I had to break up my recap of BlogHer into two separate posts. One for readers who are bloggers and one for those who are not. You non-bloggers, this one’s for you!
So, you’re thinking: what is BlogHer? It’s an annual blogging conference that was held at the San Diego Convention Center last weekend. My husband lovingly referred to it as “Blogfest” and my daughter still calls it Mommy’s blogging advention” (that would be the word combination of adventure and convention).
There was somewhere around 3,500 women and a handful of creepy dudes at the convention. The days were mostly made up of educational sessions on everything from blog design, pitching for book deals, and Twitter. The evenings were filled with parties, and lots of them.
The purpose of BlogHer is to connect bloggers and “create opportunities for women …to gain exposure, education, community, and economic empowerment.”
I attended some really great sessions where ideas and advice were shared as well as laughs and tears. The first session I went to was for “patient bloggers.” The group was small but each of us blogged about widely different topics. Everything from brain surgery, allergies, and women’s health issues. I was shocked that I was the only blogger present who blogged about my personal battle with breast cancer. I couldn’t help but think that maybe my blog could be a platform for educating young women about breast cancer. Hmm.
|Handwritten notes. Old school for BlogHer.|
Woah, the swag was off the charts. The Expo Hall was filled with companies looking to connect with bloggers to help promote their brand. And they had tons of stuff to give away. Pitching my blog was a first for me. And it was difficult. I stumbled a lot. But, by day three I was pretty comfortable handing my card out. I was also pretty comfortable with taking another bottle of shampoo and a pair of Dr. Scholl’s.
|Hamming it up with the Brawny man.|
|These came in very handy!
Dr. Scholl’s knows their audience.
|I won’t have to shop for months!
Not so great swag.
The parties were incredible. BlogHer generally hosts a party each night of the conference. These are free to attend, you don’t spend any money because you get a number of drink tickets with your conference pass, and you dance your butt off to great music. The best of the bunch was Friday’s Sparklecorn. Wow, so much fun. Seriously, no one wanted to leave even after the lights came on. Good times.
|DJ Skribble at Sparklecorn|
Of course, there was plenty of drama too. Exclusive cliques, exclusive private parties, and exclusive swag. But it didn’t matter for this newbie. I truly had such a fantastic time with my roommates and with the other women I met. By the end of the weekend, I witnessed a real life flashmob, met a few famous bloggers, made new friends, ate Thai food, giggled, drank lots of coffee and chardonnay, and realized blogging can be more than just a hobby.
I can’t wait until BlogHer next year. New York City!