It just takes a room. Doesn't need to be a particularly big room. Just a room with some tables and chairs, cause otherwise your feet might get sore. If you want to get fancy you can add tablecloths and A/V and pitchers of water and lighting and whatever, but they aren't really required. Honestly, they aren't. No, you just need a room. A container. And 300 women (and men) to fill it. Then magic will happen. Magic.
It's magic like what happens when you spend days wondering if anyone will recognize you, will anyone have ever heard of you, if you will make any friends, just like you felt when you started high school, you wonder if you'll be part of the in crowd or if you'll be sitting in the corner by yourself pretending it doesn't bother you that you're by yourself while the whole time you're secretly desperately wishing you were part of the in crowd, those people over there who are having so much fun and who seem to like each other and oh, how can I be one of those people, and then you get there and you realize that just by being there, you are the in crowd. You. You're right in the middle, no matter where you came from, no matter what your follower count is. You're the in crowd because you're there.
It's magic like what happens when you start to tell a story that's so personal to you that you feel so emotional and vulnerable that you can't help but cry, and instead of just standing there wishing the earth would swallow you you keep going because you know that here, you're safe, and it's not embarrassing like it would be anywhere else because instead of an uncomfortable silence and throat clearing and an offer to take a moment to get yourself together they all start to cry with you because they get it, they've been there, they've felt it too.
We aren't perfect, us ladybloggers. We might love or hate anything on any given day. We might get in to a rage over something that might not, in retrospect, be worth raging over, but then on other days we get in to a rage over something that is absolutely worth raging over, and should be raged over more except none of us knew how to do it before, and now we do, and now we change the world.
And sometimes, sometimes we'll get in to a room and we'll talk to each other, and we'll tell each other important lessons.
You are awesome.
You have one job, and that is to be you, and to be you is to be awesome. Remember that.
I've been to a bunch of blogging and social media conferences. I've gone to BlogHer and to BlogHer Business and to SXSW and Social Media Breakfasts and Meetups, and I truly loved and enjoyed every one. But this one was different.
Was it that we were mostly Canadians? And not because Canadians are supposed to be "nice", which hey, we are. But having a room filled with Canadian bloggers is different, because we all have that shared experience of being Canadian, which is different from being American, or European, or anything else-an. We have that funny colored money, and we have a Prime Minister, and our beer is 5% alcohol, and we have socialized health care, and up until now we've been the visitors at someone else's blogger conference. We have to pay roaming fees to tweet and we have to pay exchange rates to get our morning lattes and there's always just that sense of Otherness. But this time it was ours. We were at home.
Or maybe it was simpler. Maybe was because it was smaller. With the number of people we had in the room, we could meet everyone and talk to everyone and remember (mostly) everyone's names. If you talked to someone, you still bumped in to them again and again and resumed the conversation, talking about this awesome session or that awesome party, and it gave us the chance to truly connect.
Really, though? It was different because of what we did. Which was no different than any other conference, really. Except it was us. We got together. We talked to each other and told our stories and inspired everyone else. There is not a person who left Blissdom Canada without a renewed sense of purpose for their blog and possibly for their life. A wonderful person said afterwards, I could use one of those every week. And she's right. If everyone had the opportunity to connect and hug and learn and cry and engage like that with their tribe the way that Canada's ladybloggers did last week, the world would be a different - better - place.
Be you. Be awesome. That's all.