BlogHer 12 took me by surprise. It really did. BlogHer 2010 was a difficult conference for me. I had only been blogging for seven months, and only knew a handful of people.
BlogHer is the mother of all blogging conferences. It is huge and can swallow you alive if you let it. You have to go in knowing what you want from it. A game plan if you will. In 2010 I didn’t have a plan and I struggled finding my place in a sea of strong personalities.
This time around it was different. I’m now more seasoned and I know a lot more people. I also had a lot on my dance card this year. I was a volunteer for BlogHer and I was also working with a brand that was a sponsor of the conference.
Both responsibilities kept me busy. So busy in fact that I had little time to worry about how I fit into the grand scheme of things. And for someone like me that frets a lot, that was a good thing.
People reported different take aways from BlogHer this year. But then again, every year people have different views on how their conference experience went. Some people felt empowered, some inspired, a few disappointed, but that’s sort of how it goes with life. Everyone views things differently.
For me, this conference made me feel accepted. The picture you see up top is Cooper Munroe of The Motherhood. Sometimes you see me mention that organization, as I do work with them. Meeting people in real life that you normally work with virtually is quite amazing. Meeting people you work with and admire greatly is even better.
And it wasn’t just the warm hug from Cooper that made me feel all fuzzy. It was spending time with my peers who are also my friends..
Ellen was my partner in crime for most of the conference. I met her at a previous conference and we really clicked. We have so much in common that it’s kind of scary. She’s snarky, fearless, and kick butt on a Harley. Oh, smart too. She actually reads the fine print on packaging.
What can I say about Christy? Co-founder of the Boston Parent Bloggers, and a dear friend, Christy has taught me so much about blogging that I think I owe her credit for the growth of my blog. She’s been an incredible mentor.
Kim. Everyone needs a Kim in their life. A constant source of zen, bright sunshine, words of empowerment, and happiness. Kim is like vitamin D in human form.
Rene. I didn’t get to spend as much time with Rene as I would’ve liked, but the short bursts of Rene here and there did the trick. She is a whirlwind of energy and just a little bit of her attention goes a long way. Sort of like a shot of tequila.
Fellow bloggers who are just as lovely in real life as they are on their blogs.
And if it wasn’t for conferences like BlogHer, I’d rarely get to connect with many of them otherwise.
Sure there are great sessions and learning opportunities, but really I go for the personal connections. That’s what matters most to me.
It’s also great to connect with brands….
McDonald’s had their Listening Tour breakfast where they listened to people’s concerns about nutrition and their thoughts on how McDonald’s could better give back to the community.
I learned so much about McDonald’s investing in community play spaces, and of course their dedication to Ronald McDonald House charities.
It was an interesting exchange of thoughts and ideas that had us all fully engaged and thinking. Not to mention refreshing that a brand cares enough to get consumer input.
I very much enjoyed talking with the folks from Samsung. They were there showcasing some of their new products, and even though I’m not going to be able to afford any of their latest and greatest tech toys anytime soon, it was very fun to try out their products. Up above a rep was trying to teach me how to use the new television that responds to your hand movements. Wild.
The fine ladies up above are from Change The Cycle. They read my post about Poise and gave me a new fuzzy pink stuffed uterus. A gift that keeps on giving for sure.
So many great interactions and opportunities to connect with people that work together in the blogging community. Be it the bloggers themselves, the blogger networks, to the brands that would like to work with us. An amazing mix of people and companies that made the whole conference experience so very enjoyable.
If you are a blogger, I highly encourage you to attend a conference down the road. It opens up so many doors not only to possible earnings, but also doors that lead to friendship. And that’s my take away from BlogHer 12.