So yesterday we arrived fashionably late, by we I am referring to @hippofatamus, @rlr2 and I. Apparently perfection takes time, and both this ladies were a spit of perfection thanks to the amazingly talented hands of @salonmonzer (and a seriously sweet piece of eye candy @MiiKeyStyles).
Before I begin to tell you about the conference itself, can I first just say ummm holy hell is the Sheraton in Toronto a piece of phenom? That place is palace worthy and gorgeous from top to bottom, the customer service was snaptastic and the interior was just stunning in itself. It's not that I've never seen the inside of a hotel before, just all my experiences were for the most part in sketchy dives. Damn that call girl job in the late 90's.
Anyhow we check their bags, check ourselves and off we go to the basement...err lower levels. Upon entering we see a bunch of women still peeking around at the brand booths however being that no one had eaten yet, the first place we went was for the popcorn. Shortly after having a pop-gasm we made our way to the main conference room...and kind of paused. EVERYONE was basically in the room already and us being fashionably late walk semi-stunned (alright, *I* did) across the back looking for enough seats for 3.
This is where it is interesting for me. Why? Because I've been to a number of conferences before, not the previous ShesConnected one, but whether they be for marketing etc, but I have never seen empty seats at the BACK of a room. Usually you show up late and you end up being the ass that has to strut across the front of the room to the only empty seats left. Social media works in mysterious ways ladies.
So we get through Sheryl Connelly's presentation from @FordCanada and again, it's a beautiful thing when you are in a room full of 200+ people and everyone is digitally interacting with some tool (no people, I'm not referring to men) and 'listening' to the speaker as opposed to watching as we are all vigorously tapping away at keyboards, phones, tablets and some note pad writing as well and you don't get it shit.
We end the presentation and off to the main hall again where we were supposed to interact with the Ford demonstrations etc and 80% just went straight to the brands right again. It was Swag-Whores heaven, I won't lie. We finish with Ford, back to the room for a wrap up and then it was cocktail hours and networking.
Networking wasssss interesting for me. Again I know you are dying to know why and I will tell you.
1. Our name tags rested at boob level so every single time you tried to glance at someones name tag to see who you were talking to, or trying to recognize, you felt like a pervert trying to pick up and bring back to your room for the night. Won't lie, there were a few nice racks -- #JUSTSAYIN
2. A lot of people were totally familiar to me, but showed zero signs of interest in wanting to talk. Now, this could be for a few reasons itself. They had no idea who I was and physically didn't ring a bell, they couldn't read my name as they were trying to avoid staring at my tits, or they in fact ended up being everything they are NOT online in twitter/blog-land.
Let me clarify as this may seem familiar to you. You spend a ton of time on twitter talking to them, they DM you all the time, you laugh and giggle about things but oddly only in DM for the most part. You see them at ShesConnected and guess what? You can clearly see that they absolutely KNOW who you are, but pretend that you've never had those conversations via DM because of the other people in their entourage with them. AHEM...
Do me a favour and don't even bother to DM anymore. Seriously? That shit still happens? If you can't be YOU in real-life, don't be at all!
3. I didn't get a chance to connect with as many as I had hoped, sorry about that ladies -- I will say that I was a tad overwhelmed. For some it was a genuine breath of fresh air, and for others it was...a slice...I guess. I know I can be a little too much to handle because of my very direct forward mouthy opinionated self, but I am me, 110%. I don't ask that you like/love it, but I do ask that you respect that. I'm ok with being in a very small minority of 'real', but I openly welcome anyone to chat etc.
4. It's amazing how much you learn from just watching and listening.
5. Being the 'newb' has it's pros and it's cons in almost ALL situations.
6. @nicnacmaniac and @JustNikiV are TFF. I am SO happy that I met both of them and we laughed our sweet asses off for awhile. Blueberries anyone?
7. @80sgirlforever (Deb) ROCKS!
Once networking finished up we had an hour to kill before heading to the after party held at Town Shoes. Coleen (@hippofatamus) and Robin (@rlr2) were fabulous enough to let me stash my goods in their room during cocktail hour so they changed, I grabbed my stuff, we went to the steakhouse in the hotel and they ate. The 3 of us still sat with our phones and tablet tweeting and checking out what was going on while we waited on their food and off we went to Town Shoes.
I met up with @nicnacmaniac again once inside Town Shoes and we chatted for a bit in line, I met a few others who were on the look out for me, and unfortunately I had to leave (thanks @UFCBaller for coming to get me, you are loved, unconditionally!!!!) with hopes of making some arrangement to get back for day 2.
I failed! :(
Besides being completely
Thanks to my homegirls, I hope to have some much fantastic notes from Day 2 to get me through the post conference blues. There is a LOT to learn. Not only from twitterific women, or brands who are digitally 'connected', but from fellow bloggers in the grand scheme of things. As far as I'm concerned Jodi is right, everyone can learn something from someone else, no matter how big or small you are in the digital world -- everyone has a voice.