Last week I traveled to a huge blogging conference in Chicago, you may have heard of it, it was a little thing called BlogHer. It was my first major blogging conference since breaking into this amazing world known as blogging this past Spring.It took me a few days to really compose myself, extract the kids from my legs and gather my thoughts on the whole experience. So here goes….
Here are a few things I learned while at BlogHer:
I am a totally bad flyer: Ok this really has nothing to do with the conference but I have never been a good flyer. Things have been “better” the past few years travelling with kids, mostly because I can distract myself with them enough to forget about the fact I am trapped in a steel tube at 35000 feet. This time I had no kids and interestingly my body freaked out, shakes, cold sweats, heart racing – not good. Ditto on the way home but amplify by 10x since I was exhausted, hungover, and my flight was delayed which prolonged the pre-flight freak out. Note to self to medicate with Atavan next time.
Swag Whores do exist: I feel a little bad using that terminology, but alas its true. The amount of swag is overwhelming and I am beyond appreciative. I still can’t believe that people actually gave me free things, let me into movie premieres, and best of all gave me lots and lots of lots of free food and drinks. I think I was a little awe struck at the whole experience and was a little dissapointed at those who came to events solely to grab the “swag bag” and leave, or those who felt entitled to be at certain events and were vocal about their disapproval, and those who got up at the crack of dawn for a yoga event only to grab the free yoga mat and return home right away. Really?
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover: I did get a little starry eyed with all the “big name” bloggers that were there. Going into the conference I was a little intimidated to chat or meet with some of them because really, who the heck am I. But every single person I met was so lovely and gracious – from the big time urban bloggers to the down home southern belles with the big hair-sprayed bangs – everyone has a great story to tell and are more than generous with their time to tell it to you! Chucky was really nice too…..
You don’t need to attend the sessions to learn a lot: In fact, I didn’t even have a pass to attend the workshops and keynotes. My goal was to connect with brands, build new relationships, meet some amazing bloggers, and to bond with an amazing tribe of women that in the past few months have become very important in my world (more on that in the next little while……). I think my expectations were exceeded in terms of the goals I set and am thrilled to continue those relationships online until we meet again at another conference.
Lift while you climb: Despite there being thousands of bloggers at the conference all clamoring for knowledge and for brands attention I really didn’t get the vibe that there was a lot of competition going on. There was so much support, both in person and on social media for fellow bloggers it was truly inspiring. To get a little taste, just follow the hashtag #BlogHer13
I will never, ever own a pair of Louboutins: Ok, total first world problem here but for approximately 24 hours I was the slightly stunned owner of a pair of patent red Christian Louboutin heels. I mean, these could be used for deadly force if necessary with the size and point of the red stiletto heel. A few gals with teeny tiny feet tried them on and all said that they were painfully uncomfortable to wear even for the briefest of moments – so lucky for me, I was able to trade them in for a gift card for Neiman Marcus so that I might be able to buy something I might actually wear on a semi-regular basis (I can feed my Frye Boot addiction guilt free for once!).