Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lisa Leonard Event, and Why Meet in Person?

When I first started Alabama Bloggers, it was because I had been creating relationships with bloggers all over the country, but knew practically no other bloggers in my own backyard.

I knew that I wanted to do in-person meet-ups as part of the offerings of the site, but being a typical blogger and, therefore, quite introverted, I was going to put that off as long as possible.

However, the very first month on the job, a few people requested that we do a meet-up. So I swallowed my panic and planned one. I announced it on the blog and on twitter, and over twenty people said they were coming – none of whom I had ever met before!!

I was scared to death.

But, shockingly enough, I had an amazing time. It was great to get to meet and build relationships with other bloggers, to find out that everyone had the same blogging issues, thoughts, obsessions, and angst that I had, to share ideas, and to make new friends.

Yet, I’m still an introvert. Despite the fact that we’ve had an Alabama Bloggers meet-up nearly every month for the past year and a half and that I’ve now been to multiple blogging conferences and events around the country, I still get nervous before each and every new opportunity to "meet strangers" – but I know that it’s worth it.

So, when Lisa Leonard announced that she was coming from California to Alabama and asked me to help her, Rhoda, and Amanda plan a meet-up, I knew it would be an awesome opportunity to introduce more bloggers to the wonderful experience that meeting in real life can be.

And so we lured you out with cupcakes from Dreamcakes Bakery,

Fabulous jewelry to buy and to win,IMG_1107

And the opportunity to meet an amazing lady and social media star, Lisa Leonard:IMG_1112

And it was a success!! Granted, I knew that no men would be too interested in attending (When Nick Saban asks me to plan a blogger meet-up, maybe I’ll have more luck – ha!), but somewhere between 30-50 women came and visited over the two hours of the event.

And I was shocked at how far they were willing to come! People drove from Huntsville, Decatur, Montgomery, Alexander City, Ragland and Anniston to attend the meet-up!!!

All of the women that came stayed, visited, got to know each other, and, from what those that I had the chance to talk to, had a fabulous time.

And, hopefully they all now know that IRL meet-ups, although intimidating on the front side, can be great fun and a wonderful way to meet other bloggers!

IMG_1111from left to right: Me (and my huge baby belly), Lisa, Amanda, and Rhoda

If you came to the meet-up, link your blog up here so that we can all find each other! Feel free to link up the main URL to your blog, or the URL to a post about the event, if you wrote one.

Also, if you’d like to attend the next Alabama Bloggers monthly meet-up, it’s this upcoming Friday, 10/22, at 11:30 at Cantina on 280/119. (I try to move them all around town to make it convenient for different groups of people.) The rest of the details can be found here.

And yes, women AND men come to the meet-ups!

Also, if you’d ever like to organize a meet-up in your area of Alabama or at a different time (at night or on the weekends), let me know and I’ll be glad to work with you and publicize it!

Thanks to all of you who came out Friday – it was great to visit with you!!


Alison @ Ingredients, INc. said...

That was a blast and so great to meet you!

Robin said...

I had the BEST time Friday! THANK YOU Rachel for encouraging me to come! Lisa Leonard is absolutely precious and I also met some fantastic women!

I can't wait to get to know everyone else even better!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Fun time! I added my pics to my Facebook page, so hope you'll all go over & take a peek. What fun it was, looking forward to lunch this week too.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

I loved it and hope to get to come to some of the lunches, too. Thanks for co-hosting!

MamaHen said...

So glad you all had a good time!

Christina said...

How did I not know about this? Seriously would have loved to come!

Green Door Girl said...

I wish I could have come - I would have loved to meet some other "local" people - maybe I need to make the trek up to B'ham for the next meet up - I can't for this month!

If you haven't linked up and introduced yourself yet, be sure to go here to do so!