When speaker openings were announced for SNAP, I decided I wanted to speak. I pitched the SNAP team on something I thought I would be able to speak well on. I was asked to add to my pitch a couple other topics I might be able to speak on, if there was a panel opportunity. One of the things I mentioned was Google+ hangouts.
About a month later, I got an offer to speak at SNAP, on a panel about Google+. I was excited, but nervous because I didn’t feel that I was well versed in all areas of Google Plus. My co-presenter was confident that we would do great.
We put together our presentation, practiced, and then 3 days before our presentation, she called me. Her mom needed to be hospitalized. She was her mother’s caregiver, so would have to stay home. I was on my own.
With my background in Toastmasters, I was able to pull together the presentation. I had everything ready to go the night before, and was feeling confident. 45 minutes of presentation by me on the basics of Google+. 15 minutes to introduce a panel of co-presenters that would chat via live Google+ Hangout, and then 30 minutes of Q&A with the full panel available.
I got set up, tested the speaker system, tested the wireless network. Everything was great. I started the presentation on time. Things were going great.
I finished my portion of the presentation in exactly 45 minutes. On the nose. Perfect. It was time to invite my panelists to join in… but… the network crashed. I couldn’t get them to stream online.
I answered questions on my own while Carissa, my roomate and (at that moment) Godsend tech genius, attempted troubleshooting. In the process, my phone rang with one of my panelists joining in the hangout. I answered. Soon, I was live streaming my panelists via Verizon’s data plan (can’t wait to get that phone bill). They were loud enough that the room could hear them (can you hear me now?), and added valuable information to the presentation.
(if you can see them, from left to right at the bottom are me, Amy from Mod Podge Rocks, Angie from the Country Chic Cottage, Whitney from Google, and Colleen from Mural Maker).
It was probably one of the most unconventional panel presentations in the history of conferences… but it worked. I’m so thankful that my hubby upgraded my phone to a smart phone for my birthday!
After my presentation was over, I was able to sit back and enjoy the conference. I went to many other presentations, my favorite being an SEO presentation where I felt I really learned a lot. It was right at my level, and dovetailed with my own personal philosophy on SEO.
SNAP had lots of educational opportunities, but lots of social ones as well. I loved hanging out with bloggers that I’ve gotten to know online, and now got to see in person. And in pajamas.
My favorite part was the edu-social evenings. We’d gather in one of the rooms with a drink or two, and talk blogging. We’d re-hash the session information and expand on it. I spent one evening showing the back-end of WordPress to a blogger who was getting ready to make the jump. I spent another night with a room full of bloggers talking about SEO and “content strategy”, which is really a fancy term for having an editorial calendar. I learned a ton. I had fun. I got to be me.
Not that I’m not “me” when I’m in this space. But in this space, I’m a conservative me. I don’t swear. I try to keep things clean and uncontroversial. I believe that the majority of you come here for fun projects, pretty pictures, and a little bit of me. At the conference I didn’t bring fun projects, people were taking their own pretty pictures, so all that was left was a whole lot of me. Which is fun. If you ever get to meet me in person, you’ll see that I’m really a total nerd without any geeky street cred. And I own it. And love it.
I’m still recovering from SNAP. I’m trying to snuggle with the kiddos a little more, spend some time with my husband, and catch up here on the blog. There is an unending list. But I’m so amazingly glad that I went. There is no way that in one post, or even a series of posts, I could accurately convey all that happened at SNAP… except that it was awesome. And I’d go again in a heartbeat.
I’m off to read more conference re-caps. People are linking up their thoughts over on the SNAP blog. I think I’ll add mine in…