8.08.2011

BlogHer Part II

As many of you know, BlogHer was this past weekend and I was lucky enough to experience it. If you don't know what BlogHer is (and clearly didn't see my last vlog post), it's a big convention for women bloggers. This year it was held in San Diego and over 3,600 bloggers attended.

Since there's TONS of material to cover, I'm going to *try* to make this as cohesive as possible. However, I'm totally aware that this post may just end up being an endless pit of pointless rambling. Thankfully, I have low standards and that's pretty much how all my posts end up anyway.

OVERALL SCHEDULE
I arrived in San Diego on Thursday night and had dinner with Erin and Christina. This was our first time meeting IRL, and everything went totally smoothly like we'd known each other all along. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to check out the The People's Party and Queerosphere. I had high hopes for both because The Bloggess was supposed to be at The People's Party and Queerosphere was a disco-themed gayfest, two things I love, natch. Unfortunately, neither party was very exciting. Maybe it was because it was just the first night and technically the "conference" hadn't really started yet. Regardless, I think I would probably skip the first night's parties next time.

If you remember from my vlog, I was going to stay at Morgan's house. Plans changed at the last minute when I received a text from Mandy offering the extra bed in her hotel room. So that's what I did.

Anyway, Friday was filled with convention stuff and I felt like I was on the go nonstop. Breakfast was served from 8-9am. First session started at 9:30, the last session started at 4:45, and there was a 1.5 hr lunch break in the middle. After 15 minutes of sitting through my 1:15 session, I didn't feel like I was getting much out of it, so I went back to the room to rest. I headed back down to the convention center for my 2:45 session because you better believe I wanted to learn the move to the Single Ladies dance (a class on losing your inhibition). That night, Erin and Christina and I went to the Sparklecorn party, an event that nearly everyone was at. We danced and snacked and I called it a night when my feet had turned into burning hot lavaballs.

Saturday was my "free day" because I only purchased a one-day ticket for the conference. I grabbed some free breakfast at the convention center, made my rounds to grab free shit in the expo hall, and then spent the day with my friend Michael who lives in the area. That night, a group of us had dinner at The Red Door thanks to Morgan's networking talents.

After dinner, we went to the Aiming Low party, which was supposed to be a relaxed, low-key getaway from the rest of the BlogHer parties. Unfortunately, there was too much going on for it to be "relaxed", but not enough for it to be a real "party". It wasn't really my thing, so I went back to my room. After reading some tweets about how great the Cheeseburgher party was I decided to check it out. Pretty much everyone was there and the dance floor was packed. This party was sponsored by McDonalds and they had hot cheeseburgers and fries on hand all night long. :::WINNING:::

PROS
-Great speakers who made you feel like they were casually talking to you one-on-one.
-Plenty of blogging topics to choose from at each session.
-Tons of swag.
-Breakfast, lunch, midday snacks, and party admission included in the price of ticket.
-Food options offered Vegan and Gluten-free.
-Opportunity to meet people whose blogs you follow and/ or who follow you.
-Opportunity to meet completely new bloggers who you may have never heard of before.
-Reliving the "sleepaway camp" feeling (unless that feeling was awful, in which case, it was nothing like that).

CONS
-Seemed like the "speed dating" thing was poorly organized. (It was supposed to be a quick introduction between two bloggers, switch business cards, and then move down the line. In reality, our line never moved.)
-Not enough down-time planned into the day. The conference was non-stop, but I had to make my way back to the hotel to rest twice because it was exhausting. My first "nap" only lasted a few minutes though because I felt bad for wasting my precious BlogHer time.
-Breakfast at 8am? Next time, let's move it back an hour.

Knowing what I know about BlogHer, would I do it again? Yes, definitely. Would I go to next year's BlogHer? No, because it's in New York and that's a bit too far (see: pricey) for me.

Favorite part about BlogHer: A certain blogger I met told me I'm just like I seem based on my blog. This was really great to hear because I always wonder what people think I'm like. So basically, if you think I'm annoying on my blog, chances are you will think I'm annoying in real life.

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS


The main registration area.



Breakfast...

Breakfast...

Breakfast.


Midday snacks.



"Speed Dating", the first event at BlogHer.



Favorite speaker Ananda Leeke, during the Wellness session

Practicing stretches and breathing exercises.



Learning the moves to the Single Ladies video thanks to Jenny Eckton.



Blogger dinner at The Red Door: Mandy, Morgan, Jules, Lexa, Kristine, Carrie, Stacy, San Diego Momma, and two others whom I didn't get to meet (we were at different tables).



MegaSwag thanks to all the generous sponsors at BlogHer.



