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What is your take-away?

standard September 28, 2011 2 responses

When I got home from BlogHer I came across a blog post written by the lovely Rachael H. about what brands should do to prep for conferences.

I know she meant it for brands and brand reps (It’s in the title. I’m smart like that.), but really, what Rachael had to say would work equally well for bloggers.

What struck me the most about her post was this notion that we should prep for conferences.

I mean, duh, we all prep, but I tend to feel good and ready if I’ve printed out the schedule, vaguely know what I’ll be wearing each day, and have some sense of who I’ll be seeing.

At coffee a few days ago a friend asked me what my take-away was from BlogHer.

I blanked.

My BlogHer was wrapped up in turmoil, in make-overs, in speaking, in spending too little time with close friends, with walking, lots and lots of walking, in chaos and excitement, and yes, in some learning.

But I really had to stop and think about what I had learned. What I had taken away.

I looked up at him and shared that I had attended a photography session and been struck with the way photographers tell stories with pictures in the exact same way I tell stories with words. Everything boils down to the point of view they chose to share.

Then I shared what I had learned from my session. That bloggers are excited and motivated to be the best professional bloggers they can be. That brand reps are excited and motivated to work well with professional bloggers.

And finally I shared what I had learned in the session about blogging with vulnerability. That it can be scary and downright dangerous, but that the rewards are more than worth the risks.

It seemed a… paltry… amount of learning for being at a conference for four days.

I know there was more. There were countless conversations. Innumerable interactions. And yet, I’m blanking about it all.

Yes, if I’d been in a better mental place, I could have gotten more out of it. But really, I think I just didn’t go into it (or really any of the conferences I attended this summer) prepared properly.

I should have gone in asking myself “What are my expectations for this weekend? What am I hoping to walk away with?” And I should have come out asking myself “What are the take-aways from this?”

My usual MO is to just be open to whatever comes along. To take life as it comes. And for the most part, this attitude has served me well. And definitely is less stressful than other options. But in certain instances, it might be a wiser use of my time and money to at least tentatively guide my analytical brain down a specific path.

Definitely can’t hurt to try.

Happy go lucky go I! (At least it’s fun!)

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2 responses

  • I have a very hard time doing that myself. I try to go with the flow, but at the same time unless I’m in the right mindset I hate when things don’t go as expected or generally the unexpected. How do you prepare when you don’t know what’s coming?

    I’ve never attended blogher, but from everything I read the most you get out of it are the people you meet and less the sessions you attend.

  • Wow… Your words (“I should have gone in asking myself “What are my expectations for this weekend? What am I hoping to walk away with?” And I should have come out asking myself “What are the take-aways from this?”) really hit home with me, Jessica. Seems like I could use these questions in many daily aspects of my life and not just conferences. Thank you so much for another amazing post!

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