Posts Tagged ‘blogher11’

Obligatory BlogHer Advice Post

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

If you are not a blogger and couldn’t care LESS about blogging conferences (which you imagine are pretty much like Star Trek conventions without the awesome dorky costumes)(you’re wrong, by the way, blogging conferences are MUCH more uncool than Star Trek conventions) feel free to skip this one. I’ll have more ginger baby pictures up in an hour or two.

blogher 11 photos

I saw lots of people and did lots of things

I started writing this post days after coming back from BlogHer’11 in San Diego, when the whole experience was still fresh. I added to it for a few weeks as I gained some perspective and finished it up just yesterday when I was talking to some of the friends I made last year. Since I’ve only been to one BlogHer I am by no means an expert, but I hunted down and read every single one of these posts I could find last year so I thought I’d throw my hat peacock feather fascinator in the ring.

Pre- and At BlogHer Advice

1. The fun actually starts long before the conference. Last year, almost everyone I knew got into town on Wednesday night, so they had all of Thursday to hang out and/or attend Pathfinder Day. I didn’t want to leave my nursing baby for an extra day so I skipped it – and regretted it (well, not the part about missing the baby, the part about missing the fun). I’m going to make sure I’m in NYC for a long time.

2. Don’t be afraid to call your friends. Even the ones you previously only talked to online. I did a lot of texting and tweeting and Belugaing (a free app that’s like texting), but would miss people because of lag time and I ended up being alone more than I wanted to. But the women who were brave enough to just dial a number and say “Hey, where you at?” met up with their posses much faster.

3. 200 business cards is too many. I handed out a LOT, even to my friends, just because my cards were super cute but I still came home with at least half of them, even after dropping a bunch in bowls for giveaways.

4. Nobody cared what I was wearing. I spent tons and tons of time worrying about it but in the end all that mattered was having comfortable shoes. If you’re a fashion blogger, you’re already good at wearing cool clothes. If you’re anyone else, just wear clothes.

5. Don’t commit to things that will keep you away from your friends for too long. Sure, private parties and invites and appointments and swag suites are AWESOME, but your time is precious and if no one you came to BlogHer to see is invited to your super secret event you’ll be there alone. One of my roommates last year went to a private party that was incredibly cool but took place on an island after a boat ride and she missed a ton of fun (SPARKLECORN) because she was there.

6. Put away your phone. I had SUCH a hard time doing this, but my best conversations happened after my phone was dead and I was forced –FORCED I TELL YOU – to focus on the people I was actually with.

7. Send some emails. Start a Facebook group. G-chat. Really get to know the people you are hoping to hang out with. EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT, and if you let your social anxiety prevent you from talking to your friends’ faces through the internet it will be a lot worse when you try to do it in person.

8. The Expo Hall is a great way to connect with brands but it is not the ONLY way to connect with brands. A lot of companies send representatives to the actual conference, so it never hurts to chat with the strangers at your table. The first company to contact me after BlogHer with actual stuff I was actually interested in using was because I put on my best brave and friendly face and sat with strangers during lunch.

9. Come up with a brief summary of your blog so that when people ask what you blog about you don’t say “Oh just my kids and stuff”. Sometime this is called an elevator pitch, but that name totally put me off. I thought “Naaaah, I’m not going to pitch my blog to everyone I meet! Imma just be ME”. I somehow forgot the ME the people (might) know IS my blog – and the ME brand representatives and sponsors want to get to know is my blog too. Since I’m slightly awkward in person (SHOCKING I KNOW) I’m going to plan ahead a little better this year.

10. Have a good time. Let your hair down. Dance on the stage with the DJ. But remember: falling down and throwing up are no fun, so don’t let “Open Bar” mean “Super Drunk”.

Post-BlogHer Advice:

There will be a LOT of posts about BlogHer and what people thought and where they went and how they loved seeing their friends. Sometimes they will mention you. Sometimes they won’t. Don’t let their memory of the conference skew your memory. If you had the Best Time Ever then it WAS the best time ever. If you were a little disappointed then it was a little disappointing. Stay in contact with the people you met and enjoyed. Don’t feel obligated to add every single blogger to your Google Reader, but it might be worth adding them all to your Twitter for a few weeks to see if you have stuff in common (Pro tip: go through the pile of business cards you collected while waiting for your flight/train home and everyone is still fresh in your mind. It’s a great time to tweet “It was great to meet you!” so they can follow you back).

