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.
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:::
-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).
-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.
The main registration area.
"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.