I attended Allume for the very first time in 2012.
I came across it purely by accident. I had committed myself to becoming a serious blogger that year and after reading about the conference I knew I wanted and needed to attend.
As a newbie I found the newbie group on Facebook late in the game, even though I had purchased a ticket months before. Ladies were getting to know each other, asking questions about what was going to happen and stressing out about what to wear. There was excitement about the event and anxiety about how many business cards to bring.
Some had their conference planned down to the minute and others were just going to attend and see what happened. It was a great group to anticipate the conference with and yet it was a bit overwhelming for me, a pretty even keeled and laid back gal. Oy! Did I really want to do this?
Well yes. Yes, I did. I knew in my spirit this was something I was being led to do. So I threw off the robe of comparison and insecurity and freaking out, because that is not who I am in Christ, and I flew to Pennsylvania.
Walking into the conference I immediately knew that I had found my tribe. Spending an entire weekend with women who liked to do what I like to do was bliss. I was in my happy place.
When I returned home I reflected on why the conference had been so wonderful for me and I came up with some interesting epiphanies. As an Allume alum I’d like to share some of them with you.
1. Do not neglect your quiet time.
First and foremost you are a follower of Christ. As a blogger it is in His power that you contemplate and write and share your heart, whether it’s spiritual matters or recipes or homeschool crafts. Therefore, it is vital that you stay in the Word. When believers get together Satan gets mad. He will be on high alert during the conference, trying to find minds that are not focused and twisting and turning them for his purposes. He is NOT welcome in Greenville. Don’t let him in.
We all need to be on guard against the enemy as the time gets closer and especially while we are there. Do not neglect your quite time at Allume. Remember, the Lord has prepared you in advance for this blogging gig. Don’t let the enemy have any part in your weekend. You can lock him out by spending time each day in the Word.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
2. Wear what makes you feel good about yourself.
Here’s the dress code for Allume: anything goes. Now I say this with some confidence that we don’t need to worry about you showing up in spandex and fishnets. But if you feel your best in jeans and cowboy boots, then that is what you should wear. If you want to dress up, then do it. This is your chance. Wanna wear a suit? As long as that makes you feel beautiful (and comfortable) then good on ya sister. That’s what you should pack.
Do not worry about what other people are going to pack and wear. This is your chance to show up feeling your very best and carrying yourself through the weekend with confidence. Listen, there are going to be plenty of other things to worry about. I can’t stop you from stressing about your brand, your writing, your mission or your ministry. That’s between you and the Lord. But worrying about how you look – that is absolutely controllable. Even if you lose your luggage, there are two TJ Maxx stores and a Macy’s in Greenville. You’ll live.
So pack what makes you feel gorgeous. I’m sure it’s totally different than what makes me feel like a million bucks. And that is awesome. One of the most beautiful things about this conference is the diversity of the women.
Wear whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t insult the One who made you by stressing out about clothing. In His eyes you are already the most beautiful woman He ever created. Own it girl and give Him the praise He deserves!
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
3. Get out of the hotel.
There is a lot going on during Allume. There are always opportunities to be going, going, going in the hotel. But for the majority of us being in Greenville, South Carolina is a very rare occurrence. You need to get out of the hotel at least once.
I am a political scientist by trade so last year’s conference in Harrisburg was really fun for me, since it’s also the capital of Pennsylvania. Before dinner one night I walked over to the capitol plaza and went through the Pennsylvania State capitol building. It was absolutely gorgeous. It was old. Much older than my state’s capitol building. I got some amazing photos for my blog picture library.
My point is, you need to leave the hotel at some point. See a little bit of the city. Grab a new friend and take a walk. It will make the experience that much more meaningful and give you context for the weekend as a whole.
Take a walking tour of historic Greenville. Snap some photos of this lovely town.
Here are some other opportunities:
Don’t deprive yourself of getting outside. Go see what the Lord has made in South Carolina!
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
4. Attend the sessions you want to attend, even if it means sitting on the floor.
If there is a session you want to attend then go to it. If it’s super crowded, sit on the floor. Make the most of your weekend. Don’t back off. No one is going to make your blog successful except you. (And of course the Lord, but that’s a given so don’t get your knickers all twisted up.) If you feel you need to get certain information that is available, then be confident enough to get in there and get it.
Now listen carefully, last year there were quite a few older ladies and pregnant moms who came to the conference. If you see someone walk in who needs an actual chair and you are sitting in one – GIVE IT UP. Don’t give me no guff about your knees or your back or whatever, show some respect girls and park your butt on the floor so that someone else can have a seat. Be aware of others and do what you know is right.
This is your chance to get some of the world’s best blogging information. If you want to hear a particular speaker or topic then make it happen.
(*Note: There WILL be sitting-room-only sessions. Therefore this may influence your decisions on #2 above. Yes, your pencil skirt is super cute, but may not be the best choice for lounging on the floor.)
5. Give yourself PERMISSION to leave a session if it’s not for you.
I cannot emphasize this enough. If you get into a session and it isn’t for you, even if you are in the front row, give yourself PERMISSION to leave. Give up your seat, be as discreet as possible and go to another one.
Last year I went to one session that was jam packed full of ladies. A few minutes in I realized that is was much much different than I thought it was going to be and really wasn’t information that I needed to hear. It was wonderful info, but not what I needed. I decided to give up my seat to someone else and went in search of another session.
Wouldn’t you know it, God led me to a session that was tailor-made for me. It was the most exciting and thought provoking session I attended the entire weekend and changed my blogging career in a dramatic fashion. If I hadn’t given myself PERMISSION to leave the first one I would have never heard the talk that I am convinced was just for me.
You may have a plan for the conference but remember God will direct your steps, if you let Him and give yourself PERMISSION to do what you know is right.
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Ok, so at this point I have 5 more tips, but this post is already getting pretty long, so I’ve decided to split it up into two parts, for both our sakes.
So be sure to check in next week for my final 5 tips to making your Allume experience GREAT!
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