Should I attend Blissdom 2013

To go to Blissdom 2013 is the issue I am struggling with since I did not have a successful time last year Blissdom2012. I am a blogger, but not a blogger who is out to make money. I blog to keep my mind active and some days just to keep my sanity. So is Blissdom for me?

Early bird tickets are on sale now and they are of course, a better price, but the agenda has yet to be finalized. How do you sign up for something when you don’t know who the keynote speakers are or what the microsessions will entail? The early bird price is available until the end of July so I am hoping there will be more information so I can make a decision on whether or not to go?

What would you do? Would you sign up for a conference when you don’t know who the keynotes are or what the microsessions will be about?

My weekend at BlissDom Canada 2012

Under the lights in TorontoThis past weekend I had the opportunity to attend BlissDom Canada 2012. I was very excited about the event but also scared because I would be meeting other bloggers and people I have chatted with on Twitter. What I found was that BlissDom is not for a person who is shy or lacks confidence in large groups.

When I arrived on Friday and registered, I was greeted by the BlissDom team and Sleep Country Canada, who were giving out awesome pillows. After registering I had a few hours to myself before the opening kick-off, so I settled in my hotel room. Later on I got together with a tweeter I had spoken to a lot over the past few months and we had coffee. As we chatted about this and that, she was continually texting trying to make plans with another person she hadn’t seen for a long time. She did apologize, but was then off to meet her friend.

Since I knew absolutely no one, I tweeted a shout out to other BlissDom attendees to join me for dinner, and then go to the kick-off party. Sadly, I was unsuccessful. I later decided not to attend the Friday night party because I had no idea of how to get there. Yes I could have easily taken a taxi but when you are not an out going person, attending an event where you know no one, is difficult.

The next morning, I went to the Newcomer’s Welcome/Meet up and breakfast, where we sat at tables and introduced ourselves. As we listened to Dove Canada speak, Community Leaders walked around putting numbers on tables for the microsessions, which were to take place immediately after. I was lucky enough to get a seat for the first session hosted by Tanis Miller aka The Redneck Mommy and it was superb. I was not so lucky for the second microsession which was on the other side of the room, I did have a back-up plan but again, on the other side of the room and by that time all seats were taken for both. The Community Leader I approached about this was unable to suggest a solution and basically just shrugged her shoulders. One of the problems was there was supposed to be a fifteen minute break between each session, but people were so happy to get a seat at the table they wanted, sessions just went on without a break. Plus I found that tables were very close together and it was difficult to manoeuvre around everyone. I did get a seat for the third microsession, and thoroughly enjoyed listening to Haley Overland talk.

Once the morning was over, we were left to get lunch on our own. I had met a few very lovely bloggers in the morning but they were already busy for lunch, so I once again tweeted to find a lunch mate or two. Sadly, no luck. I started to get the impression that BlissDom was clicky and after speaking with other newbies later on, they too had felt the same. The afternoon consisted of a few more speakers, then it was dinner, which I had in my hotel room. I realize I am sounding quite pathetic, but I find it difficult in these new situations and there wasn’t any sort of plan for newbies to get together with anyone. Luckily my evening was saved with a surprise visit from my husband, (I had already decided against going to the costume and Karaoke party planned for later that night). The evening was wonderful, hubby and I had a fantastic dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf and a nice walk before retiring for the night.

The finale of the weekend was the Sunday excursions. I was signed up for the Wine Tour but decided to bow out since with the exception of a few moments during the weekend, I had never felt so lonely as I did at BlissDom Canada.