In October I went to my first proper work conference. Myself and three other people from work all took the train early in the morning to the next city over, dumped our luggage at our hotel and then headed to the conference centre.
Here are four notes I have on my experience:
1) Trying (and failing) to be a grown up at a professional conference
I was excited and nervous about the conference. I’m still quite new to the industry so I was trying really hard to look and sound like a competent professional 😣. This didn’t entirely work out because people still asked me if I was there for a school project or something. I literally can’t go anywhere without someone mistaking me for a teenager but the truth is that I’m in my twenties now.
When I tell people they’re mistaken about my age they then tend to parade me around to other people to say “She looks so young! You’ll never guess how old she is.” I get it, it’s a conversation starter of a kind. But it was hard to feel like a grownup professional under those circumstances.
2) Great Content
The actual content of the conference was great. Some of the keynote speakers were really inspiring and I came back with lots to think about and a few new ideas to implement in my day to day work. Considering the hefty price of the conference tickets though, that was only to be expected!
I also got to attend a mini social media class on both days of the conference (they called it a breakout session) which was really interesting. I definitely want to learn more about marketing and maybe try some of those ideas out with this blog.
3) Fancy Hotel Time
At the end of the first day we went back to our hotel. The hotel was truly a highlight of the conference. As an introvert there’s honestly only so much small talk I can take before I’m rundown so being able to sit in a hotel room on my own for a few hours between day one and two was bliss. I ran a hot bath, got out a Lush bath bomb and put The Grand Budapest Hotel on on my kindle. That evening was so relaxing. And the bed was MASSIVE.
There was one awkward thing about the hotel experience, though. Confession: I’ve never stayed independently in a hotel room before. So in light of that my manager had to come and show me how all the key cards and things work so I could get into the room, etc.
4) Free Food and Tote Bags
Another highlight of the conference was all the freebies. There was so much free food! There were little cakes that tasted scrumptious, pasta pots, wedges, biscuits, salad and so much more.
Every time there was a break in the conference schedule we would come out to the exhibition floor and there would be an entirely new selection of food. This happened about four times per day. So much food. I was only expecting the biscuits really. The drink section was a bit poor though because they only had coffee and tea available and I don’t like hot drinks at all 😞.
We all got a free tote bag and bright pink lanyard as well. The tote was super handy for grabbing all the leaflets from the various exhibition stands.
I’m glad I went to the conference and I definitely won’t feel so nervous if I get invited to one again. Maybe next time I go people will think I look old enough to be there!