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!"
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.
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).
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...
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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