BlogHer 11 Recap: Fallopian Tubes, Hotel Bed Olympics & S'Mores!
I went to BlogHer 11, a blogging conference in San Diego. The highlights:
I hung out with Kristy from The Prima Moma, who is my favorite. She looks like she's about 12 and has an adorable little face and says the most hilarious, disgusting things and it's about 3,000 times more funny because it just doesn't fit with her cuteness. She was also very encouraging when I was seized by uncertainty. At the Hershey's s'mores booth, when I was too shy to ask for one of the free insulated lunch bags they were giving out, she hollered: "Come on, Tara! Use your big girl words!"
There is so much free stuff given away by brands it's embarrassing. They are hoping, I guess, that we will go back to our blogs and rave about their products. Which some of us will. I don't have ads or sponsors on my blog so I'm not one of those people at the moment. The Proctor & Gamble booth was set up like a house with different rooms - product demonstrations and kiosks in each room. The Skinny Cow ice cream booth handed out ice cream bars, and applied fake lashes if you were so inclined.
The Eden Fantasies booth gave out bags with vibrators in them, one of which Kristy had to explain to me, because I was like: I think it's a set of silver ovaries with fallopian tubes attached and you press the button and it makes a baby? And she was like no Tara, just no.
I came home with about nine mascaras and enough Advil to cure a village in Vegas from a hangover. I also did my best to eat great quantities of ice cream.
There were some sad booths. The Scrubbing Bubbles booth for example, had a toilet set up in the middle of it, so presumably, we could test out the bubbles by cleaning the toilet? Because that's totally what I want to do while I'm away from my children. Predictably, it was pretty empty. The Tropicana people had it right. They knew that a sample of juice wasn't going to cut it and so had set up a mini booth where they were doing mani-pedis in lemonade colors - pink and yellow. They realized that standing there talking about the benefits of their juice wasn't going to get us all excited. So instead they took another approach. Oh we know what you ladies need after a long day walking the convention floor, come here and get your toes painted. And bingo, we're suddenly Tropicana fans. Or at least we remember them more fondly than the people who wanted us to clean their toilet.
I went to a bunch of seminars, some of which were good, some were just not for me. I attended one about cyberbullying and pretty much the first thing they put on the screen was a side by side list of ways a civil case is different than a federal case. The women on the panel were being threatened. One of the bloggers had an FBI file because of her case. Her kids had to be walked to school by a deputy. I mean, what the? I thought it would be about how to keep blogging when someone is generally being a pain in the ass about your blog. But no, these poor people were getting death threats. So next time I'll read my guide to BlogHer '11 a little more carefully, so I know what I'm in for.
I didn't end up going to any of the parties. My batteries were drained at the end of the long days. I tried. On Saturday night, I sat for a while in the lounge at the Marriott looking down at the patio bar below, where apparently Ricky Lake (who had been a guest at BlogHer) was buying the first 75 people a margarita. But in the end, I couldn't do it. By then, Kristy had left and along with her, all my big girl words.
What I realized later, is that I should have done a bunch of networking before BlogHer. I think that's the trick for someone who is on the shy side. Get to know a few people whose blog you admire and who are going to BlogHer. Then get their info and meet up at some of the seminars, or for lunch. See what parties they are attending. That way, you have buddies. That's what I'll do next time.
I did not make many connections or get some great blogging job or sponsorship deal. But that's not what I was there for anyway. I was there to try and do something a little different, learn some things and be around other bloggers who really, truly love to blog. I also met Kristy for the first time and that was worth the price of the ticket, all by itself. We're already making plans to see each other again. She is putting together the first ever Hotel Bed Olympics. Which will basically feature me and Kristy in a hotel room with two double beds, doing stunts for medals. "What are the rules?" I asked her. "Is one of the rules: no getting kicked out of the hotel?" She shook her head, "No no, kicked out of the hotel is fine. No jail time." Oh okay. And then she said something about pole vaulting. We may try and get a sponsor, though. Like Band Aid or whoever it is who makes neck braces.
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