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My Thoughts on Healthy Living Summit

40

August 21, 2012 by Katie

WOW.

I was impressed. Very impressed.

First off, HUGE thanks to Meghann from Meals and Miles who took the lead on organizing HLS this year, and of course to everyone at Healthy Living Blogs for helping her out. I could not believe how smoothly the whole conference went, from checking in to the sessions and meals and to the very last morning. It went off without a hitch (or at least from what we saw). The organizers seemed completely calm and together the whole time and I was not once annoyed or inconvenienced by anything at any time. No complaints.

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Second, thank you to our sponsors! They were there all day Saturday, ready and eager to speak with us, give us samples and of course all of our amazing swag! Companies who appreciate the reach and influence of bloggers are on top of their game, and we certainly enjoy that they recognize us and want to work with us! The official sponsors of HLS this year included Wild Harvest, Reebok, Reboot, Five Bamboo, Drink Chia, Driscolls, and Happy Family Brands.

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The Food. This is a healthy living blog event, so obviously the food was key! One of my biggest worries coming into this event was whether I’d have enough to eat with my soy and gluten allergies. However, I never once had an issue! Sure, I couldn’t eat all the swag, or everything at each meal, but I certainly didn’t expect to! The fact that I had enough and really enjoyed it was great for me! And can we discuss that gluten free naan again? Hallelujah for that one!

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Now that we’ve gotten all the basics out of the we’ll get on to the interesting stuff, my thoughts on the event as a whole, including the social atmosphere.

First of all, I came into this event a little nervous. I am NOT an out going person. I get really shy when I’m around new people. For example, my hand was completely shaking while I was signing in at the registration table and Meghann was talking to me. It was a LOT! I was nervous about meeting my roomies, not knowing what to expect and MEGHANN standing right there. HAha a little blogger star struck. Didn’t help that Tina and Theodora walked in the lobby as well..

Fortunately I got over seeing big bloggers as “celebrities” by the next day. They are just like me and all the other “small” bloggers at the conference! Minus the fact that I know waaaaaay too much about them from reading their blogs. Creepy much? Haha.

I also got over my fear of meeting new people and being afraid of just not being liked. I was SHOCKED at the number of girls who came up and introduced themselves to me, saying they read or had heard of my blog. I definitely consider myself a small and new blogger, so I felt so humbled hearing these women saying they knew me! ME. ?!??!?!?!?!?

Luckily, these girls who introduced themselves were AMAZING. I met so many great women and those who I got spend some time with over the weekend became good friends. Weird right? One weekend and now I consider these women my friends? That’s how the “healthy living community” seems to be though. We are all very similar, in likes and in personality, and tend to click pretty quickly. I’m not saying that everyone at that conference could be BFFs with everyone else, but for the most part it was easy to find friends and get to know each other quickly since we all had so much in common. There were several girls who from first glance I might not have thought I’d get along with them, but after a little time I realized how similar they are. You know it’s coming: Don’t judge a book by its cover!

And beyond just the women I met and hung out with at the conference, my roommates were pretty darn awesome as well. The four of us connected through the facebook group and decided to all room together to save money. Another corny line (I’m FULL of them today) but it was fate. We really got along great, there was never an issue, we were very similar and definitely leaned on one another during the conference. We were always there looking out for each other. Ahhhh I’m tearing up, I miss them already! Neville just isn’t the same…

Other than my own insecurities, I was concerned about clickiness at the conference, meaning there would be groups of women who stuck to themselves. I heard this was a problem last year: the “big” bloggers stuck with each other and didn’t seem very approachable. Fortunately this year was (apparently) much better. Although I couldn’t spend with all 150 girls there, I rarely felt like I was unwelcome from any group of women. The whole group was very open and welcoming, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I am SO GLAD I went to Healthy Living Summit this year. Not only did I learn a lot about blogging, but I also had a great personal experience, became more confident, and made a lot of friends (my reader is EXPLOADING!). This conference reminded me of my value as a person and I have all the amazing women there to thank for that.

 

Where do you feel the most at home and comfortable?

Have you ever been to a conference or something like HLS? What was it like?


