Monday, January 30, 2012

Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup

Saturday afternoon, I sat on the 510 King street car feeling a little bit like I was going to puke. I was headed here:


For this:


And I was terrified.

I had never been to a blogging event. And, while you might not know it if you met me, I'm not the most naturally outgoing person in the world. I have a history of forcing myself into the middle of a group of strangers (just ask my husband about that one), but while I think meeting new people is important, I don't find it easy.

The meetup wasn't easy.

But it was wonderful.

After I collected my name tag and dropped a scrap of paper with my name on it into the draw basket (yup, I was one of those without a business card. Definitely something to remedy for the next one!) I bee-lined it to the bar and grabbed a glass of wine. Just something to keep my hands busy. To calm my nerves. To give me purpose. I stepped away from the bar and made my way through the crowd of women, the crowd that was chattering so happily away, so easily, so naturally. For a moment, I stood by myself on the edge of the crowd and breathed.

This is crazy. I can't do this. 


But I can't just stand here either. That's even worse. 


So, I stepped forward, wiggled my way into the nearest group, introduced myself, asked questions, met a new blogger or two, gathered a business card or two, drank a glass of wine or two (or three), ate a mini burger and an oyster or two, had a fudge stick thing, listened to some speakers or four, waited for my name to be drawn for a prize (it wasn't), shifted from foot to foot in my brand new super-high heels, forced myself to step into a circle or two, introduced myself to some of my favourite fellow Canadian bloggers, met some superbly talented women (and a few men), grabbed a swag bag and left feeling much more relaxed, much more confident.

With Amanda and Justyna from Aya Kitchens and Kim from Restoration House


Did I enjoy it?

That's a hard question to answer. It's like asking me if I enjoy going to the gym that first time after not being to the gym in 6 months. It's hard. But I know that, while I'm there, I'll remember or learn why I enjoy it and I know that every time I go to another event, it will get easier as I get to know more and more of my blogging friends. I love that I got to meet each of the bloggers I came across there. I love the new conversations that the face-to-face nature of the meetup allowed us to start.

I'll certainly be at the next one with a little more confidence and the perfect business card.

24 comments:

  1. Hey Jeanette! I would *never* have thought you were nervous! Maybe the wine had kicked in by the time you and I started talking :P I'm glad you had a good time. I was soooo nervous when I went to my first blogger event last year. It can be very intimidating, but everyone is so great!

    P.s. I went home and told Kevin (the bf) that I met a soon-to-be-neighbour blogger friend :)

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  2. By the time we were chatting, the wine had kicked in a little, but it was also close to the end of the night, so I was finally getting much more comfortable. Good thing too: it was so wonderful to meet you and find out how close you're moving to me! Hopefully, the husband and I will still be living there when your building is done. We could hang out, go for some Greek!

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  3. I am SO glad that you came and I am SO glad you came up to me! It was fantastic to finally chat face to face. I know how hard that first event can be... I felt like I was going to puke the first time I went too, and it will only get easier! :)

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  4. In the end, despite how nervous I was, I was really glad I was there too! I know I would have regretted it if I'd let my nerves get the best of me. Can't wait for the next one now!

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  5. I wish I lived in Toronto for the sole reason of being able to attend some of these fantastic blogger and design events (and maybe the shopping too...). Althought I know I would have been just as or more nervous than you!

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  6. Are there many other Calgary-based home bloggers? I know I'm a little spoiled with the HUGE community of Toronto and Ontario bloggers so I'm so glad I'm taking advantage of it.

    (Thanks for dropping by and commenting: your blog is new to me and it's so cute!)

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  7. I totally thought you already knew people before the meetup, you didn't seem nervous at all! Had I not known EJ beforehand, I'd be a nervous wreck too though! It's so intimidating meeting so many new people, especially when a lot of them know each other already. But it was so great meeting you!

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  8. Meagan {row house nest}January 30, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Awww Nette! I would have been exactly the same if I had been there - next time we should be the awkward wine guzzling bloggers together. I couldn't go this time but next time for sure! There is safety in numbers :)
    Meagan

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  9. I wasn't able to go this weekend, but can I just say you looked uber pretty! I would have been TOTALLY nervous if I'd been able to have gone too, good for you for biting the bullet!

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  10. I felt the same way, despite blogging for many years this was my first time attending the blogger meetup!! at some points I was looking around for people I knew, and when I didn't recognize anyone I headed for the wine as well!! I stood around a bit, I think I even talked to myself but after some time and of course some wine the conversation just flowed and I have to say it was lovely meeting you, hope to see you again!! :)

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  11. I guess I did a better job of hiding my nervousness than I thought I did! It was wonderful to meet you and to discover your blog as a result!

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  12. And I you! So glad you came all that way to attend! Hopefully I'll see you at another meetup!

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  13. Haha! Sounds like a plan! Can't wait for the next one already! :)

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  14. Aw, thank you! I bought a funky new curling iron and had lots of fun with it before the meetup. Come to the next one!

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  15. Really? I definitely thought you were a pro at the meetup! You seemed to know and chat so easily with everyone!

    My conclusion: none of us are as aware of how we are perceived as we think we are!

    I will definitely be at the next meetup!

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  16. You didn't let your nerves show at all. It was lovely to meet you and I hope we all connect again.

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  17. Amanda FarquharsonJanuary 31, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    So true! I was standing with you ladies and had no idea. Maybe we should have a mini coffee date meet-up before the next one? That way we will feel like we have built-in friends! At least you weren't a "fraud", haha!

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  18. Thanks Sundeep! I'm sure I'll get to see you again at the next one?

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  19. Amanda, I am so up for a coffee date with blogging friends sometime!

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  20. Love that you are keeping it real. It gets easier every time! + bonus you made it on House and Home's blog... Best, Vie

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  21. Thanks Vie! And thank you for making it possible for me to step out of my comfort zone! It was scary, but I loved it. :)

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  22. ramblingrenovatorsFebruary 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    It was so great to meet you Jeanette! I never would have guessed you were nervous. You were friendly and even prettier in person. Looking forward to seeing you at the next event!

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  23. Well, you hid your nervousness well! I never would have guessed.

    Lovely meeting you!! :)

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