I knew what she meant. I pondered how I would tackle BlogHer last year. I wanted to get the most out of a new-to-me experience. I knew I would be overwhelmed. I planned. I plotted. I Mapquested and Hopstopped. I was prepared…as much as I could be. I arrived in NYC last summer armed with my Cozi calendar, a list of MapQuested directions, cell phone numbers of friends, and a folder of eventbrite confirmations. I was overwhelmed, but in an organized way if you know what I mean.
Once at BlogHer in New York, the force of the BlogHer juggernaut hit me like a blast of heat from a subway grate. It was a HOT experience. I was overwhelmed. Tired. Exhausted. My hands and feet ached by Sunday. My feet from walking in flip flops and my hands from hauling swag bags and my enormous laptop bag. Why did I carry my laptop last year? Who knows?
Last year, I attended the session for BlogHer newbies on Friday morning (very helpful and a good way to begin BlogHer), two conference sessions (one super helpful and one only so-so), and I think a lunchtime keynote address. I regretted buying the conference pass when I attended so little of the conference, but I did eat breakfast and lunch both days so the pass was kind of worth it in the end.
I spent most of my time offsite at parties and events. I spent zero dollars on food as I ate at the events and ate at the conference breakfast and lunch sessions. I spent almost all of my ready cash on taxi fares. My BlogHer was less about the conference sessions and more about making connections. The connections were so valuable. Even though I was only in the Expo Hall for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon, I made the most of my interactions with PR reps.
I was kind of a loner. I had a “I’m gonna do it all and get it all done” approach to BlogHer 10. Having a buddy or two in tow wouldn’t have worked with my BlogHer plan. When I arrived at a party/event, I headed straight to the food and drink area. With a plate of food and a glass in hand, I felt less conspicuously alone. Eating gave me something to do in those few moments as I scanned the room for a friendly face. Once I found that friendly face or group of faces I would join the group to chat and connect. I might move to the next party with that group or I might head out to the next event by myself. I probably missed out on some bonding with this approach, but it was worth it since I really wanted to connect with brands.
I’ll post in the next few days about BlogHer 11. How I tackled the conference. What I liked and disliked. The refreshing San Diego breezes. Traveling to a conference with family. And of course photos.
In the meantime, you might want to join the discussion over @MomSpark’s #BlogHer11 Forum on:
- What you thought of BlogHer 11?
- Was BlogHer a new experience for you? If so share about your BlogHer here.
- Do you know where BlogHer 12 will be?
I work for MomSpark Media as the Community Manager for the MomSpark Forum, including MomSpark’s BlogHer Forum.