In a few days (I'm not counting, but 10.5), I'll be sitting on a Southwest Airlines jet, somewhere in the sky between Georgia and Arizona, stomach full of helium (figuratively) and head swirling like just beaten scrambled eggs. All my thoughts unintelligible...because I had to get out of bed at 3 a.m...nevertheless! I will have finished packing, and (save forgetting all the bloggers' names I've tried to memorize over the previous weeks, once I get to Phoenix) the planning phase of my fifth BlogPaws conference will have been a success, happily in my past. Leaving me to get on with making this conference my best ever... Thank God!
OK, OK, I know. Planning for a blogging conference (especially one to which one can bring pets, and wear leopard print every day, or sport a "Pugs, not Drugs" t-shirt without anyone giving a second thought, for example) can be crazy exciting. Jump-up-and-down-and-scare-one's-loved-ones exciting, if I'm being honest (especially if it's one's first time). But once the under-two-weeks-left-to-go mark hits, the task of finishing off one's to-do list can quickly morph from producing a fluttery, anticipatory feeling in one's stomach, to full-on shortness of breath and a sudden urge to hurl on the floor.
So, if you find yourself at that critical crossroads in your pre-conference planning today, grab a paper bag to breath into and relax: I can help you bring your anxiety level down a notch. Guaranteed!
ELIZABETH'S REAL-LIFE, NO-B.S., LOW-STRESS PRE-BLOGPAWS TO-DO LIST
You've no-doubt seen lists online, suggesting things one MUST pack, like business cards, phone/charger, and several pairs of clean underwear, for example. So to save space, I've left all of those things off my list, concentrating only on the subjective, gray-area items. Having said that, if you need help with non-negotiables (it can happen; nerves sometimes make people forget their own names), leave a note in comments (or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask in the BlogPaws Community Newbies group); I am happy to help!
Reminder: This is MY list. I am not you, and neither are you me. We will likely NOT pack all the same things, or run the same errands. Use this list as a guideline to apply to your own.
OK, for real...
- Lose 20 15 10 5 .01 pounds. Lay off soda and salt for a couple days to reduce bloat.
- Get liposuction.
- Purchase thick elastic underwear (SPANX).
Note: In addition to one's already procured several pairs of clean, not-elastic underwear. SPANX actually go OVER the top of those*.
- Remember to take magazine photo of Jennifer Lawrence to hair salon, so stylist will know what to do.
- Pack hair ties for pulling unstyled hair into a ponytail.
- Go shopping for super cute new outfits! Remember you're taking your hairy dog/cat. (If you're not, pretend you are.)
- Screw pet hair; this is a pet bloggers' conference! Go to Amazon.com and get that last-minute super cute thing you've been stalking anyway.
Hint: Searches like "cat earrings" or "dog necklaces," work well in a pinch.
- Pack clothes that won't ride up (or down) in back, so that you don't moon other conference attendees when squatting/bending over to tend to/pet an animal.
(Y'all, for real! I have mooned people! Your choice of bottoms matters!)
- Take public speaking class to help ease nerves when talking to brands.
- Book therapy session(s) to help manage social anxiety.
- Practice picturing other conference attendees/brand reps in SPANX (for when nerves start to crop up).
Note: They might also be imagining you in SPANX. Don't hyperventilate! Just make sure your mental image is way more embarrassing.
* CAUTION! AIRPORT TSA SCREENING WARNING! If you opt for SPANX on your BlogPaws arrival/departure day, for the love of your dignity, do not wear them through the body scanner in airport security! Listen! If you do, and they bunch up under your clothes in areas where criminals have been known to smuggle contraband? It is going to look like you have CONTRABAND under your clothes! And when that happens? You will get an intimate pat-down from a complete stranger in front of everyone in the airport. You will have to tell the agent that your elastic shorts are literally in a wad up there. And if they don't believe you (they won't)? You will then move on to the area where would-be smugglers get their palms swabbed for questionable residue. (You don't have contraband, so expect to pass the palm-swab test and be set free. But, I beseech you, why let it get that far??) I'm telling you this because I have personal experience (2015 BlogPaws in Nashville; I don't think any conference attendees saw me, though). Tip: Put the elastic shorts in your carry-on and change in the bathroom, after TSA checkpoints. They do not care how your rear end looks in that skirt!
Further reading that might help you de-stress:
#BlogPaws - the Introvert-Friendly Conference (Insider Tips Galore, Inside!)
Demystifying the #BlogPaws Exhibit Hall: What to Expect & Tips for Maximizing Your Time With Brands
How Not to Fail at #BlogPaws Conference Networking (as Illustrated by a Pack of Corgis)
Don't have a ticket to BlogPaws (June 23-25 in Phoenix, AZ), but want to go? Register here, and use my discount code for 10% off the full blogger rate. Hurry, passes are limited!