photo: GrittyGrace.com-L?, Michelle of SomeGirlsWebsite and me
Today, a friend who is going with me to this year’s Relevant Conference asked me,” Now, why will Relevant be a good thing for me?” I thought of a number of reasons off-hand but for each of you, there will be different benefits you will take away from your time at Relevant.
You will be spiritually challenged by the speakers.
You will learn from the seminars how to improve some aspects of your blogging skills.
You will make new friends among other bloggers, authors and sponsors…and be challenged by their lives in conversation.
You will be exposed to opportunities with sponsors as well as networking opportunities with bloggers.
You may find yourself drinking lots of coffee. (Not really a plus for this tea drinker, but I put it here for information!)
You will have opportunities to converse with lots of bloggers from all over the US…and this year I think we’ll have some international attendees. Take advantage of all the different people you can meet. Sit with different groups of people and enjoy the variety. Be encouraged by the way God has worked in their lives as well as yours.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES
Here’s the thing about opportunities. We are responsible to take advantage of them!
photo: GrittyGrace.com-me & Laura Booz of 10millionmiles
Many bloggers find it difficult to extend themselves in social settings. This is true, whether we appear to be extroverts or introverts.
Here is a piece of news you will find helpful at a blogging conference: if you want to get to know people, you will have to make the extra effort. (Business cards make great props…and conversation starters! Be sure to bring some with you.)
Don’t assume that a person’s reserve is because they don’t like you. It is more likely that they are reserved, shy and/or introverted. If they are bloggers, they have plenty to say…at least in writing. In person, it may be more difficult.
Here are some ways to “get to know” people ahead of time. Read through the info on Kindred at the Relevant website. You’ll see short bios on many of the attendees at the conference. Read through them and click on the blogs of the ones that grab your attention. Comment on their blogs, twitter or facebook. Wherever you need to comment so you can get to know each other a little bit.
photo: GrittyGrace.com-Lancaster area covered bridge
Enter giveaways if they are things you want to win. Attend blog/twitter parties and events that interest you. (Denise has one here!) All these things will help you get to “know” a few people and faces so that when you get to Relevant and start seeing people, you will feel like you are meeting up with old friends for the first time:)
To get the most from the conference, plan ahead. As you plan, ask God for wisdom so you will know what you need to know instead of what you think you want to know. Know what top 3-5 things you need from the conference. Keep on top of seminars offered so when they pop up, you can sign up for them right away and get in the ones you want. Read about the speakers and get acquinted with them. Choose a few that you will want to get to know before the conference ends. They tend to be available so it shouldn’t be difficult.
If you are going with a group of friends, plan that you won’t all go to the same seminars ahead of time or be with the same group so that when you get back together in your room at night or when you get home, you will have plenty to discuss from your whole Relevant experience.
TAKE CHANCES! STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
photo: GrittyGrace.com-me & roommate, Shelley of GratitudeJournal
Take chances! Have fun! Be friendly. Enjoy and accept the friendliness of others. I entered a modeling contest (in writing:) last year that I won (one of 5) before the conference. It was a lot of fun. I was not the most beautiful model, but the oldest. (It was what it was!) When the photos came back, I realized I was more overweight than I thought. Now I’m on weight-watchers…but that is a story for another day!
It was fun! It brought my tiny blog new readers. I won a free outfit. I met people I might not have met otherwise. It was a stretching experience in many ways…and helpful for my blog in ways I didn’t plan on.
Remember, this is one weekend, it is not the rest of your life. But if you use the weekend well, it can result in a future of friendships, growth and spiritual enrichment.
Take a few chances. Ask lots of questions. You might be pleasantly surprised! (I’m assuming you will already be praying for God’s guidance for the weekend…as well as courage to move in the directions mentioned above!) Enjoy your time at Relevant. It won’t be difficult at all!
photo: GrittyGrace.com-beautiful fall scenery and weather! (can't wait!)
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