Lifestyle | Travel

BlogHer’11 from a Newbie

This past weekend marks the first time I attended the BlogHer Conference. After reading the comments, conversations and blog posts for years – I was finally able to experience BlogHer’11 myself. In San Diego! Since it’s the largest social media conference {and a highly publicized event}, there comes some apprehension and panic about going for a newbie.

So, here I am, back from this glorious conference with San Diego still on the brain. It’s indeed a whirlwind of information and faces thrown at you from the moment you step off the plane. So, what was it like for me?

    • First and foremost – the talk is true. Wear what you feel comfortable in, and by god – don’t even worry about outshining the queen when it comes to outfits. If mini’s and heels are what you usually wear – have at it. But, if jeans and tops are more your thing, rock it sista! I even talked with a lovely woman wearing sweats and a tee at the CheeseburgHer party. @QuesoBonito was confident, happy and most importantly, true to herself. Swoon! I vote her best-dressed any day!
  • The same goes for shoes. You’ll be on your feet and walking {most likely} form sun up until sun down whether it’s to and from the hotel, around the conference building, the expo hall or for shopping. Walk, Walk, Walk. So, wear what feels best and prepare for that walking. BlogHer is not the time to break in shoes or choose fancy over comfortable.

  • Keep the packing to a minimum. You don’t need 8 changes of clothes for 3 days, unless that is your norm. If you’d like to treat yourself to a new outfit for the conference, fine. Yet realize that anything you wear is ‘new’ to others, so dress for comfort, your own style and convenience. Again, rock the yoga pants with you’re head high!
  • When it comes to swag, you really don’t need each and every pen, toy, note pad, lunch bag, mascara, hand lotion, vibrator {yes, really}, and false eyelashes being thrown at you. Think of what you need, would like to try or would like to gift to others. And that’s it. Myself? I did plan on sorting through my swag bags before I left San Diego, yet an early flight and limited time kept me from doing it before I left. When I got home, I sorted my keeps from the donations. In retrospect, I’m glad I did this, since I could browse at leisure from home, and not have to take away time from the conference. Yet do keep in mind, that luggage gets heavy fast and you probably have to pay to haul bags home.

  • … On the other hand, make sure to take advantage of the Skinny Cow bars and products offered at the Dr. Scholl’s booth. Delicious and so nice on those tired feet that I mentioned previously.
    …. OK – so I think everyone took a vibrator with a giggle that day. But don’t take 5 – that’s just being too happily greedy. But hey, again, if it’s your thing, rock it sista’ {heh}.
  • Seek out those that you want to connect with. Saying, ‘I need to meet up with you this week’ on twitter isn’t good enough. You may run into each other by chance, yet you might not – it’s a big place. Instead plan a time and place, and enjoy that time to chat. And, don’t hesitate to stop someone whom you recognize and engage in conversation. I loved being able to put a face to the twitter handle. This is indeed the best part about the conference {which I will speak more about in another post}.

  • Go to as many or as little sessions as you want. But do read them and see if there’s a topic or speaker that you would be interested in. They are available to you, so if you think you could benefit – attend! Know that your time there is yours alone – so make it about you and seek answers to the reason WHY you are there.
  • Party!! Really, you are there to connect, converse, share ideas and hug. So, take it to the parties and have some fun! If you can get into the private parties – wonderful! But know that there are plenty of open parties as well. At the end of most days I was tired, especially staying at the Hard Rock Hotel {AKA, the hotel that never sleeps. Huge rant and besides the point}. Yet, even though I was tired, I knew that seeing people and having fun was part of the mission behind the trip. In fact, I will leave party-details to another post too – lots of share!
  • Which brings me to the photos – take a ton! You’ll laugh and cry at the memories afterward. And, it doesn’t matter how blurry the pics turn out – you were there. It was a blast and use dancing and the drinks as an excuse for the lack of expertise.

