I’m a lover not a fighter.
I’m a ‘glass is half full’ kind of girl.
Sometimes I get fired up about something and need some time to develop a fresh perspective.
Here I am with my 20/20-hindsight-fresh-perspective on BlogHer09.
I’ll admit, I think I entered the doors of the Sheraton with HIGH EXPECTATIONS. I had been to Blissdom, ya know. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Blissdom felt like a great big warm hug. It was welcoming and comforting. I knew NO ONE when I drove my happy self to Nashville last February.
Blogher, however was not so cozy. More crazy. But a good crazy. You see, I already had friends. Some I had met before and others were the online kind I talk to for hours every week. One such lovely friend even had a slumber party with me the night before and we drove tandem – to deliver some of the (*BlogHer Buzz Word*) SWAG for the lovely ladies of Room704.
The drive took just 5 hours, my sweet friend Molly was right behind me the whole time…until I got lost. She can follow directions. I, apparently, can not.
But once I did find it. Game on.
A few of my favorite things:
- The sounds. It was 1500 people – most of them women. Imagine the squealing and the ‘I-can’t-believe-it-is-yous’ that punctured the normally serene lobby. And every other moment for the rest of the weekend. It was loud. And by loud, I mean occasionally ear-piercing. But I loved it because it meant we were happy to see each other and we had a lot to say.
- 2) The people. I agree with Velveteen Mind on this one. She said BlogHer is about the people. BlogHer co-founder, Lisa Stone quoted her for saying so. BlogHer is about the people. The amazing, fantastic, opinionated, strong-willed, intelligent, goofy, personable, welcoming people. I connected, I reconnected, I loved, I adored, I may even have stalked a little. (Shhh…don’t tell anyone) Sure there were a few that probably don’t fit into those categories, but I didn’t meet them. And if I did meet them, I don’t remember. So, there.
- The parties. Yep, I said it. I LOVED the parties. Open parties, closed parties, invite-only parties, crazy sparkle-unicorn parties. I think they were all fantastic. No, I, most definitely was not invited to every party. But that is OK. Really it is. I wanted to focus on what I was doing, not on what I wasn’t doing. That’s the glass is half full thing again. So, I ate, I drank, I chatted, I laughed. At the Nikon and BowlHer parties, I met Carson Kresley, Brooke White, and even saw Chris Mann again. (BTW Chris Mann – that picture of us on your site – notsopretty. But that is what I get for making a ‘goofy face’, right?)
- 4) My party highlight, well, maybe even my BlogHer highlight – doing 5 hours of LIVE coverage of BowlHer for MomTV. I was in heaven. I donned a pink boa and covered the red carpet with the amazing Audrey McClelland, I interviewed Brooke White, up and coming artist, Suai and even Moosh after she won one of the fabulous trips to NYC for Project Runway. I didn’t even get to ‘enjoy’ the party itself, but IT.DID.NOT.MATTER. I was finally doing something I truly love again. It felt a little like coming home. Of course, a close second was co-hosting a live 1 hour show on MomTV with Maria Bailey and Beth Feldman having me on BlogTalkRadio at SocialLuxe. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for me – all of it.
- The learning. (Yes, that should be #5-blame wordpress) Honestly, I wanted to make it to more sessions than I did. But BlogHer life got in the way. I had two favorite sessions. One led by the phenomenal GeekMommy about sponsored vs. unsponsored blogging – I loved hearing the opinions of so many involved – the bloggers, the brands, the PR companies. I’m a big fan of intelligent debate. I’m also a huge fan of laughing. So, my other favorite – the Humor Blogger session. I laughed until I cried – that’s what happens when The Bloggess, Jessica from BernThis, MamaBirdDiaries and DebonTheRocks are all in the same room (among others) But aside from almost wetting myself, I learned. These women offered solid advice to improve your writing. I needed that.
Stop nodding. I’m working on it.
On to my not-so-favorite things. I’ll make this brief. I don’t want to dwell because I probably won’t say anything you haven’t already heard.
- Yes it was crowded. Yes, I sat on the floor in half of the sessions I attended. But I figure that means either a) I really have my finger on the pulse of ‘what everyone is talking about’ or b) the rooms needed to be bigger. (Go with B)
- The schedule was packed. The sessions, the parties – so much overlapped. But that’s where my decision to make this event anything I wanted comes in to play. Decide. And be done with it.
- I did not take enough pictures. Again, my fault.
- The Attitude ABOUT the Swag. Let me be clear. I am grateful so many brands, party hotesses and such wanted to spoil us rotten and share their products. I understand why brands wanted to reach out to engage and I think it is FANTASTIC of those lovely ladies who wanted to make this weekend one we would never forget. (Success, by the way) I truly do not believe people came to BlogHer for the swag. However, I do think the quality (amazing) and volume (how can I carry it all) of it left some rubbing their greedy little hands together conspiring for more. The fact that there wasn’t enough swag to satisfy over 1500 people at every single party – well – that is just too darn bad.
The swag was supposed to be a bonus. At least that is my opinion.
I actually heard people leaving suites because the ‘swag was lame’. Like you, I’ve heard the stories of the elbowing, stealing, and such. I think it is absurb.
But I don’t want any of that junk to be what defines this experience.
For my definition of BlogHer: refer to the top of this post. (think: People) (and look below at some of my other favorite pictures!)
And if you have constructive suggestions for BlogHer10 in New York City, visit the front page of BlogHer – they are already asking for your thoughts.