On Saturday I went up to Seattle to attend the PNW Blogger meetup. I initially missed the ticket sale, but thankfully got on the waitlist and was able to buy a ticket from a girl who couldn't attend. Honestly blogger events and meetups are usually pretty awkward for me. Unless there are activities planned it's typically just me standing in the corner near the food. I think most bloggers feel at least a little awkward at IRL blogger events. I mean, we all blog... which means we carefully craft what we want to say behind the scenes before posting, edit our photos and usually choose only the best/most flattering images, and rarely have to speak to other people in real time. It's not really surprising that we're an awkward bunch to shove in a room together and say, "go socialize!" Uh... do what? I know that my typical reaction in those situations is to find someone who I'm familiar with, converse with regularly online, or have met up with before and immediately glom on to them. Not only is it nice to catch up with someone you know online, but at least you can actually have a conversation that goes a bit deeper than the, "So what's your blog? Do you live in Seattle? What do you blog about?" conversation that is a necessity at blogger meet ups.
Honestly, I need to get better at small talk because I find it quite emotionally draining, as an introvert, to meet so many new people and make conversation with someone you only just met. I should probably go in with a game plan like, "Meet 5 new people and have a 3-5 min conversation with each person," because otherwise I see a sea of people I'm *supposed* to go meet and immediately get overwhelmed. Cue hiding in the corner behind a stiff drink. I know that my introversion isn't an excuse for hiding in the corner, it simply explains why such events are so draining. It's been so long since I've gone to an event like this that I kind of forgot how hard they are for me. Next time I'm going with a game plan to avoid being lame!
The meet up was at a pretty cool place up in Seattle called Von Trapp's. They had indoor bocce ball, lots of brats and sausages (interestingly there was a lot of sausage at an all-women event), delicious and pricey cocktails (holy $11 batman!), and it was a huge restaurant! We got to hang out in a neat loft space overlooking the bocce. There were tons of prizes that were given away and I won a confection cookbook! I'm looking forward to trying my hand at making some truffles, chocolates, and other delights. Candy making is one thing I've never even thought about trying to do, but it looks like so much fun.
For about a year I've been wanting to organize a PNW blogger social. I'd love it to be here in Tacoma, not only for ease of planning it, as a Tacoma resident myself, but because it's in between Portland and Seattle and I'm a big fan of Tacoma and want to share its awesomeness with the world. Having attended a few blogger events, I've found that the ones I enjoy most are the ones where there are activities or mini events within the large event. So, say, there's a table where you can make a certain craft, or there's a station where a glasses sponsor has brought a bunch of frames to try on, there's a photobooth with silly props. Activities like those are great ways to break the ice, and they give introverts something to do other than hide in the corner drowning their introversion in wine. If there was a craft table at a blogger meet up I would probably be there the entire time, because not only does it give me something to do with my hands and feel engaged in the event, but it's also a perfect icebreaker to talk to new people. "Oh man, I'm terrible with glue guns!" "Ugh, I know! I burn my finger almost every time I use one." It's a nothing conversation, but it opens the door in a more natural way than *walk up* "uh... hi, I'm so-and-so... what's your name?" Which might be a perfectly natural thing for some people, but sounds so uncomfortable to me.
What kind of blogger meet up would you like to go to? Or, if you've been to a blogger meet up what did/didn't you like about it?