40 comments »

  1. Courtney says:

    Awww, I loved reading your recap of HLS! I’m so glad you decided to go and had a great time! :)

  2. Katie – This post was the most perfectly-sized slice of humble pie. It definitely got my morning off right. It reminded me that our perceptions of the world and ourselves are very different than how those around us perceive us. Be proud of yourself my lady – you write a rockin’ blog!! I always find myself looking forward to your posts. Definitely glad you had fun!! :) How many days until class is back in session?

  3. So glad you had such a great time! It makes me want to organise a meet up for bloggers here in the UK again!

  4. I was feeling the same way before attending the summit. I was so nervous! It was so great to talk to fellow bloggers, bounce ideas off one another and have fun! The healthy living blog community is certainly a GREAT group of girls. :-)

  5. Looks like you had a lot of fun at HLS! I give you a lot of Kudos because I get really nervous meeting new people. I tend to talk to much or I just become mute. I have never been to HLS. Have a great day.

  6. I’ve never done any fun conference like that, only legal conferences (get ready for those :) ). We definitely don’t come away with the same swag haha. Seems like such a fun time!

  7. I really wanted to go to HLS, but I was too nervous to go! I definitely would’ve had all the same anxieties that you were talking about. But the fact that you said you had a great time anyway, makes me really want to go next year!

  8. I would have been the same way, big bloggers are celebrities to me. Even some of the ones I comment on daily I would be so nervous to meet them! I am glad you enjoyed all of it and got to feel like part of the community.

  9. Ashley says:

    I’m so glad you went girl! I love your honest and genuine thoughts on your experience too. :)

  10. Oh man, I would be absolutely shaking in my boots if I had the opportunity to meet some of the bigger bloggers. Don’t sell yourself short, though! I definitely consider you to be right up there with some of the best :) Again, I’m so glad you had such a great time, and it’s fantastic to hear that cliques weren’t a problem — it’s great to know that a community that seems to open and welcoming online can be that way in real life, too!

  11. I’m not gonna lie, if I met some of the big bloggers I’d be a tad tremble-y too!

    It sounds like everyone had an amazing experience – makes me even more determined to go next year!

  12. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time this year! I heard about the clickiness that happened last year and was wondering if things were going to be the same this time around. I’m glad it changed and that you got to meet so many other bloggers, I’m so jealous!

  13. Loved this recap and your true thoughts on it Katie! I could not agree with what you said with the rooming situation, it really was fate and I’m so glad we were able to connect :) I was intimated at first too, but then we both found our groove right away

  14. I am so glad you had a good time, and that it was friendly :)

    I am totally outgoing, so I rarely get nervous about who to sit with or who will like me…just because it’s a waste of energy & breath –and I did that many years ago. I am over being lamesauce & not friendly or inviting to others! hah ;)

  15. runwkate says:

    I’m loving reading all the HLS recaps – living through the bloggers ;-). It sounds like you had an incredible time – and you have a great blog, so it makes complete sense that these people knew you too!

  16. Marty R. says:

    Congratulations on the great blog Katie, so glad you enjoyed the conference.

  17. holy cow I want that yogurt parfait right now! The conference looked awesome!

  18. Emily says:

    Aw! I’m so glad that you were able to come out of your shell and have such an amazing experience. I’ve never been to a conference like that but I’m hoping I’ll get to go next year.
    And your blog is fabulous, by the way! You had nothing to worry about. (:

  19. so glad you had such a good time! i was totally living vicariously through you during the whole weekend. i am already hoping i can go next year! no idea why you’d have any doubts about yourself going into the weekend – you’re so fabulous :)

  20. Min says:

    It was no nice meeting you!! I know exactly what you mean…I felt the same way. So nervous and I thought I’d be in a corner all by myself..but wasn’t the case at all! This community sure is amazing! I just wish I got to talk to you a lil more! Glad to hear you made it home safely, and hope you can get some much needed rest!

  21. Cate says:

    I’m so glad you had a good time! Reading the posts from everyone who has gone the past two years makes me want to go. It always looks like you have fun, learn new things, and meet awesome people. I am a pretty shy and awkward in new social settings so it does makes me a bit nervous – good for you for putting yourself out there! :)

  22. so glad you had such a good time! last year’s HLS was my first blogging conference and i was nervous, too, so i related to your post 100%. it’s so weird to meet people you’ve connected with online in person for the first time, but really cool when you end up hitting it off. so glad your roomies were so fun!

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