Thursday, August 9

Highs & Lows

 

#BlogHer12 Recap Pt. 2

If you missed part one - you can find that here.  Otherwise lets continue on the adventure, mmkay?

Friday, BlogHer'12 Official Start >>

So I woke up early and excited to start the day - a day planned to the very minute using the trusty "BlogHer12 App" as well as mapped out on my Google calendar created just for this event.  I knew it was going to be a long busy and tiring day, but my excitement and motivation to attend my first conference kept those thoughts mostly out of my mind.
 

The newbie breakfast was great - I immediately ran into one of the lovely ladies I planned on meeting up with, Kat from Living like the Kings, and in turn met her friend, Gina from Running to the Kitchen. The food was basic - nothing extraordinary - but still better than continental so I was pleasantly surprised.  During the breakfast several conference planners welcomed us and gave us a bit of a rundown.  To tell you the truth, I was so anxious and excited (and hungry) that I heard very little as I chowed down on my food.
 

Next up we headed to the main ballroom for the opening address and speed "dating".  It basically went like this:
"Hi, I'm Courtney"
"Hi, I'm so and so""What do you blog about?"
"Here is my business card - do you have one?""Nice meeting you!"
You guys first low point here - I didn't make business cards!  Yea - (hang my head in shame) even with the free offers out there I just couldn't carve out the time to make quality cards - so I chose to make NONE! Zero, zilch!  And seriously that is a regrettable thing - always have like 500 on you.  You just never know when that will make it or break it.  I did have previously made cards on me, but I only had about 50 so I wanted to be sort of elitist about who I gave them to (BRANDS!) - sorry to anyone I lied to and said I didn't have a card - I truly didn't bring any to speed dating though - so it was partially true!
Moving on...after the cluster that was speed dating - I scurried quickly and made a last minute game time decision to snag seats at the Brand-Blogger Connection, and I'm glad I did because that place got packed and ended up cutting people off at the door.  The panel and discussion was alright.  I mean when I get down to thinking about it, I'm not sure I heard any groundbreaking new insights on how to work with brands or develop good relationships with them.  Ehh.  I did get to briefly say hello to Jenny (NY Melrose Family) and Kelly (Live Laugh Rowe) but I'm so bummed we were never able to spend much time together.
 

The rest of the day was a blur of sessions mixed with coffee breaks, wall sits near electric outlets, random chance encounters with really great people, so-so food, and complete burnout exhaustion.

Highs >>

The Martha Stewart keynote! Oh my gosh.  I love Martha - what woman doesn't...but now...I am even more infatuated with her down-to-earth, lovely presence.  While she was up on stage, it almost felt like I was sitting on my own deck having coffee with her - and just chatting, she is AMAZING! Oh my goodness!  During the keynote - I sat with Melissa (Growing Up Geeky), Kami (The Momma Diaries), Kat (Living Like the Kings), Natalie (Growing up a Wife) & Mindi (Simply Stavish).
Another highlight was meeting Ashleigh from The Mommy Stop, it was so funny - we were both in "Bootstrapping your Book."  Both of us are originally from Seattle, but left our home city (and miss it), both blogging for just about a year - both got into blogging to write more in preparation to write a book...both left exhausted and overwhelmed by the session.  Seeing the trend?  You should go introduce yourself to this lady now - she's awesome!
 

Another highlight for sure was the private party held by Naughty Monkey - I was able to attend thanks to the lovely Natalie (Growing Up A Wife).  I have to say this party was a MIXED high and low - the party itself wasn't fantastic or hopping or glamorous - but getting a sneak peek at their Fall line was definitely awesome, as were the salted chocolate brownies by Robicelli's that we were eating by the handful.
 

The last high from Friday was - surprisingly - the Expo hall.  It was after my final session that day that I decided to just take a stroll in the expo hall and see what was there - and I was blown away.  The sponsors of BlogHer went all out - it was really like nothing I've ever experienced.  A total gold mine of key contacts with PR Firms, Brand Managers and some actual developers/owners.  I decided at this point that I would throw out my session schedule for the following day and just spend as much time as I could in the Expo Hall.  And this is a great segue into the lows of the day...


Lows >>

If a picture could say a thousand words.  After just 8 hours at BlogHer - I felt like I had just run the NYC Marathon (or really, what I imagine it would feel like - though with probably less excitement).  I was so tired I couldn't even think.  My mind was just on auto-pilot.  And if you see the picture of me above in the Expo hall - I look like I am stoned, but I assure you I'm not - just so beyond healthy levels of exhaustion.

My gripes for the conference begin with the wi-fi not working in the hotel.  Followed by not very exciting or creative food (sandwiches for lunch) - followed by the expo hall running from 9-5 (what! during the sessions so if you wanted to go you'd miss something!).

I didn't have the energy to do Voices of the Year - most of my time was spent in the recharge station just trying to rest for the Sparklecorn Party.  Oh yes...this was supposed to be a huge highlight - but you know what I realized?  I'm just not that into the loud music drunk-fest party scene anymore.  And sleep is more important to me than it ever has been (perhaps because it is so elusive now!)  So I stayed at Sparklecorn long enough to grab a couple glow necklaces, take a couple of pics and turn toward home.

Details on Saturday to come...stay tuned.

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11 comments:

  1. protototype mamaAugust 09, 2012

    well it sounded like you had a great time even with the lows-- I LOVE Martha! That would had been the highlight of my trip! Hopefully next year

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  2. the more posts i read about blogher...the more I realize i didn't miss too much!

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  3. It was worth the experience - even if I never do BlogHer again!

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  4. Yeah - I've read a lot of mixed reviews too!

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  5. I was kicking myself pretty hard over the business card thing, too... but since BlogHer was such a last minute decision, I didn't have time to have any made... though really, I should probably just have them made irregardless of whether or not there's a conference coming up because you just never know...

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  6. Yep! I need to design new ones this month!

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  7. jinglebellstimeAugust 10, 2012

    I didn't know you were from Seattle (guess I should probably take a few minutes to check out your full blog ;) But I'm from Tacoma!

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  8. Yes! I actually grew up in Cle Elum, but spent a lot of my adult time in Bellevue/Redmond before moving to New York!

    <3

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  9. Carly BrydonAugust 11, 2012

    Yay, I've been waiting for part two! Can't wait to hear more details! Do you think you will go next year???

    Carly
    www.lipglossandcrayons.com

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  10. It was so great meeting you and I totally agree with everything you said! It was sheer exhaustion and took me at least 2 weeks to fully recover. I just last night finished putting away and sorting through all my swag. Haven't even thought about figuring out brands I would like to work with yet.

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  11. My dining room table is still filled with business cards and to-do's from the conference!

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Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I don't always have time to respond to each one, but I do read them! XO