You can imagine my surprise when four days before the conference, she asked if I would attend the conference with her. I had never been opposed to participating, I just thought that she wanted to experience that without me. Well, one thing I’ve come to realize about my wife is that she’ll never turn down an opportunity to share an experience with me. Makes me a pretty lucky guy. So we managed to secure a last minute ticket and suddenly my plans had taken a drastic change! I knew going in that as a man, I would be grossly outnumbered, but I couldn’t help but be excited and curious as to what the Haven Conference had in store for me!
With “Swag Bag” in hand, we headed out to the lounge to meet some of the other “Mavens” As we sat in the lounge, it was easy to identify when someone’s favorite blogger had arrived, as it wasn’t uncommon to hear a gasp, then possibly a shriek, followed by a group of gals sprinting to see who would get the first hug! I generally keep my shrieks to myself, so I just hung out at the table taking all the excitement in. I wasn’t sure how these ladies would take a man “invading” such a female powered event, so I tried to lay low and fly under the radar. That however wasn’t everyone else’s plan for me. I found myself right in the middle of hugs, handshakes, introductions, and business card swapping within the first five minutes of being in the lounge. I was actually taken aback with how many people I had met within such a short period of time. My nervousness about being accepted quickly died out and was replaced with a nervousness of “How am I going to remember all of these people?” All I could think about was how ridiculous I’d look introducing myself to someone I had met only minutes earlier.
When the welcome party started shortly thereafter, I let that worry die down as I finally came to the realization that I wasn’t the only one having these silly thoughts, after all this was the first Haven Conference, there were tons of people feeling the same way. It wasn’t until the party that I actually ran into some of my male counterparts. We exchanged a few manly grunts and groans and all was right with the world again. As the night went on the more I forgot about this being such a female dominated event and just enjoyed the camaraderie that seemed to come along with our areas of interest. Oddly enough, the connections that I was making struck a strong resemblance to that of the “brotherhood” that I’ve grown so accustomed to at the firehouse.