BlogHer '07 - FAQ
Whether you've already registered or are still undecided, this page is intended to answer all your questions about BlogHer '07...and then some. It will also be updated regularly, so check back often!
Don't see your question answered? Submit your questions via email here, or add them to the comments.
- Who Will Be There? Answer
- What Should I Wear? Answer
- What Should I Bring? Answer
- What If I'm New To Blogging? (What If I Don't Have A Blog?) Answer
- What If I Don't Know Anyone? Answer
- Can Men Attend The Conference? Answer
- Can I Bring My Husband/Partner/Friend/Children Along? Answer
- What's The Deal With Sponsors? Answer
- How & Where Do I Reserve A Room? Answer
- I Would Like To Share A Room With Other BlogHers -- Where Can I Find A Roomie? Answer
- What's the Navy Pier Like? Answer
- Where Will The Conference Actually Take Place? Answer
- How Do I Get To The Hotel From The Airport? Answer
- How Do I Get From The Hotel To The Navy Pier? Answer
- I've Landed In Chicago. Now What? Answer
- What's The Schedule? Answer
- What Are The Sessions? Answer
- Who Are The Speakers And Panelists? Answer
- Do I Have To Attend Every Session? Answer
- I'm Confused About How The "Tracks" Work... Answer
- What's The "Open Space" or "Unconference" About? Answer
- What Meals Are Included? Answer
- What's The Deal With The Cocktail Parties? (Are Drinks Free?) Answer
- How Much Does It Cost? Answer
- Where Do I Register? Answer
A: The truth is that BlogHer events attract all kinds...and we think that's great. Our theme this year, "A World Of Difference," celebrates the fact that although there are, in fact, many blogospheres, we can find common ground.
Based on last year's attendance and those who've registered for BlogHer '07 so far, a tremendous cross-section of bloggers will be with us in Chicago. There's diversity in blogging experience (complete novices and old pros), ages (from students to retirees), areas of interest (from crafting to politics to entertainment to parenting to sex to...). We'll have "famous" bloggers, women who make a living writing their blog, women who blog for companies, women who simply blog for themselves.
A: First of all, BlogHer is Casual with a captial "C." Dress in whatever makes you most comfortable. Or fabulous. Or both. (Tiaras are encouraged. See comments.)
Chicago in July is very hot and humid, but our conference area and hotels will be air conditioned, so remember to layer appropriately.
There are two cocktail receptions, one on Friday night and one on Saturday night. Both of these immediately follow the conference sessions, so we do not expect attendees to change clothing (you may want to, and should certainly feel free; however, plenty of us won't be). NOTE: Friday's reception is located outdoors.
As for non-conference-y times, keep in mind that both hotels have swimming pools and outdoor areas for sunning. There is also a small, public lakefront beach just steps from the entrance to the Navy Pier. Those who are interested may want to bring along a swimsuit.
Footwear: While we will have shuttles escorting you from the hotels to the conference area and back again, it's a good bet that you'll be on your feet for much of the time. The Navy Pier itself is nearly a mile long, the conference area is large, and the walk from the hotels is really quite lovely. This is all to say that heels probably don't make a lot of sense.
A: In addition to your basics, you might want to consider bringing:
- A laptop - absolutely NOT mandatory, but we're working on setting up souped-up WiFi throughout the entire conference area so you can all blog away. There will also be an Internet Cafe and lounge (sponsored by Yahoo!), free WiFi in the lobbies of both hotels, and free in-room Internet at the City Centre. If you don't feel like lugging your computer around with you, though, you won't be alone.
- Business cards and/or stickers - also not necessary, but fun! Read about it here.
- Cameras and recording devices - Please feel free to bring your cameras (etc.), snap your shots, upload 'em and tag 'em...but please note: photos of the Navy Pier itself cannot be used for commerical purposes. Also, please be considerate when photographing your fellow BlogHers, and ask permission before posting identifying photos of someone publicly.
A: Perfect! We're glad you're thinking about joining us. We have sessions designed specifically to help newcomers get up and running. And if you haven't even started a blog, or don't know where to begin, we'll help you create one on the spot. Plus, you'll have an incredible (and unintimidating) opportunity to learn tips and tricks from hundreds of women who've been there, done that, and want you to do it, too.
A: Ironically, you won't be alone. Many (if not most) of our attendees show up without knowing other BlogHers...but that never lasts long.
For one thing, we offer many casual networking opportunities, such as breaks and the cocktail parties. We'll also be bringing back the "Birds of a Feather" ice breaker -- we've found it's a great way to attendeees meet bloggers who have similar interests/backgrounds. As we get closer to the conference date, we'll be asking you to help create these "flocks," but in the meantime, read all about how they work here.
In addition, you may want to check out some of the blogs written by those BlogHers (here on this site) who have already announced that they're coming to Chicago, and/or start following some of the blogs of our panelists once they've been announced. By the time you get to Chicago, you'll be certain to see lots of familiar faces.
A: YES! Men are welcome to attend, and many do. About 25% of attendees are male.
A: Everyone, regardless of gender, is welcome to register for the event. However, only paid registrants will be allowed into the conference area (this does not include infants).
If you would like to bring someone along who does not wish to attend the sessions, s/he may join us for our cocktail parties by purchasing a separate, cocktail party only package. (See the registration page for details.)
On-site childcare is also available, for very reasonable rates. Find out all about childcare here.
A: We do everything we can to keep BlogHer attendee costs to a minimum. In order to do this, our events must be subsidized...and that's where our sponsors come in. Frankly, without them, our events would not be possible.
Nor would they be as fun. Not only do sponsors help defray the costs of the event, they provide many of our conference "extras," such as the cocktail parties, our Internet Cafe, and some pretty cool (if occassionally debated) swag.
