I just came back from Nashville and the BAM 2015 Conference.
It was a blast.
I was “Staff” (or so said my snazzy badge — which got left in Nashville –I probably took it off when I was doing something or other). That meant that I got to see the conference from a slightly different perspective than other people.
I got to meet people at the registration/cocktail party Friday night. Hugs were given, smiles were huge, and the Stouffer’s mac and cheese was plentiful. Women who only knew each other from tiny little avatars and from following each other’s blogs now met and talked and bonded. From my registration table I heard laughter and squeals of joy as people matched the person they were talking to with the image of the “online friend” they had. As people left the party I kept hearing “I can’t believe we’re together!” and “This is going to be wonderful!”
We had a great time at 7 am exercising. There’s nothing cooler than doing the “flopping fish” and then drumming on conference chairs! To my fellow exercisers I salute you! Remember, “if you’re worried you messed up that last move, your heart doesn’t know the difference!”
Then the sessions started and people took their places. Stories were shared, ideas were floated. We learned from those with more experience. We were challenged to reinvent ourselves and to remember that we can do anything we want to do in midlife. We were taught about media kits and pinterest, about twitter and analytics.
I saw attendees helping each other with skills – teaching others how to Tweet, how to talk to sponsors, how to self-publish. I saw sponsors who were astounded at the authenticity and the camaraderie of the attendees. I saw BAMC15 trend nationally as the group worked together to let the world know that Bloggers at Midlife was happening and powerful. I saw the pride in everyone’s faces as our trending was announced.
And as the conference ended I heard people bemoan the fact that it was over and that they had not had enough time with each other.
The connections have been made, and I loved watching it happen.
I can’t wait to see you all at BAM 2016!