So we are mid conference season, and you’ve probably seen the chatter of business cards, travel arrangements, new outfits. It’s hard to find the reasons why it’s ok, the reasons why you shouldn’t have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It’s hard because I catch myself there too…but I want to give you ten reasons why you shouldn’t sit at home feeling bummed about missing out:
1. Cost. Dude, conferences cost money. For the amount I spent on my first conference we could have gone to Disney World (almost). Seriously, between conference passes, airfare, hotels, cabs, food, clothes. I don’t regret it, but truthfully if you’re working on a home renovation, saving up for a family vacation, trying to pay off debt…these conferences can throw a serious wrench in to your financial budget.
2. Travel. I usually love to travel, but getting from the airport to the hotel has always been a bit of a pain when heading to a large conference. Everyone arrives on the same day and so it’s difficult to find a shuttle or cab. Worse is when you make plans to carpool with others and then your flights are delayed and no one is getting in when they’re supposed to even though you have a car scheduled to pick you up.
3. Stress. Conferences are stressful. I watched the mad dash of RSVPing to parties on twitter this year and I was glad to have escaped. Is there anything that screams “NOT A REAL LIFE PROBLEM” more than being stressed about not getting in to a party with cute cupcakes and mediocre swag? No. But yet, if I had been attending I’d be stressed out about parties and schedules. I don’t think anyone escapes it. Even making a schedule for sessions my first year was stressful, I didn’t want to miss anything…but there was only one of me. (and if you read my follow up posts, you’d know I basically threw that silly schedule out and hung out by the pool)
4. Hormones. This is just my theory, but estrogen literally fills the air. If you are at a conference with mostly women, and there are say…THOUSANDS of women in attendance, you’ll feel it too. Things are fine the first day, but then the estrogen filled air fills your lungs and that extra estrogen gets in to your whole body…and by the time you leave you are on the ledge of stressed out, crying, emotional just trying to stay sane while you cry into the hair of a friend saying goodbye.
5. Germs. The recycled air of thousands of people who are bringing their native germs. It makes the perfect conference petri dish. The lack of sleep, the (possible) increase in alcohol, the lack of eating real meals. It’s like an invitation for the worst sickness of your life. No amount of ____ will keep you from getting sick.
6. Swag-Hag-itis. It happens, to almost everyone. At some point you get swag stars in your eyes and you’re excitedly going through your swag. In your mind, in those moments, this is the best swag ever. You’ve caught it, swag-hag-itis. You need it, all of it, MOAR of it. And then you get home. And you open up your suit case and realize you’re now weighted down with 20 pounds of junk. Sure, there’s some good stuff in those 20 pounds, but mostly…you’ll look at it going “what will I do with this insanely logo-ed hand towel?” But you feel obligated to keep the 20 pounds of
junk stuff because you lugged it all home. Then a year will go by and you’ll realize you never even looked at half of it again, and those 15 tubes of chapstick you got from every brand ever are sitting unopened in a bag under the sink.
7. Cheek pain. Every one wants to avoid looking like a mean person at events like these. If your normal resting face isn’t one that is inviting you’re probably going to show-teeth-smile for three days straight hoping no one tweets about how rude you looked when they ran in to you at 2pm while you were waiting 20 minutes for an elevator. Ouch.
8. Waiting. Waiting is one of the most annoying things about conferences. Wait, wait, wait. Wait for the elevator, wait for the food, wait for the sessions, wait for a cab, wait for a shuttle, wait to pee, wait to get a water, wait to check in, wait to check out. So many people means so much waiting. I don’t have the patience for spending most of the day waiting, I have patience for all kinds of things, I’m not patient enough for the waiting. And it’s clear by Saturday afternoon I’m not the only one. Waiting sucks.
9. Spanx. I don’t know why Spanx isn’t one of the official sponsors of every conference ever in the hisotry of always. Because I think it’s the most widely worn under-item of conference attendees of almost every conference topic, I bet even ComicCon has more than it’s share of Spanx wear-ers. Because SPANX! They are not comfortable, they are hot in the summer heat, they make it difficult to pee…but you look thinner and more smoothed out. And everyone knows beauty comes at a cost.
10. Potty breaks. If you’re a mom you may think you already have no bathroom privacy. But at conferences that’s basically times 10. Most people have anywhere from 1-3 roommates in their rooms, and hotel/conference center bathrooms are just a constant flow of people using the potty, making calls, texting, trying to get away from the madness, and you know…taking selfies in the mirrors.
So look, if you’re reading this because you’re at home and not at the conference-that-shall-remain-nameless-because-I-do-love-the-network….rock your no spanx needed yoga pants and 2 day hair like a boss. A boss who may have to fight the urge to stalk the #blogher13 hashtag on IG, but a boss none the less.