To be 100% honest with you, I spent way, way too much time last August worrying everyone I had met secretly hated me or thought I was fat and ugly and lame and boring. I’m sure I won’t be able to avoid some of those same feelings of doubt (hellooooo, I’m a blogger because I am insecure and awkward and you probably are too) but it’s a full year later and since most of the internet friends I met at BlogHer11 are STILL my internet friends, I’m assuming they don’t dislike me too much.

If you’re going to BlogHer in NYC and we aren’t already friends, let’s start now. Tweet me, email me, comment here, or just come find me (I’ll be hosting at the Serenity Suite on Saturday from 2pm-4pm) and we can go get some free humus or cottage cheese together. One month! I’m so excited!

sesame street panel blogher 11

That’s real Elmo, not some cheap knock off.

p.s. If you’re looking for me this year, I’ll be wearing pretty much ALL the same clothes as I am in the above photos. Just to make it easy for you.

Queen Bee Market

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

This ain’t yo mama’s craft fair.

The adorable Jess of Allora Handmade

I’ve waited a REALLY LONG TIME to hug Hannah‘s face and I’m so glad I finally did.

I spent about an hour and a half (and sort of a lot of money) at the market, so of course I have pictures of what I bought to share:

Super hero cape from blue. by YeLLoMeDaiSY

Polka dot skirt from Stacy Lynn

I would totally post a picture of me WEARING it…if it fit. I thought it might but I underestimated the size of my hips. I’ll just call it more incentive to lose weight.

That’s actually MY headband, but she makes a better model. Also, I totally forgot which booth I got it from, so if you know tell me and I’ll link to the shop!

Headband from Little Penelope Lane


My new favorite shop, Spiffing Jewelry. This bracelet isn’t up on her site yet – although I think we bugged her enough on Twitter that it will be soon – but in case you need help it says “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good” and is a reference to Harry Potter. Amy and Ashley and I spent a good 20 minutes looking at every single one of her geekery bracelets trying to decide which to buy. I should have bought at least two more, since they aren’t all online and I LOVE them.

I also had a super SUPER crazy run-in with my second grade pen pal at the checkout counter. Not even kidding, we wrote letters when I was 7 or 8 and haven’t seen her since. Facebook helped us recognize each other but how is that for one of those “what a small world!!!” moments?

Loved the whole thing and am thrilled with my new shop discoveries.

BlogHer ’11 San Diego: Recap

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Working titles for this post at various points during the weekend include:

I Knew It, Everyone Hates Me

Holy Shit I Won An iPad

Poor Choices In Footwear

Sparklecorn Really Is As Amazing As You’ve Heard


I Knew It, Everyone Loves Me

I’m Never Drinking Again

A Surprising Number of Word Origins Involve Genitalia

Where Are The Damn Cheeseburgers?

I Missed My Kids


No One Was Mean To Me

The worst part of the whole weekend was getting there a full day later than most of my friends (they attended a special extra conference day on Thursday) so I missed out on some of the parties swag fun. But the travel gods smiled on me – at least on the way THERE – and I was checked in, freshened up, and hanging with my roommate Molly less than 30 minutes after we landed. WINNING.

Approximately 30 seconds after that, I won an iPad. Yeah, no kidding. There was a booth for RetailMeNot (which I used and love and recommended BEFORE they rocked my socks with the iPad) down at the exhibitor hall and they had one of those money blower tank things – like on Ellen, where you stuff cash in your bra – except you had to stuff Monopoly money through a slot into a little box. I was doing not a very good job and figured I’d be lucky to get $5 and a water bottle when the guy working the booth outside the tank made kind of a funny face and then my 30 seconds was over and when I stepped out he said “I think someone just won an iPad.” ME. ME IS THE ONE WHO WON AN IPAD.

(True fact: I have an iPad. The fate of this one is still up in the air. Go ahead and start sucking up, family members. Christmas is coming.)

Thursday night was a party sponsored by Clever Girls, one of the networks I belong to. I enjoyed the free champagne. I enjoyed it SO MUCH in fact, that I agreed to be in a contest that involved dancing to Smurf This Way (as in Walk This Way changed to be more smurf-friendly). I was smurfing terrible, but my team was awesome.

