There were THREE things about BlogHer that I absolutely LOVED! Well, three and a half:
1.) Meeting my online friends and Networking!
I am so shy, but I was determined to meet people at this amazing conference. I was so lucky because I actually knew someone who was going – one of my #CathSorority friends, Jenna from Call Her Happy! Knowing that there was someone who has a ton in common with me and who talks to me all the time in this group AND who once sent me glitter eyeliner was extremely comforting. We met for breakfast the first day and spent a lot of time together throughout the conference. It was awesome to get to know her (and her adorable baby!) (she’s seriously awesome and so sweet!) and I really really hope I get to see her again some day soon!
I also got to meet a couple of people I’ve known almost since the very start of my blog: Melissa from The Mommyhood Chronicles (you guys know I’ve been linking up with her Saturday Laughs every week since she started it (except when I forget, lol)!) and Sarah from Its A Vol (she is the reason I know how to poach chicken!) plus Erin from The View from Five Ten (incredibly sweet!). These ladies were so much fun to talk with; I’m so glad I got to grab lunch with them before the conference!!
Crazy Networking Story: So there are about 5000 people who attend this conference from all over the country (and Canada, maybe others). The first person I talked to lives in my. town. WHAT?! WHAT?!?!?! And as if things weren’t already weird enough, we are both former Catholic school teachers. What. Are. the. Chances?! Here’s how we met:
I made it to McCormick Place with plenty of time before breakfast. I walked for what felt like miles from the economy parking lot to the huge empty [wrong] building of MP. Then I had to walk around until I found the right place, the place where BlogHer would be happening. It had been raining when I got in my car so I brought in my umbrella so as not to get my straightened hair wrecked. Walking around the underbelly of McCormick Place before it was actually open, when it was all dark and very lonely was kind of scary. That’s the main reason that – even though I had to carry it around all day – I was so glad I had my umbrella (you know, to fight off potential attackers). BUT the following was another reason it was awesome that I brought it with me! Kimberly from Red Shutters Blog saw me wielding it and stopped me to talk about it and introduce herself. I am so glad she did because she is the one who brought me over to Ashley from Center Cut Cook – the girl who lives 5 minutes (maybe less!) away from me! Obviously, it was meant to be! It was great to get to know Ashley as well. I think we might be lifelong friends. 😉
Plus, as I mentioned before, I got to meet YouTube celebs, Katilette (who I’ve loved for years) of the Shaytards, Lisa Nova, and Jess Lizima! This is a whole other post!
2.) The Wealth of Knowledge I Gained
I loved the break out sessions! They were filled with incredibly helpful information. I just wish I could have gone to MORE of them!! Though I really enjoyed Ree, the Pioneer Woman (hilarious and adorable, plus so inspiring!), and Lisa Nova (because I feel like I know her through the Shaytards), the other keynotes were’t as helpful. Here are the breakout sessions I attended (detailed posts about each one coming very soon!):
* Photo | Presentation: Find Your Instagram Style / Roundtable: A Thousand Words
* Room of Your Own | Roundtable: Is Your Blog Holding You Back? The Balance Between Your Blog and Your Goals
* Presentation: Positive Return on Content: Make Your Words Work for You
* Advanced Marketing & Monetization | Workshop: Making the Most of Pinterest and Facebook
If they sound informative, helpful, and motivating, it’s because they absolutely were! I took a ton of notes and am starting to implement what I’ve learned! 🙂
3.) THE FUN and (3.5) the Food!
I loved hanging out with my online – now real life friends and of course, eating is usually my favorite part of any event / fun day and the people who run BlogHer really delivered. Thanks!! And have you heard of the Cheeseburger Party? I totally went! What an insanely fun and fulfilling (though exhausting!) two days!
I was actually interviewed by CNN.com (WOAH!!!) and in it, I talked about what I wanted to accomplish coming to the conference. Well, I got everything out of it that I was hoping and so so much more!! I am SO extremely happy that I got to attend. Thanks a whole big lot to Michele from Family Viewed for helping me get there! Please check out her awesome parenting website!
I have a LOT more to say so keep checking back; I’m going to share everything about BlogHer! 🙂 Feel free to check out the posts I’ve already written: