Monday, August 8, 2011

I went to Blogher '11 without knowing anyone, and I still had fun

I know many of you already know that the BlogHer 2011 conference was in San Diego this weekend. I registered for it back in March, before I knew that I'd use up a years worth of vacation time spending June in Milan. This was also before I knew that E would be arriving home (after five weeks apart) two days prior to the conference AND before I knew that friends would be coming in for a visit the same weekend.

Needless to say, the conference came with less-than-perfect timing.

And then I asked around to some blog friends, and it turned out no one I really knew was going (besides Natalie - but I didn't get a chance to see her!). so I waffled. and hemmed and hawed. Drove E crazy debating about the pros and cons of going and possibly being disappointed or too stressed to enjoy it.

But I went. Saturday morning I hopped in the car and drove the 35 minutes down to the San Diego Convention Center. I took a deep breath and prepared to be overwhelmed. Prepared to be brave and to step out of my comfort zone. To learn, connect, and commune.

I was told BlogHer conferences are what you make of them.

I made my experience my own. And I'm so glad I did.

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Some highlights:

1. Saw Wendy McClendon-Covey. It took me a while to figure out how I knew her - from Reno 911! Also caught a glimpse of Giuliana Rancic.

2. Got to have lunch with Kath of KERF fame. It was nice to finally meet her - she really is a blogging rockstar! Right after we left she got her lunchtime post up with a photo of her, myself & Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats.
photo by Kath

3. Attended a great session on pitching freelance editorial work. Journalism is still a passion that's sitting on my mind's back burner so it was really good to hear from the pros what they're looking for in a freelance writer.
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4. Got loaded up with swag. Seriously -the vendor hall was crazy! I told the ladies at the Skinny Cow booth that I was local and they loaded me up with four boxes of bars to take home.

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I picked up a lot of great samples to test and try - Quaker Oats loaded me up as well.
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Tropicana was offering free manicures (polish changes)in their lounge. I had good timing and got a little refresher on my [formerly] terrible-looking nails
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5. Here's a crazy cooincidence (or is it sneaky?...hmmm) Someone I met asked me if I was here as a vendor, and directed me to the back page of the BlogHer brochure. Can you see something looking a little...familiar?

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Latte Love? Turns out that the Got Milk folks are running a new campaign recommending lattes as a way to get servings of milk in. I stopped by the booth to say hello, show them my business card, and ended up recording a video to enter a contest to be flown to New York to unveil the next Got Milk celebrity. I got this gorgeous milk measuring set, and a mug for my participation.

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6. I was so distracted by trying to see everything in the half day I was there, I hardly took any pictures! Here's a glimpse of the Seal Pavillion where the meals took place.

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7. I put these business cards together on Friday and printed them off on business card template cardstock Saturday morning. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out - although doing something a little more put together may be in order. (and I'm having second thoughts about including my phone # so I blurred it out here.)

Did you notice my new url? I just made the jump on Friday - and I'm so excited!

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Blogher 2011 gave me a great glimpse into the powerhouse that is this women's blogging conference and I definitely have the bug to have the full experience next time! It felt like a rite of passage.

Have you been to a blogging conference? Would you consider going?

7 comments:

Mrs. Puma said...

Kudos for going alone! I went solo to BlogHer Food in May (other than "knowing" a couple bloggers via Twitter) and met some great bloggers. It was a really good experience. Glad you enjoyed it and I'm jealous you were able to go!
PS - So funny about the Got Milk thing, you should win just for that!

Kate said...

How funny is it that they used your blog's name? I would be too shy to go to a conference like this alone so I think it's awesome that you went! Maybe I can be like you and work up my confidence to branch out a little more.

Denise said...

I just found your blog through Kath's and had to stop to say hello. I'm in northern San Diego, too, and my blogging name is Lottalatte - how funny!

Murissa Maurice said...

Congrats on the business cards! I just had mine made up as of last week as well.
I hope the blogher conference comes closer to my home town of Kelowna...maybe Vancouver?
I would love to connect with fellow bloggers. I too am working as a freelance journalist right now. I write for Vecu Magazine. Right now it is mostly to get my work out there and is mostly volunteer. As a restaurant & trip reviewer it is getting fairly pricy but a lot of fun.

The Wanderfull Traveler

bekapaige said...

Love the domain name :) I think it's awesome that you went without knowing anyone - I tend to be shy in situations where I don't know a soul, so that would have been really hard!

steph c said...

So exciting that you went!! I just love that you now have a mug that says Latte Love.. you have good taste, my dear ;)

Katie said...

Ah! I am so jealous that you were able to attend the conference, even if just for a day! I really wanted to be there after attending the BlogHer Food one in ATL earlier this year. It was a taster: I want more! Hopefully I can swing it for next year.

And I love that the Got Milk people have a new campaign that shares your blog's name! Funny!

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