Bloggers make us laugh, make us cry and make us think. In order to become better bloggers, many of us attend conferences like Blogher and Blissdom, which allow us to step out from behind our keyboards to meet and learn from our bloggy peers.
I must add, conferences are also about potentially awkward moments. Like, "Awkward Triangle Game" kind of awkward. This is a game made up by my friend Ali where you choose two random people to join you in an imaginary conversation. The person who comes up with the most uncomfortable scenario is the winner. It's a silly game good for a chuckle. But in real life, an awkward triangle is no laughing matter (unless you're witnessing a friend stuck in one. Because THAT'S just hilarious).
Here are ten ways to avoid awkward conference moments:
We all have blogs (it's a BLOGGING conference!). We'd like to hear about yours, but we'd also like to tell you about ours. In the same token, avoid being a conversation dominator, a convo highjacker or a competitive one-upper. Certainly share your story, but let other people talk too.
You're there to learn, so there is no such thing as a stupid question (except... for the question asked during group sessions that is specifically about YOUR personal blog that has absolutely no relevance to anyone else. It's not stupid, but it is a waste of everyone else's time).
So what if you've had more experience or accolades? We're all in it to win it. Instead, offer helpful advice and encouragement. Newbies want to learn from you, not be made to feel inferior to you.
If you're a hugger or a close talker, be aware of physical cues. If somebody is leaning away from you, or their eyes are madly darting, you may have invaded their personal bubble.
Yes you're there to engage, make friends and blow off some steam, but sobbing in the corner, puking in a planter in the lobby or twisting your ankle on the dance floor (I *may* have some personal knowledge about that last one) is a recipe for embarrassment.
We're all uncomfortable in these situations to some degree. Keep that in mind and don't let fear or insecurities prevent you from meeting somebody new.
Sure there's safety in numbers but staying in your usual group can appear cliquey. Not to mention, others may be less inclinded to approach you while you're in a herd.
If you see somebody alone at breakfast or sitting at a conference table by themselves, approach them. Talk to them. Nobody likes to feel like a wallflower.
A lot of work goes into planning and running these conferences so don't talk during presentations and be sure to thank hosts/organizers/presenters for all the work they've done.
Be gracious, be friendly, be kind. Just be you (and try not to fall off the stage while busting a move to "Dancing With Myself")...
For more articles, tips, and tricks to help you get organized and make the most of your blog and business visit our BlissDom Canada 2014: How Do You Find Your Bliss? page.
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