In just 23 Days, I will be getting on another airplane and heading South again. And again, I am traveling to a place I have never been before. I think it is prudent to say that 2012 is the year of Travel for BeachMama, travel to new and exciting places, where I get to meet amazing people and have amazing experiences.
Next stop for me, Nashville, Tennessee for Blissdom’12 at the Opryland Hotel. Wow! I am so thrilled to be a Community Leader in the Photography Niche, which means that I will be hosting a round table in the Photography Niche, so bring your photo questions, gear questions, blog questions and join me at my table.
Of Course this post doesn’t stop there. I also welcome you to come and talk to me anytime at the conference. If you are a newbie to conferences or Blissdom, please don’t be shy. Although this is my first Blissdom in the US, I have attended both Blissdom Canada Conferences in Toronto. And although I was part of the official photography team, I was able to absorb and enjoy both conferences. I have also attended Blogher ’10 and ’11, Women in Business last May, She’s Connected ’10 and ’11, Amplify Her Awesome as the official photographer, Imaging USA, The Savvy Photographer Workshop on the Waterfront and, and, I think that is all in the last few years, but it is a lot. And I have enjoyed each and every one of them for so many reasons. The best one being how I was able to connect with different people and be inspired by them.
Since I am so often on the other side of the camera, here is a little photo of me so you can get the idea. Although I don’t think I will be dressed for summer in Nashville, I will have my camera with me so I thought it would be fun to show you one of my self portraits from San Diego last year. I will be less tanned, but just as smiley.
Since I have attended a few conferences, I thought it would be a good idea for me to offer a few of my Do’s And Don’ts of Conference Etiquette. I am sure others will find more to add, but here are a few tips from me.
- Bring your power supplies for all your devices, you will need to recharge when you least expect it and you don’t want to be running around looking for the one person who has the same cell phone as you.
- Label all your power supplies and personal devices. There will be room’s full of people with all the same things you want to be able to identify yours.
- Bring a power bar for your hotel room and to possibly bring down with you to the conference rooms. There are never enough plugs and unless you want to find yourself sitting on the floor leaning on the wall next to a plug, it’s a good idea.
- Bring a refillable water bottle. Hotels are dry and there is usually jugs of water or stations to refill, its a good thing to remember.
- Bring a few extra things to wear. Once you plan your wardrobe, throw in an extra outfit or two. You never know when your plans might change or you just feel like changing! You may not want to go from sitting in a conference room to a party in the same outfit. It feels good to change (some say I do it a lot…)
- Extra pair of comfortable shoes. Packing is always tight and if you are like me you bring all your party shoes, and look great shoes and by the end of the second day you just wish you had your really comfy shoes. Throw them in! Better to be comfy than not, I always say.
- A sweater. Since I have never been to Nashville, well, ever, I can’t say what the weather will be exactly. But I do find that no matter what time of year conference rooms can be chilly. It doesn’t hurt to throw in a sweater or wrap that you can throw in your bag and pull out when needed, there is nothing worse than being cold all day. Trust me I live in Ottawa and it is winter right now.
- Don’t forget your business cards, if you don’t have any right now don’t despair you can have some made up and printed very quickly at your local Staples or Kinko’s. Put your info on them, Blog name and link, Twitter handle, Facebook Page and if you can a photo of you (I need to add this to my next round of social media business cards myself).
- Don’t forget your camera. You don’t have to have a big fancy camera, bring your point and shoot or your cell phone, but make sure you have room to take pics, there is always so much to see and capture and you never know when you might run into someone you have been dying to meet, get that photo of the two of you together.
- Don’t forget extra batteries for your camera!
- Don’t forget to tip your bartender at the parties! This is my biggest don’t. Even if you get a free drink ticket, don’t forget that the bartenders are still making your drink, throw down a single or some change, it will make their night and they will remember you if you need some water or something else that night.
- Don’t forget to tip the maid service and bellman. This is usually done on your last day, as you leave right your maid service a little Thank you note with your tip and leave it on the dresser. Let them know you appreciated all those fresh towels and extra coffee they dropped off for you. And the bellman, scrambling to get you a cab, be sure to thank him as well.
Whew! I think that is all for now. At least all that I can think of at this moment…. except one thing. Be sure to have lots of fun!! If you are being brave and coming alone, don’t despair you will meet someone at breakfast the first morning, so don’t stay in your room, head down and join the group.
And since that photo of me up there is a little hard to see what I look like, here is another one. Yes, I am not that tanned right now, it is winter after all, but I still look pretty much the same. Stop by, say hi, join in the discussions. I look forward to meeting you all in Nashville!