Conference Corner: The BlogHer '13 Conference Agenda, Demystified
If you've had a chance to look over the agenda for BlogHer '13 in Chicago, you'll have noticed that we have a lot of content programmed for the event. And by a lot, I mean 14 tracks of programming, all running side-by-side, and that doesn't even include Thursday's amazing line-up of pre-conference events.
With all of that great content spread out over two days, we thought it would be helpful to walk you through the program, track-by-track, and explain where it will be and how it will work -- all to help you make sure you're getting into exactly the sessions you most want to over the conference weekend.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting about each and every one of our tracks of programming, walking you through each breakout session, to help you get the most out of your daytime conference experience. At the same time, BlogHer's VP of Events Lori Luna is rolling out the BlogHer '13 party plan night-by-night, to help you plan your evening fun and networking, too!
To get started, I thought it would help to explain the different types of sessions we'll have this year in Chicago. We have four different styles of sessions at the event, each tailored to the type of information that session will deliver.
What we're offering:
Workshops will be 90-minute sessions in which one instructor (occasionally two) will not only teach you how to do something, but get you started doing it. Example: Saturday's Back to Basics SEO with Elaine Griffin will not only show you what you really, truly *need* to be doing with your site's SEO (and everything you don't), but she'll help you start making those changes on your site, right there during her workshop. Equipment needed: Your laptop or tablet is highly recommended.
Presentations will be 30-minute, lecture-style courses on everything from whether you need to form a non-profit for your philanthropic efforts with Deb Rox) to identifying the type of social media leader you want to be with Ananda Leeke) to outsourcing parts of your blogging work with Meagan Francis. Equipment needed: A pen and paper are highly suggested, a laptop or tablet is optional.
Roundtables will be 40 minute discussions with a panel of bloggers, social media experts, and/or thought leaders in the digital space. During the roundtables, we'll get into the different approaches to and views on topics like: how and when to sell your blog, why we need to be teaching young girls (and adult women, too!) how to code, and the anatomy of both humor writing and storytelling. Equipment needed: A pen and paper, a tablet or mobile device, and occasionally tissues are recommended.
- Bars and Labs have yet to be announced, but we can confirm that both the Geek Bar and Writing Lab will return to BlogHer '13 this year -- and we're adding a third segment to these hands-on, small-group help sessions for attendees. We're calling it BlogHer U, and it will give you direct access to the folks at BlogHer who can help you make the most of your existing relationship with BlogHer, or even explain to you the various options you have within BlogHer's large network. We'll talk about everything from media training to installing ads on your site. There will be more to come about BlogHer U, as well as the Geek Bar and Writing Lab, in the next few weeks. Equipment needed: Varies by session, but includes either your laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
Where we're offering it:
McCormick Place will be home to all of our more tool-centric tracks, including Beginner and Advanced Marketing & Monetization, Beginner and Advanced Tools & Technology, Photo & Video, and the Geek Bar & BlogHer U. McCormick Place will also host the Room of Your Own session, the Sponsored track, and our newest addition to the program, the Style Mini-Con. (Worried about getting there? Don't be! We have comfortable, air-conditioned shuttles which will get you back and forth from our host hotel to McCormick Place, off the main streets.) The Sheraton Chicago doubles as our host hotel and the home of our more intimate, community-focused tracks, including Interest & Identity, Politics & Activism, Writing – Pitch & Publish, and the Writing Lab.
UPDATED: 7/3/13 -- All programming will be located at McCormick Place. We listened to your concerns about transportation and time. Everything from the personal to the technical and in between will be located at McCormick Place. Read Elisa's explanation here.
When we're offering them:
While many of the sessions will be scheduled in one time slot, you'll find that several of the more popular sessions and topics will repeat on Friday and Saturday, to give as many attendees as possible a chance to sit in on those sessions.
There will be more about the timing of sessions, as well as detailed descriptions of each session on each track, in the posts to come over the next few weeks. I'll be walking through each conference track, one-by-one, to help you get a better sense of what we're offering, and when, so that you can start creating your conference experience! Follow me on BlogHer for pings about each of these posts, or follow @BlogHerEvents on Twitter or subscribe to our conference RSS feed for post notifications. Of course, you can always email the BlogHer Programming Team if you have questions, too!
Conference Programming Manager