I have wanted to attend the biggest blog conference known to woMAN since I started blogging. It’s called BlogHer! I finally was able to attend this years BlogHer12 Conference which was held in NYC of all places. I’ve made it a joke over and over that here I’ll be coming to the big city from my fields of corn and soybeans in Indiana!
I actually went to NY once when I was a senior in high school for our Senior Class Trip (ahem…1996) but this was different…I was going on my own! With no one to tell me where to go or what to do! I was afraid I wouldn’t even know how to cross the street. Sure enough, I didn’t…I just followed everyone else and walked when they walked!
My experience was better than expected. I enjoyed meeting so many bloggers that I only know online. Meeting them in person was a breath of fresh air! I was happy to meet Crystal, from The Thrifty Mama. She was one of the first blogs that I ever started reading. I passed by her and I thought, “I think that’s her….is that her?” I walked up and asked her name and then I introduced myself. We chatted for a minute and then I was off to see what else I could get into!
I spent the entire weekend meeting a ton of new friends, blogs that I had read and finally met the people behind the blogs – the writers! I spent some time with my new blog besties…Rose and Joie from Networking Witches, Katie from Kroger Krazy, Josie from Southern Cali Savers, Rose from Rose Knows Coupons, Janae from Keeping Cents, Gracie from All Those Things I Love, and Brandi from Must Love Coupons. There are several more…enough to fill up an entire notebook!
The things I loved about my trip:
- Meeting other bloggers
- Being in the city
- Meeting all the fantastic brands that I’ll be working with (you’ll hear more soon!)
- The free stuff!
- The private parties; Hasbro, Getting Gorgeous (CVS), Social Soiree, Tweetsuite, MomSelect Swagsuite, Verizon Luncheon
- From what I saw, all the bloggers behaved themselves. I had heard that in the past, some would be stingy and hoard up the free swag. I never witnessed any of that!
The things I disliked about my trip:
- Food prices in NYC are insane….and I found that I do NOT like falafel – at ALL! Everyone loves the Halal food carts, but just walking by one – the smell – made my stomach flop.
- The guys that grab your cabs for you outside of the Hilton, really need to take it easy on the whistles! Sheesh…you’d think they’re in a contest to see who can blow their whistle the loudest! It’s almost deafening!!! I think they get a kick out of it. I will say that it’s fun to watch these guys jump all over the cab drivers…they have to try to keep them in line!
- As far as the conference goes, I think it’d be nice if BlogHer made bottled water more available. It was hard to find a bottle of water IN the actual conference areas and to be honest, I stayed thirsty! To actually BUY a bottle of water cost upwards of $3 or more! Ummm, yeah I’m a FRUGAL blogger ;)!
- There were some brands there that were only interested in speaking to us as CONSUMERS. That’s fine any other time, but we’re there for a blog conference. We’re there to connect on a business level…not as shoppers.
The things I learned while at BlogHer 12:
- Nobody really cares what shoes or clothes you wear! I worried about my clothes and shoes. I found that everyone wears everything so whatever you’re most comfortable in, as long as it’s presentable and somewhat professional is just fine. I wore jean capris and nice dressier tops during the day and would switch out black dress capris for the evenings. Cute sandals are fine. I even wore my Jayna Crocs for the most part. I only wore dress flats one night.
- Plan your schedule of events and parties out, but expect changes along the way. There were a few things that I just skipped because a.) something else came up, b.) I was enjoying where I was at the time and wanted to speak with the brands or bloggers a little longer, or c.) I was tooo tired to go! I fell asleep texting my hubby one night!
- Planning extra time for the Expo Hall is a MUST! Next year I’ll know to make an entire day just for the Expo Hall because there were so many brands that I wanted to spend more time talking to but didn’t have time to because I had some private event that I had to get to.
- Must.Drink.Water! Must.Eat.Food!! I did a good job at running around getting things accomplished other than eating and drinking. Next year, I will have a bottle of water with me at ALL times and I have to make sure to eat. Come night time I was starving and was too late to get out to find food. Except for the night of the CheeseburgHer party! Yay for Cheeseburgers! I wound up dehydrated with SEVERE swollen feet by the time I got home! It took 3 or 4 days for them to go down completely.
- Make time for touristy things! Even if you need to come in a day early or stay a day late. It’s a shame to visit such a wonderful city and not be able to have the time to take a tour. I was actually given the opportunity to take the Gray Line New York (Bus Tour) for the Night Loop nighttime tour of NYC but because of such a tight schedule I was unable to take it. Being in the city itself is a tour on it’s own but it would have been nice to see everything. I saw the Statue of Liberty from the airplane coming in and as I was leaving ;)! Thanks to Madame Deals Media for the opportunity and to Mommy Needs her Coffee for organizing the tour!
Overall, I’m so happy that I decided to leave my little comfy nest and fly the coop! I enjoyed my time with my new girlfriends and I’m so excited to bring all the brands that I met while there to you – the readers! I’m working on several new campaigns and fun giveaways and offers to bring to you. Stay tuned for those and for some fun posts, stories, and pictures of the trip!