make people want to read my site. I don’t know why I wasn’t prepared; it’s the most obvious question to expect. This year, I’m feeling a lot more confident about Relishments and am attending prepared to talk about it.
2. Dress like a slob
I mention in last year’s recap that “yoga pants and tank tops are the ultimate outfits”, but I’ve rethought that position since then. Was I comfortable? Yes, sort of. But yoga pants and tank tops are what I wear when I’m not planning to leave the house, or I’m at the gym. I think I would’ve felt more comfortable surrounded by 200 other people if I’d worn something else. So, I’m rethinking my wardrobe to reflect me, not what I think I’m “supposed” to wear.
3. Only spend time with people I know
When I headed to Chicago last year, I didn’t know anyone else attending—at least, not in real life. Now, I’ve got all the incredible women from CDNY Eat Drink Blog as my friends and a lot of them are attending. But I can hang out with them any time, they’re only an hour away. For me, HLS 2011 is going to be about meeting new people.
I was super stressed about the 5k fun run/walk at last year’s Summit. Luckily, a lot of us ended up walking. This year, however, I know I can run and I might do just that. Or I might walk. But I’m confident enough to know that whichever route I choose to go, no one is judging me.
5. Be shy about networking
Once upon a time, I thought Relishments wasn’t good enough. I was terrified of meeting “big bloggers” and I didn’t think anyone would know my name. Now, I realize that there are people who know my name, that I have just as much potential as anyone else and that I love writing this blog. As a result, I’m going to put myself out there as much as possible and try to make connections.
6. Drink coffee
It was at least year’s Summit, after a coffee run with some new friends, when I realized that every time I drank coffee, I felt like junk for hours afterwards. Shortly after arriving home, I cut coffee from my life completely. Since then, my stomach’s been a lot happier. I’ll go out to coffee shops with people, but I’ll be ordering tea.
7. Miss out on catching up with friends from last year or skimp on photos.
I met a lot of really fabulous bloggers last year, including Krista, Freya and Shannon. I’m so excited to see them again, catch up and hang out. That said, there aren’t very many photos of me with the other awesome attendees. This year, I’m going to try to be less camera shy.
Also worth reading:
Speaking of healthy living bloggers,
In late June, Susan from The Great Balancing Act was diagnosed with cancer. Not only is she dealing with the shock of the diagnosis and enduring the harsh cancer treatments, but she’s facing around $5000 a month in medical bills. The healthy living community has done an amazing job of supporting her as best we can via the internet. Janetha, the amazing blogger behind Meals and Miles, has put together an online auction to help Susan out. There is a ton of great stuff up for auction. You do not need to be a healthy living blogger to participate. Check out the details about how Monday’s auction will work.