Sponsors do not pay for or influence session content.
Our sponsors are selected because they offer products or services that are relevant to women and bloggers, and because they believe in what BlogHer is about. Please consider stopping by our Sponsor Page to see who will be joining us at BlogHer '07.
A: We've reserved blocks at two hotels near to the Navy Pier, as well as a discounted rate at the Hostelling International Chicago. Find out about these options, including rates and URLs for reserving your room by clicking here.
A: The hotels we've selected offer large rooms that should easily accommodate two or more people, and we've set up a forum discussion for helping BlogHers find other BlogHer roommates. Find a roomie here!
A: In a word? HUGE.
The pier itself sticks out into Lake Michigan, and is 5/8 of a mile long! You can walk along most of the Pier inside or out. Inside, find myriad shops, restaurants, bars, a children's museum, IMAX theatre, and more. Outside, find a couple live-action theatres, amusement park rides, cruise ships, and more restaurants. There's literally something for everyone.
There are many activities going on at the Pier the weekend of the BlogHer Conference, including **fireworks**. Schedules, maps, and photos are available at www.navypier.com.
A: At the far end of the Navy Pier, there is a gorgeous Grand Ballroom, Lakeview Terrace, and meeting rooms.
That's where we'll be.
A: Because so many people are arriving on different days, at different times, through different means, there is no single solution or shuttle from the airports to the hotels. However, for those of you who are driving into Chicago, and/or looking to split a shuttle or cab ride from the airport to the hotels, we have set up a forum.
Coordinate your ride-shares here.
A: BlogHer will be providing shuttle service from the hotels to the far end of the Navy Pier (where the conference will be taking place). Exact pick-up and drop-off times and locations will be determined a bit closer to the event date. Stay tuned for updates.
Walking is certainly an option for those of you so inclined. From door to door of the W Lakeshore, the walk is probably just under one mile. From the Chicago City Center, it's an added 4 blocks or so.
A: We're expecting most attendees to arrive in Chicago sometime on Thursday. Once you've checked in to your hotel, it's time to relax! There are no attendee activities scheduled for Thursday night, so how you spend your time is entirely up to you. You could take it easy and just hang out at your hotel -- both hotels have restaurants, lounges, spas, pools, and room service, plus free WiFi in the lobby (where you'll probably run into fellow BlogHers). Or, you could take advantage of the great city outside your doorstep. Not only is there a ton going on at the Navy Pier, but there's plenty to see and do in Chicago.
Some BlogHers have already started planning an outing to see the White Sox play Thursday afternoon (check out the comments below!).
Just remember...the conference starts bright and early Friday morning!
Overview: BlogHer '07 sessions will begin on the morning of Friday, July 27 and go all day on Friday and Saturday, July 28. There will be cocktail receptions at the Navy Pier following both days. On Sunday, July 29, we will be hosting a free-form "unconference" at the Chicago City Centre that will begin at 9 a.m. and go until mid-afternoon. (You're welcome to come for as little or as much of the unconference as you wish.)
A: The sessions are still being finalized. Stay tuned for a link! In the meantime, learn more about which tracks are being offered here.
A: The speakers are still being finalized. Stay tuned for a link!
A: Not at all. Of course, we think every topic is fascinating and that everyone will want to attend every session...but what you choose to attend is completely up to you.
Note: refunds will not be given for sessions paid for but unattended.
A: There is a lot going on in the blog world, and there is a LOT of information and areas of interest we're trying to cover in two-plus days. The various session "tracks" are our way of organizing sessions into themes. If one track really appeals to you, it's likely you'll enjoy the sessions within that track.
Please feel free to track-hop! You're encouraged to attend whichever sessions you want, in whichever track you want. Tracks exist simply to help you figure out which panels you might like to attend.
A: The "BlogHer Open Space" is an opportunity for attendees to discuss whatever they want to discuss in an open-yet-moderated forum. Rather than have a set topic, attendees determine what the session will address. This may include:
- Digging deeper into one or more of the topics covered on the BlogHer panels.
- Discussing something that happened or was said during the course of the Conference.
- Ideas for/around the conference itself.
- Addressing something that wasn't covered at the conference.
- Open Q&A.
The Sunday session will open at 9 a.m. with breakfast (included in the price of the ticket), while moderator Kaliya Hamlin works with attendees to set the agenda. Attendees who have registered for the Open Space are welcome to join for as little or as much of the session as they'd like. Lunch is also included. The session will end no later than 4 p.m.
A: Each conference day's ticket includes: breakfast, lunch, snacks, and entrance to that evening's cocktail reception. The receptions will include complimentary hors d'oeuvres, which some attendees may find is enough to constitute as a light dinner; others may not. (More info. on the cocktail parties below.)
A: Here's the low-down on this year's cocktail receptions.
Friday Night: Friday's reception will take place from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., directly following the last sessions of the day. The reception will take place directly above us, outside on the Lakeview Terrace. The Terrace has spectacular views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
Friday's reception will be catered by Chicago Signature Services, the Navy Pier's in-house caterers. They will be serving complimentary hors d'oeuvres, and limited complimentary cocktails. Additional cocktails will be available for purchase.
Friday night's reception will be graciously hosted by GM.
Saturday Night: Saturday's reception will take place from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., directly following the last sessions of the day. The reception will take place at Chicago's Children's Museum, located inside the Navy Pier near the front entrance. We have rented out the entire space, which means that not only will we be eating, drinking, and networking, but also (for those adventurous types) climbing, exploring, and playing in and around the museum exhibits.
Saturday's reception will be catered by a local chef, Andrew Kalish and his company, Blue Rooster Catering. As with Friday night, we will be serving complimentary hors d'oeuvres and limited complimentary cocktails. