I went to BlogHer. I had a ton of fun…but when I really sit down and think about it, I didn’t have fun AT BlogHer, I had fun BECAUSE OF BlogHer.
BlogHer, the biggest blogging conference in the world – yeah, that’s hyperbole, folks – technically began Thursday evening and ended Saturday night. I arrived in NYC Wednesday afternoon and left early Sunday morning.
BlogHer was jam packed full of sessions, keynote speeches, geek bars, official parties – and I’m probably missing a lot of things.
I attended only three official BlogHer things.
- The BlogHer Expo Hall
- The How to Price Yourself Session (I am paraphrasing because I can’t remember the name of the session)
- Sparklecorn party
Now, let me elaborate on these three things.
The BlogHer Expo Hall? It was a wonderful experience for me. I went to the BlogHer Expo Hall three times; I visited some booths Thursday evening, some of them on Friday morning and some of them on Saturday morning. I was able to speak to almost every booth (that I was in interested in speaking with), I handed out a ton of my business cards and received some in exchange – and I lined up three product reviews for items that I really want to try out and share with my readers.
I heard that there was a lot of drama in the BlogHer Expo Hall, but I must have missed it – I had absolutely no complaints about swag whoring – Yes, that is a real thing!! – and all of the PR reps at the booths I visited were super nice and knowledgable and showed a real interest in developing a relationship with me and my blog once BlogHer was over.
The How to Price Yourself session? Honestly, I’ve been monetizing my blog for over a year now and I know my worth. I still need work on developing proposals for big projects, but the session didn’t accomplish much for me except give me the opportunity to see some of my friends who were speakers shine. That was fun.
Oh, Sparklecorn. What can I say about Sparklecorn?
I was hanging out with friends at the lobby bar, paying too much for drinks, when I remembered Sparklecorn was happening. A friend and I headed up there once the bar closed and found that the bar was also closed at Sparklecorn and someone was eating the ass off of the unicorn cake.
What. The. F*ck. People?!
LAME. Needless to say, we left that party immediately. Closed bars? Drunken masses? Assless unicorn cake? That’s not how I roll.
So, what did I do at Blogher? Dude, what didn’t I do?! I traipsed all over NYC, sometimes with friends, sometimes with brands, sometimes with family. I had every intention of going to H&M to go shopping, but never made it. I ate lots of cake. I drank lots of champagne. I hugged a lot of people.
I made it rain with The Rebel Chick business cards.
I learned a few things, despite not attending the actual conference portion of the BlogHer conference.
1. I learned that private brand parties are where it’s at.
I attended a lovely party in the 60 Thompson Hotel in Soho, thrown by Mom Central on Wednesday night. It was so much fun! The 60 Thompson Hotel in Soho was swanky and upscale, the Mom Central employees were so nice to me, and the food was totally amazeballs.
I struck up a conversation with several PR representatives at the Mom Central party, including the PR rep and owner of Suzy Sirloin. These sliders were so good, I am going to do a review for their products now that I am home – and I’m begging my local grocery stores to carry her products!
After the Mom Central party, I knew that my networking opportunities were going to happen at the private parties. There were real brands there looking to build relationships and isn’t that what conferences are all about?
2. I learned that bigger isn’t always better.
I was invited to attend the Lifetime Blogger Retreat at the beautiful Townhouse Spa near out hotel, and I had such a lovely time! There were only about 30 bloggers there, so the setting was incredibly intimate and relaxed. We all enjoyed manicures and pedicures, then gathered to learn more about the fall lineup on the Lifetime channel – and ate some delicious food!
I especially had a fantastic time at the Lifetime Blogger Retreat because I had so much time to sit and chat with the Lifetime reps and my fellow blogging friends. The weekend was so jam packed with meetings and activities that sitting with a few gals and enjoying a slower pace for two hours was exactly what I needed!
3. I learned that it can be just as exciting to meet a blogger as it is to meet a brand representative.
I love my friends. Meeting blogging friends that I’ve met online in person at BlogHer was one of the most fun things about my trip. I actually skipped an event Saturday night to hang out with Deb from Just Short of Crazy and Michelle from Domestic Executive Online and visit a 5 star restaurant with them for dinner. I probably had more fun with my blogger friends that evening than I would have had at the party!
4. I learned that being shy gets you absolutely nowhere.
I don’t think this needs a lot of explanation. I had a much different experience than some other bloggers who attended the conference because I was invited to a few off-site private parties. Why? Because I chat up the reps that I work with. They wanted to get to know me better because we chat when we are working on a project together.
Being friendly? It’s really important.
5. I learned that sometimes people surprise you.
Sometimes for the good, sometimes not so good…after talking to people online for so long, we form this idea in our minds of how they will be in person – and that’s not always the reality of the situation. I met Stephanie of Mommy Musings in line at the Getting Gorgeous event in NYC and while we have only commented on each other’s blogs online, we had so much fun together chatting and getting to know each other! It was wonderful! And then there’s the blogger I met later that day who I’ve always thought I was friends with…and she was so shy that she couldn’t even make eye contact with me. You really just never know what’s going to happen when you meet your online friends in person!
If you attended BlogHer in NYC, did you have a good time? Were you disappointed or did you leave happy? I’d love to hear your thoughts!