Conference Corner: What Causes Your Pre-Conference Butterflies?

BlogHer Original Post

Every year, since my first BlogHer conference in 2008, I've thought, "This is the year I'm not going to panic before the conference. THIS is the year I've *got* this." And, like clockwork, I find myself doing stomach flips the week before, sometimes even the month before, for any number of reasons. Like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects to get all jittery before the conference, but it happens anyway. We're people. We freak out. Especially when this happens.

Yep, only my #1 very first ever blogging idol ever is instructing at the Writing Lab at BlogHer. Um, can I get a squee?

And when I was done having my Fan Girl Heart Attack, I remembered that this my my 3rd BlogHer conference, and that I should -- by all reasonable standards -- be far past the butterflies stage of conference attendance. Or should I?

Maybe not, it turns out.

I asked around the office, and I was kind of shocked to realize that whole lot of the BlogHer Events team are feeling the exact same things as everyone else right now... the excitement, the nerves, even the wardrobe scrutiny.

In her weekly poll, our research guru (and my carpoolee) Jane Collins wants to know what you're obsessing thinking about going in to the conference, and I did a little poll of my own this week at BlogHer HQ, asking my co-workers what has them the most twitterpated about this week. Here's what we're feeling from backstage.

Lori Luna
VP Events

I've been producing events for nearly 12 years and I *still* hate the countdown, e.g. "10 more days until the show" …gives me anxiety! I can't say exactly why but everyone around me knows, *do not countdown the show to Lori*. Perhaps it's a little denial, okay it's a lot of denial, but please NO COUNTDOWN -- trust me, I know how many days until BlogHer '12 :-)

Polly Pagenhart
Conference Programming Manager

I'm jittery about two things: one, that there's a glaring hole in the programming somewhere that for the life of us none of us could see, of a proportion and a significance that it will make masses of people disappointed/unfulfilled/disgruntled, and it'll be worse than my worst "showed up naked and unprepared to the final exam" nightmare. Since no one from my nightmares Tweets their disappointment. Second jitter is, during the one or two opportunities I'll have to be speaking to large numbers of people, in an ill-fated attempt at humor I'll say something extremely inappropriate. Or worse, I'll babble. Kind of like this.

Donna Schwartz Mills
Conference Programming Team Member

This is my first time WORKING at the Conference (live blogging in '05 and '06 don't count, because that was volunteer work and NOBODY knew what to expect). I am jittery because as the new "kid," I don't want to let the conference team down.

Elaine Wu
Marketing and Communications Manager

I’ve moderated many a panel at various BH events, but this is my first time SPEAKING on a panel. I’m not gonna lie, I’m nervous, despite the topic being something I could recite my sleep. That and what shoes to bring. It is a BlogHer conference, after all ;).

Monique Maestes Gower
Events Sales Planner

I attended my first BlogHer in 2010 after only working at BlogHer for a few months. The one thing that gave me the most butterflies was that I am not a blogger (shocking!). I feared that the moment I answered the famous first question of “What do you blog about?” and I answered “I. don’t. blog.” that I would be looked at like a black sheep. The complete opposite happened. This is the most supportive, encouraging, and welcoming group of people that I have ever encountered. So for newbies who either just started writing their blog or are considering starting one, don’t be intimidated because you will be welcomed with open arms. You will walk away from the event more inspired than you could imagine to follow your passions whether its blogging or otherwise.

Jenna Hatfield
BlogHer Family/Moms and Events Section Editor

Not being myself. I love being who I am, but sometimes I get overwhelmed in social situations. I can come off as totally disconnected or even rude because I get caught up in forgetting to do important things like, you know, breathe. My real challenge is to stay the opposite of overwhelmed, to stay connected to myself so that I can make connections with new and old friends alike. Oh, and I'm also always afraid of falling down. I am... not graceful. Ahem.

Be sure to visit Jane's poll and share there, and here in the comments, what you're most excited/nervous/zomg about this week!

Yours in scraggly chin hair I just *know* I didn't get all plucked out,

Shannon Carroll | Mr Lady
Conference Programming Manager

Whiskey In My Sippy Cup


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