10 Tips to Make Your Allume Experience GREAT (Part 1)

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.

Ten Tips To Make Allume Great (Part 1) ★ There are 10 things that can make your Allume conference experience great. Find out what they are in this two part series. ★ Learn HOW To Blog ★

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.

Ephesians 2:10:

“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!

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

 

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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:

5 mile running / walking loop 

Local activities

Don’t deprive yourself of getting outside. Go see what the Lord has made in South Carolina!

Psalm 19:1

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.

Proverbs 16:9

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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Comments (25)

  1. Reply Amy Tilson

    Love the idea of giving myself permission to leave a session to go to another (or for a walk instead). Sessions are when the extroverts get in trouble. We are too busy meeting&greeting to get to the room. That was a mistake I made last year a few times. I definitely need to get out this year too. I would’ve loved to have seen the capital building. Bummer.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Don’t worry sister. I have lots of pictures. Hee hee! Yes, we extroverts do get into trouble when it comes to getting into sessions on time, but that’s ok. It’s about making relationships right? Thanks for the love.

  2. Reply Victoria Mininger

    Great tips Debi! As a Allume alum I agree wholeheartedly. Not sure if I will make the 11:00 on Thursday but if so a walking photo tour would be great! See you there!

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Thank you Victoria. It’s great to know that another alum agrees. I hope you can take a walking tour, even if on your own. Find me during the weekend and I’ll share my notes with you.

  3. Reply Cindy Collins

    This was great! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Thanks Cindy!

  4. Reply Kathy Schwanke

    Great thoughts and tips Debi! And I chuckled a little too. I think I’d like to tour the town…will have to see where the Lord directs my steps. 🙂

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Awesome Kathy! I hope you get to see the town a little too. If you can’t make the walking tour, find me during the weekend and I’ll share my notes with you.

  5. Reply Lisha Epperson

    Such a strong start for this two parter. Useful, god-centered advice. I love it. So happy I get to room with you and experience your fabulousness up close and personal.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Ah thanks. You are awesome. We’re gonna have a good time. I’m so excited. Thanks for the love.

  6. Reply Barefoot Hippie Girl

    This is my first time at Allume, but not my first time at a blogging conference. And I say amen to all of the above. Thanks for the 5 mile loop link. I was planning to run. Now I don’t have to figure out a route. And, I wish I had been brave enough to leave a couple sessions last year. I misunderstood the descriptions and they just weren’t helpful to me. I haven’t figured out which ones I am doing at Allume yet, but I will soon!

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Girl! I had you in mind when I posted that loop. I’m so glad you can use it. Looking forward to meeting you at Allume! Thanks for stopping by today.

  7. Reply Bstar0306

    I totally agree with everything!! I feel the same about the newbie group sometimes I feel like it’s WAY overwhelming with tons of “omg freaking out” and I’m like, “Beth Anne why are you freaking out? You have been to a million conferences this isn’t any different than those…you will make it through Allume!”

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Yeah, that happens to the best of us doesn’t it? We get all caught up and forget who we are. I’m guilty of that too. You’re gonna have a ball. Looking forward to meeting you in October.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Thanks Leah. It’s going to be great fun! Thanks for stopping by today.

  8. Reply Missindeedy

    Debi – amen! AMEN! Number one is vital for me. Knowing Who I’m grounded in and Who I’m there to glorify? That makes the rest of it just icing on the cake.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Right on sister!! You are awesome and it’s fun to see your face in all of it’s radiant beauty. Thank you for stopping by.

  9. Reply Donna Ross O'Shaughnessy

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Where is the point that says sneak your friend in!!!???
    Seriously…great points. I am looking forward to reading all about it! Maybe you can gather with the other “Allume-mate” Chickie Girls from last year and have a 3 minute Google Chat and pipe me in????? 🙂

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Oh don’t you fear sister. There will be plenty of sharing going on for those who are not able to join in. I guarantee it!

  10. Reply Jamie H

    What a great post – I need to find part 2 now.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Thanks Jamie. I’m so glad you found this one.

  11. Reply Jaimie B.

    Um, I love this – because just today I was picking out my whole wardrobe and kind of nervous about not having enough nice clothing! This post just put me in my place 😉 Don’t insult the One who made you by stressing out about clothing.

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Trust me. It’s such a non-issue. You’ll come home and be like, “I have no ideas what other people were wearing.” Just be yourself and be comfortable.

  12. […] Part 1 we talked about five things that you can do to make your Allume experience GREAT! And those five […]

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