I’m officially BlogHer exhausted! Still sharing the love on Twitter and reading about people traveling home, seeing their kids, and unpacking swag. I got a moderate amount of swag but I was so busy this year that I actually didn’t make it to the Expo hall until the last day about 2 hours before it closed. Many vendors were completely out of handouts by then. Which is fine because really, many of the vendors I wouldn’t work with anyway (I am looking at you, LYSOL). The only one I was really sad to miss was SoDelicious, who makes my son’s favorite coconut milk. I heard they had coupons, but I never found them in the Expo hall.
We are going to power through a review of the rest of BlogHer 2012 because you and I are both anxious to get back to our regularly scheduled blogging topics, right?
Despite all the parties and socializing this year, I did attend sessions! A few were not my personal choice because I was Mic Wrangling, but I still enjoyed them. The first of the day was Advocacy: Blogging Across Issues and Borders. I am not an advocacy blogger or a Latina but it was interesting to hear women who were so passionate. Takeaway: This panel was a good reminder not to give up on blogging when it gets difficult, but to surround ourselves with others who encourage us to keep going.
Of course, the big deal on Friday was Martha Stewart speaking at the lunch keynote. I am not going to lie, I stayed for about 5 minutes and then left. I really do respect Martha and all she’s done – she’s a powerhouse and soooo talented! But the lunch was so crowded and people were literally pushing each other out of chairs in the ballroom. I’m not a craft blogger, and I don’t do Martha-type stuff, so when I got claustrophobic I just left. I ate lunch next to this adorable baby right outside the ballroom!
I was excited to see another Room Of Your Own about small blogs this year, since I am definitely considered a small blog by anyone who looks at size. Takeaway: In the Celebrate Your Small Blog session I was encouraged to keep doing what I’m doing and not be influenced to change my topic/convictions just to make more money or gain more followers. I was also reminded that I could probably work harder on ways to allow my followers to comment on the blog posts more easily from mobile devices.
|Me, Carrie, and Alex from LateEnough (I was starstruck!)|
After that session, I walked a few blocks and took a class at SLT NYC, a Megaformer Pilates class just like the ones I teach here in Plano. I love taking classes from other instructors because it gives me great ideas for new moves or moves I’ve forgotten. Of course, the class kicked my butt (in a good way)!
I arrived at the annual Voices Of The Year keynote all sweaty and wearing workout clothes, but it was a beautiful and inspirational experience, as always. A big shout-out to my fave Fearless Formula Feeder who did a great presentation of her manifesto about feminism and formula feeding. If you were part of the Twitter fiasco following this keynote but did not actually get a chance to hear the reading, I’d encourage you to read it for yourself before taking a stance. I saw several people on Twitter misquoting things that Suzanne read in her post. It’s important to take this post in the context of its entirety.
After the keynote, it was up to my room to shower. I had several parties that night that I ultimately decided to skip so I could spend time with my friend Mica from MayBooks, who was in town for BlogHer as a vendor. We skipped the super crowded line for Hasbro and went to a cute Italian place with my roommate Jenn from Punky And The City.
|All 3 of us spend dinner on our mobile devices 😉|
It was 10pm when I got back to the hotel but Sparklecorn was just getting started!! I might have had a lil more to drink that usual, and danced way too late into the night.
|The dark, thumping dance blob that is Sparklecorn|
|Calley and her husband gettin’ down on the dance floor!|
Rock on, Calley, Chris, Julie, Amanda, Alex, Carrie, and Blessing!
I was up super early the next morning for absolutely no good reason. Oh well. I do have to say that the food at BlogHer was not as good as previous years, and there was a lot less of it. I had to actually purchase food, which I’ve really never had to do before.
First session in the morning (after opening keynote) was the one I was most excited about: Pro Tips: Branding and Blogging Professionally. I was stoked because my friends Jill and Gina were leading this panel!! It was a great panel, as expected – lots of laughs but lots of practical advice. Takeaway: Do not drink so much at Sparklecorn next time or you will forget what you learned in the panel your friends led.
Next I was back to Mic Wrangling for When It’s Time To Spend Money To Market Your Work. I am not going to lie, by this time my energy was draining fast. It was a good session but about 3/4 of the way through I almost fell asleep. Takeaway: When is it time to start spending money to market your work? Probably not yet, for me. All the panelists assumed you make money at all – hahahahaha….I don’t.
Although I dearly wanted to go up to my room and nap, I was also hungry so I went to lunch and the lunch keynote with Katie Couric. Surprisingly, this lunch was less packed than the Martha Stewart lunch. Huh? I thought Katie was amazing – very personable and her upcoming show sounds really interesting.
I met up briefly with Stephanie from City Moms Blog, who is the umbrella organization for Dallas Moms Blog (you know I write there too, right?). I would like to apologize to Stephanie for my zombie-like state. I was literally about to fall over. I barely crawled up to the 42nd floor where there were free massages being offered by RosaceaFacts.com. Then I oozed back down to the 26th floor and took a good long nap. Unfortunately, I was forced to get up so I could stop by the Expo Hall before it was time to Mic Wrangle the closing keynote. This is why I didn’t get much sponsor swag – it was so late in the conference that many of them were packing up. Oh well, I still got Beth Terry to autograph my copy of Plastic Free: How I Kicked The Plastic Habit And How You Can Too, which I have already started reading and IT IS AMAZING.
The closing keynote revealed that next year, BlogHer 2013 will be in Chicago and it will be in July (2-27) instead of August. So excited!
For dinner, I got to eat at a local Asian fusion place with all the wonderful women I met and some who I just totally admire/stalk like Gina The Feminist Breeder and her husband.
|The Feminist Breeder and Hyphenated Husband (!)|
|Powerhouse of feminist blogging: Think Feminist, The Feminist Breeder, and Danielle Elwood|
When we got back to the hotel, I packed up for a super early exit (6am!) in the morning. I was so sad to leave my friends, old and new.
|Saying “bye” to Calley for another year – our third BlogHer together!|
Overall, this BlogHer was another new and great experience. I am exhausted more than I’ve ever been in past years, but I’m also seeing even more opportunities on the horizon.
If I met you at BlogHer and you have any great pictures or would like to say “hi”, please do! I miss you all already!