Conference freshman

I’m at the Hilton hotel in Whistler, wearing my pj’s and watching 13 going on 30, and preparing myself for my first professional conference tomorrow. I’m here for the IABC Canada West “Best of the Best” conference.

I’m thankful my boss agreed to send me, so I can learn how to make our social media strategy even better, among other things. I’ve been looking forward to it since I registered and bought my flight and booked my hotel. But at the same time, I have a bit of the “first day at a new school” jitters. I’ve never been to a conference like this before. Seriously. I know, it’s a little sad, but I’ve never really had the opportunity until now. I’m the only one from my work attending, but I know, thanks to Twitter, that there are many people from Calgary attending. But, I still have the nervous feelings of “what if no one talks to me?” and “what if no one wants to eat lunch with me?” I mean, I’m here for 2 days, amongst a bunch of PR pros and professional networkers, and often in those situations, I tend to revert to my shy-5-year-old-self, wanting to hide behind my mum’s leg. You’d think after 31 years of life, a person would get over that…

Anyway, I’m just happy I’m here in Whistler. The Sea to Sky Highway is pretty spooky on a bus in the dark…especially when the driver almost stalls the bus on a 2-lane highway. When all you can see out any window is the silhouette of mountains on either side of you. But you can only see what the high-beams of the bus are showing you. But I made it..I even ate dinner in the hotel bar by myself. I saw a girl who was on the bus with me in the bar, but again, that shy kid inside of me came out again. And so we sat, at separate tables, alone. Knowing that we had seen each other checking in to the hotel, but neither person willing to make the first move.

So, here’s hoping my first day at a real, professional conference goes well. I have my notebook and pen all ready to go. I probably won’t sleep tonight with all the excitement (regardless of the fact that I’ve been up since 7:30am, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time). In the end, I just hope I learn something and that I have a good time. And if that doesn’t happen at the conference itself, I’m sure the brewery tour tomorrow night will be fun!

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