My Takeaways from BlogHer13

If the Internet is flooded with blogging conference post-mortems this week, it should come as no surprise. After all, 5,000 or so bloggers spent a few days of quality time together at the annual BlogHer conference last week, and like true communicators, we need to process and share.

As a BlogHer newbie (first time attendee) I went to the conference fairly well informed about what to expect. I understood there would be a dizzying assortment of workshops, speakers and panels, many opportunities to connect with brands, and tons of networking.

For months leading up to the event, I followed discussions on Facebook from BlogHer veterans. How dressy were the parties? Should I attend the Newbie Breakfast? How many business cards should I bring? I took note of the recommended packing lists and knew to save room in my suitcase for the legendary swag.

Nonetheless, BlogHer13 was full of surprises and grander than I had ever imagined. It is hard to describe in one blog post the tsunami of overstimulation that is a BlogHer conference. 

Case in point: the speakers. From Queen Latifah to Sheryl Sandberg to Guy Kawasaki to Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, the lineup was pretty amazing.

The parties were lavish.

The camaraderie was delightful.

I learned a lot.

Here are a few takeaways.

·      This view of Chicago from my hotel room window was the most I saw of the Windy City. Someday I will go back and sightsee.

hotel room

·      You recognize bloggers by their blog’s name or Twitter handle. You squeal and embrace like you are long lost friends.

·      Sharing a hotel room with someone like, oh, let’s call her Janie, someone whom you had never met before IRL (in real life) is NBD (no big deal) because you got to know her online and feel like you have always been friends.

·      Breakfast and lunch are provided, but dinner is on your own. “Dinner” is 3-4 hors d’oeuvres, salted caramel cotton candy, a cupcake and three glasses of wine. Expect to be starved for real food.

·       You are proud to call so many smart and savvy women your friends, like Generation Fabulous founders Chloe, Sharon and Anne who made all of this possible for me. (((hugs)))

·        The mundane is fricking hilarious at the end of a long day, especially with Lois, Ruth, Cathy, Connie, Janie, Nancy, Lisa, and Virginia. If a cardboard poster and a sofa cushion can make grown women laugh til they cry, you can appreciate the punchiness.

·       Boom Box Network’s Audrey, Chris and Anne-Marie are party hosts extraordinaire. The best party, hands down.

·       Reuniting with the Grown and Flown ladies, Mary Dell and Lisa, and Better After 50‘s Mindy is a thrill.

·       You use the word adorable in describing each other’s shoes. And in describing Julie Deneen.

·       And finally, discovering your inner child is liberating. And so much fun.

  BlogHer13 Chicago

mustaches witn WeMontage

And if that isn’t embarrassing enough, check this out. Lois and I got our groove on at the Lifetime TV party. Forgive me, Lois.

 

 

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