  • Oy, the business cards! Yes, have them. Yes, give them out. Likewise, you will get many business cards yourself, MANY. So, do yourself a favor and jot down who that person is on the back of a card. This is especially true for PR folk. Trust me, you won’t recall which brand they represented and why you needed to connect with them at a later date, if it’s not written down on the back of the card. It’s a time and sanity saver, and you’ll thank me for it.
  • Most importantly, if you want to go to BlogHer – just GO! I debated going for years, and now I know that I should have long ago. It was a fantastic experience, and all my apprehensions just seem silly now. If cost is an issue, save ahead and plan smart. Flight deals, early conference ticket pricing, roommates – just plan it already! I know I won’t miss BlogHer’12, so I’m already planning now.

Stay tuned for more posts on the parties, the people, sparkle, burgers, friends, Mario, tacos, make-up and more. And, all my fave photos from the trip too!
… Not necessarily in that order though. Curious?

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27 Comments

  1. YAY! You will be at BlogHer’12. Super excited. So far I got my ticket. Got a year to figure out the rest. Oh and if you end up needing a roomie… well just saying 😉

    1. I can’t wait! We have a whole year to make plans and take NYC by storm!
      So great to see so many Canadians going!!

    1. Yes!!! That was her!! Loved her!
      K, going to check out her blog, I have a feeling I will love what I see!

      Thanks for commenting, and for passing the link along!
      🙂

  2. Sounds like you had a blast Tammi! I would love to attend a Blogging Conference, maybe even BlogHer’12….you never know what next year will bring!

  3. I would love to go next year, however I don’t know if I can afford to travel that far. It would be amazing though!

  4. Oh my word…I’m so going next year!!! Planning is definitely in the works already…thrilled you made it this year and can’t wait to hear even more about it! Sounds fabulous!!! (and let’s talk about your loot!!!!! lol)

    glad you had such a great time!

  5. I loved Blogher and am definitely going next year. It was well worth it!!! Its so true about the shoes. You should see my poor feet. My ankles are so swollen from all the walking. Best advice- be comfortable!!!

  6. I’m glad you were able to go! I know these kinds of things are awesome experiences. Sounds like you really did have a great time and got your money’s worth. I have to think bigger, because the first thing that always comes to mind is the $ involved… and honestly, as much as I understand the value of connecting and support, sometimes it’s hard to justify the extra expense. But you know where we’re at right now, and maybe next year will be different. I’m still scratching together a way to get to BlissdomCanada….

  7. Oh yes, I am DEFINITELY curious! I’m so sad that I wasn’t able to go this year, but I’m so glad that I can vicariously live through everyone’s posts ^.^

    I LOVE all of your BlogHer tips-I think also that coming from a conference newbie, it adds a little somethin’-somethin’! I wish I had known about writing down who these people were on the back of their cards because, yes, you DO get a lot, and yes, you DO forget them all O.o

    I can’t wait to read your other posts!

  8. Great post!! I will definitely remember these words of wisdom for my first conference – whether it is Blogher or Savvy Blogging Summit. Thank you!

  9. Thanks for all of the tips! I am definitely hoping to go next year. So glad you had such a great time!

  10. Thanks for this post….I was debating on whether or not to go next year….but I’m going to do it! Can’t wait.

  11. sounds absolutely wonderful! i have been apprehensive as well, but think I will go to blogher12

    thanks for all the tips, sounds like a blast!

    🙂

  12. OMG that is ALL swag??? seriously sista, good haul!
    okay, just putting it out there but I am soooo looking forward to meeting you in person at SCCTO! Big fan of the blog and I’ve heard so many nice things about your from our lovely Lynette.
    can’t wait to read more of your blogher posts, I’m soaking it all in and daydreaming about how much fun it must have been!

  13. I am planning to go in 2012 too! It was so wonderful meeting you. I hated that I didn’t get as much time to talk to you as I wanted. By Saturday night, I was DONE. The stress of my week & all the hours/miles logged in Alabama came crashing down on me. I hope you had a good time regardless. *Hugs* and I hope we see each other soon.

  14. I’ve never been to BlogHer. Here’s hoping I can next year. I love the tips you gave and can’t wait to read what else you have to say about it. Wowzers, that’s a lot of swag!

  15. I should have been hanging with you! I had fun, but not nearly as much as you did. 🙂 This post is full of great tips. Some I implemented myself and some I wish I had thought of!

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