An Introvert's Guide to Blogher

Photo: Stephanie Roberts, Tracey Clark and Jen Lemen, Diana Instant Back+

I can feel many of you just waiting, some more patiently than others, for the low-down on the Blogher '09 Conference. Here is the Jen Lee recipe for a good time:

  • Go as yourself. Don't buy any new clothes.  Style your hair the way you would at home (read: pigtails on lazy days), even if you feel 8 years old.  Everyone would much rather meet the real version of you, instead of you in conference costume.
  • Speaking of your real version, skip the elevator speech and offer people your real story. Be as brief or long as they want, but your true story is more compelling than any spiel.
  • Go on your own program.  Only attend sessions and events that are truly calling you, even if that means you only attend one conference session a day (or less).  Instead of going where you feel you ought to be, go where you want to be.  And trust yourself, because if you do so, it is likely that:
  • You will meet your right people without really even trying.  They like the people you like, and they gravitate toward the same places you will.  If your friends run the Shutter Suite and this is the place you most want to call home for the weekend, you will feel like Charlie finding the golden ticket, this will all be so true.
  • Go outside.  When you wake up early and the sliver of Lake Michigan that's visible out your hotel room is calling you, grab your shoes and camera and go.  Walk until you find it.  Walk in the sand and put your bare feet in the licking lapping water.  Fresh air and sunshine, any little bit of nature, will help balance all those hours of artificial lighting and recycled indoor air.
  • Skip the loud parties and high heels if it's just not your scene.  The conversations over quieter dinners or going out with a new friend for a drink may be 100 times more satisfying.  If you're like me.
  • Surrender to the way in which meeting kindred spirits and soulsisters makes your present future shift beneath your feet.  It's true, you don't know where you're going (if it's any consolation, you never did), but the company is getting better all the time.