Me, Jill, Blair, Mae

On Friday I had scheduled myself pretty thin and ended up sort of alone for most of the morning. Ok, so not ALONE – it’s hard to be alone when you’re surrounded by 3,600 bloggers. But besides sitting with Suz in a session and hanging with Amy whenever I got a chance I spent a lot of time anxiously asking if anyone was sitting here and attempting to charm people who instantly forgot my name. I’m proud I put myself out there a little bit, but it took so much energy and courage I felt like I’d been hit by a bus by dinner. Although getting to meet Elmo (the real, no kidding Sesame Street Elmo with a hand up his butt, not some guy in an Elmo suit) and chatting with Morgan were high moments. Morgan wins at being able to talk to someone she barely knows for a full hour without once visibly rolling her eyes at my… uh… enthusiasm.

Sesame Street Session on being more fun on your BLAAAAAHG

My kid is carrying this photo around going "WOOOOOW". I swear to you he doesn't even know who Elmo IS but he can tell I'm special.

P.S. That is totally by baby-snatcher face. I TOLD you I wasn’t cool.

Friday night I went to some parties and drank a little too much and got a hideous (fake) tattoo that said “Bad Girl” and made a fool of myself in a pedicab by not recognizing a famous blogger and then I threw myself at two MORE famous bloggers who were incredibly kind and gracious despite my slightly tipsy state. I also met Maile, the creator of my gorgeous camera bag, during the ONLY MOMENT of the weekend when I wasn’t carrying it. I almost fell over dead and shouted at her about how I LOVED MY BAG and DID SHE SEE THE PICTURE OF MY BABY IN IT? IT WAS ON TWITTER! I TWEETED IT! DID SHE SEE IT?? DID SHE? REMEMBER????

And then, Sparklecorn.

I don't even LIKE sparkly vampires

That's the CAKE. It was 4 feet tall.

I ran up on stage to show off my skillz.You know the phrase "dance as if no one is watching"? THAT.

Me and my ridiculous eyeshadow when I accosted Amalah, my all time favorite blogger. She had a baby approximately 5 minutes ago and was too gorgeous and gracious for words.

And like Amy (who took all these pictures) said, this one sort of sums up the whole night:

That’s Kim, from Dirty Diaper Laundry. She was really fun. And very tolerant of me.

Despite a very very late night (especially considering the time difference) I made it to my 7 am workout with Bob Harper. My thighs are STILL burning. After his session and the Q&A during breakfast it was easy to see why he was picked as a trainer for the Biggest Loser. “Charming” isn’t nearly strong enough of a word – it was more like he glamored all of us into thinking “Wow, I DO want oatmeal for breakfast! And I want to run a 5k! And make better choices!”

Motivating us. With his HOTNESS.

The rest of Saturday was much more chill than Friday. I got my make-up done in the Daisy Cottage Cheese suite and she covered my dark circles with some sort of MAGIC that made everyone tell me I looked great. Then I got a massage and a coupon for a free automatic toilet bowl cleaner thing, both of which made me feel very relaxed. (Because obviously I spend a lot of time stressed about my dirty bowls)(I’m not even joking). I attended a session on being a professional blogger and pretended I was, indeed, a professional blogger. I don’t think I fooled anyone.

Then I went to the Queen Bee Handmade Market, which gets its own post later.

But the best part was dinner, arranged by Eileen, who planned ahead and made reservations for us at The Marble Room where we all got a chance to SIT DOWN and TALK and just really enjoy getting to know a few new people and finally connect with some long-time virtual friends.

The restaurant used to be a brothel. I heard the bathroom was decorated with naked ladies.

Bottom left: Diana and my lovely roommate Molly

By Saturday night it was all I could do to drag myself back home, put on a clean dress and make an appearance at the parties so I could a) see the people I hadn’t yet run into and b) say goodbye to all the women I’m going to miss the crap out of. Then I stuffed my extra suitcase with swag and collapsed into bed so I could get up for the Longest Travel Day Ever In The World. Stupid flight delays.

I think the biggest thing I learned at BlogHer is that no matter what you expect it to be, you will be wrong. In my high-anxiety moments I pictured myself alone in a corner, being totally snubbed by everyone I like online. In my most optimistic moments, I imagined I would be instantly and completely loved by every single person I saw and I would have sponsors throwing free things at me and my amazing blog. I think in the end I made a good impression on a lot of people, made a fool of myself in front of some people, and annoyed a few people. I met half a dozen Super Internet Famous Big Time Bloggers and they were all extremely nice. I met a few people I am shocked I wasn’t ALREADY internet friends with and a lot more I am hoping to bond with during the next 12 months.

Because I am for sure going back in 2012. Leg hugs for everyone. Even Darth Vader.

Just a TEENY TINY percentage of the women I met and hugged and miss now