- Stay at the conference hotel, or at least at a hotel where other FitBloggin' attendees are staying. If you're feeling really brave, reach out to other attendees and share a room. I didn't do this, and while I loved having time with my local friend, I felt a little torn in two sometimes.
- Connect with others going to the conference. I already had met a couple of attendees in person before coming to the conference, and it made it easier for me to connect to other bloggers. The FitBloggin' site has a "Who's Comin'" page that lists the blogs of those who are coming to the event. Roni also has a FitBloggin Facebook group, which is also a great way to connect. Check them out and start getting to know, through commenting, the people you "click" with.
- Everyone there really wants to meet and connect with other bloggers, so the vibe is super friendly. There may be some folks that you have more in common with than others, and that's okay.
- FitBloggin' is a very welcoming place, with many people in different parts of their fitness journey. You'll meet people who have moved forward in their goals or who have regressed in their goals...good news is, if you took the time and expense to be there, you're still in the game.
- DO try to make the event on the last day - whether 5K, 10K, or a rockin' 1 mile walk with friends.
- What to wear? Clothing choices ranged from "tidy athletic" to "business casual" for most of the sessions. I did notice that those who enjoy dressing up did so at the mixer on the last evening, it was quite festive.
- Although they are not a "must" item, business cards can be really handy for swapping contact info quickly or for entering the many drawings hosted by the vendors. I quickly "hand-crafted" a limited edition run of lined paper and ballpoint pen business cards...which amused several people. At a different conference I went to last fall, our badges had a QR code printed on it with our contact information, so that people we met could scan it and have our contact info loaded right into their smartphones. I don't remember if I mentioned this in my feedback on the conference, but that would sure be handy!
- Be prepared to want to take home all the things! I ended up leaving a lot of stuff with my friend Abbie, but there is a swap-fest on the last day for either picking up more things or leaving stuff that you won't be able to fit into your suitcase. Maybe budget for a 2nd suitcase?
- Don't be afraid to take time for YOU. (Especially important if, as an introvert, you find that much social interaction is taxing your energy.) For example, even though I would have loved to have gone to EVERY fitness session, it didn't work out for me to do so.
|Take time to smell the flowers...|
|...To enjoy the colors...|
|...To savor the coffee...|
|...And to notice the cow. |
Have you been to FitBloggin'? Do you have tips or a review of the conference that you'd like to share? Please leave them in the comments - I would love to read them, and I'm sure other FitBloggin' first timers would, too!