My business card thanks to the wonderful design talents of Mr. Boyfriend.


So that's it for the second installment of BlogHer11. I think I'll probably give it a few days and then post some pix of what people wore. And maybe even a video of the Single Ladies dance.

Stay tuned.

Boner'ppetite!

16 comments:

hed said...

I love your card!!!

Thanks so much for the recap. Sounds like it would be a good way to meet up with people you have the blog connections with, and also to maybe learn some tips and tricks. Maybe one day I can go...

hed

jerrod said...

Mr Boyfriend needs a raise. Those are awesome.

Trude said...

Arg dang 503 error deleting my long, prolific comment! Basically I'm glad you had fun, I wish I knew the Single Ladies dance too, and hell yes for that awesome business card. I think we've gotta organize a SoCal bloggers meetup one of these days!

The Six-Fingered Monkey said...

You make me wish that I was a female blogger... or at least passable in a skirt and a wig, which I am not.

Love the business card!

Erin said...

It WAS like camp and your cards were hands down the best. I am still exhausted from it all.

Simone Says... said...

sounds like the food was good... yeah, i don't think i could attend one of these because 1) socially awkward and i hate meeting new people, and 2) i'd compare myself to everyone else and feel like a big loser.

but the vegan food options = bonus.

The Sweetest said...

BlogHer is like a shortened version of summer camp. With more drinking and less singing.

authoranandaleeke said...

Thank you for including me in your wonderful post. I loved your BlogHer moments. I loved the food too! Thank you for the photos taken during my session. I would like to use them in my posts. I will credit you on the photos and include your blog link.

MRanthrope said...

Kudos on those awesome business cards.

allison said...

holy shizzle, that looks awesome. if kum-ba-yah or spirt sticks were involved, i'm so in next year.

Emily @ TheLastWord said...

I'm reading so many posts about BlogHer and I'm jealous! Maybe I'll take the plunge next year . . . I always get intimidated and think its something for just the "big" bloggers, but with 3600 bloggers, it must be a good mix.

Mandy_Fish said...

Your card gave me card-envy. Of course I got my cards in the mail the day I got home from BlogHer.

Michon said...

I heart you in a massive, massive way!

San Diego Momma said...

Dude. You were one of my favorite people I met. True story.

XOXOXO-
Deb

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

HED - yes. now that i've officially been to BlogHer, i can definitely say it's worth it. The $160 per day fee might seem steep, but when you take into account all that's included, and all the networking and face-to-face social time you get, it's a GREAT deal.

JERROD - thanks! we worked our butts off four nights before the big day. Boyfriend is a Graphic Designer and his friend owns a print shop. BAM! business cards for daaaays.

TRUDE - we SHOULD totally set up a CA bloggers event! and by "we", i mean "you" because i'm bad at planning stuff like that and then everyone suffers. :)

SIX FINGERS - there were men there! you could totally go and not get weird looks. seriously. plus, since the women outnumbered the men by far, the men were treated like jewels of the nile. next year... think about it.

ERIN - now i know why all those kids i used to nanny were all "OMG- THEY'RE SO GREAT, THEY'RE MY BFF'S, THEY JUST GET ME, OKAY?!" about all their summer camp friends. i only hung out with you and Christina for three days and i already feel like we're lifelong buddies.

SIMONE - i'm sure there was some cliqueiness going on amongst certain bloggers, but everyone i met was very nice and tons of fun. i genuinely had a great time.

SWEETEST - and less sneaking out to meet boys.

ANANDA - thank you again for leading a great session! i'm really glad i attended.

MRANTHROPE - thanks! if you ever want your business card done, let me know. :)

ALLISON - damn, i thought BlogHer covered all the bases until you mentioned cumbayah. and i have no idea what spirit sticks are, but i really like the sound of it. you just made me want to get all hippyish and shit.

EMILY - you should definitely go, if you get the chance. honestly, there was no mention of "how many followers do you have?", or anything like that, at least not with anyone i met. the weekend was just a hectic schedule of blog-related lectures and tons of fun with bloggy friends.

MANDY - you can mail me one of your cards. then you'll feel like they were totally worth it.

MICHON - hey! you have to send me the pic of us in the hotel room! i heart you too!!

SAN DIEGO - awwww, you're so sweet. you probably say that line to every blogger you meet at the BlogHer11 conference. but i'm totally desperate so i'll take it. (BTW- i loved having dinner with you and wish we could have spent more time together.) :)

Anything Lime said...

Hi! Did you ever post the single ladies dance video? I'd love to see it! And if you decide not to post, can you send to me so I can show my husband?

© Things I Like to Eat (...and Other Nonsense), AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena