Why Are Conferences so Cliquey?
Last week I spent five days in Scottsdale, Arizona, at The Phoenician Resort. I joined a group of women who have been in the blogging industry for years. We laughed, cried, danced, hugged, learned, challenged, promoted and grew together at The Mom 2.0 Summit.
During a quick call, a blogging friend asked me if it was cliquey like another conference we had gone to a couple of years back.
My initial reaction was an overwhelming YES, but after reflecting on it for a moment, I changed my answer. These are not cliques. Some of these women have been going to conferences and blogging together for years. They are in private groups together on Facebook. They have group texting sessions. They have hangouts on G+. They have been through birth, death, marriage, divorce, viral posts, trolls, tears of joy and tears of sadness together. They have raised one another up in a medium that few truly understand unless they are in it, and through it all, they know the most intimate details of one another’s lives that cannot be told to local friends for fear of it becoming carpool lane fodder. They have built brands together and a platform to make a true difference in the world.
These women get to see one another at conferences. There is so much that happens between them using the electronic devices we have at our fingertips. When they see each other in person, it’s social time. They finish one another’s sentences, give the side eye, or a smirk that sends them into rounds of laughter.
I went to a gathering one evening, and the group of women present were a tribe like I described above. Brilliant, talented, successful women; their deep friendship was palpable. I watched as one woman looked toward another with a look of concern on her face; she gave her a little nod and the other gave a little smile and shook her head from side to side. The two got up and moved to a corner. Those are the actions of friends and allies.
When these women you respect and adore succeed, everyone succeeds. When your new friend wins BEST BREAKOUT CONTENT at the Iris Awards, you jump up and down and clap and whistle and cry because you know she has worked SO hard to get to that point, and that she is an outstanding individual, someone you are truly proud to know.
Yes, connections are made, however, friendships are built and they bloom.
For the new bloggers out there, these aren’t cliques; they are sisterhoods. The seeds for yours might be planted at your next conference. All it takes is for YOU to reach out.
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This post was written by Val Curtis exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.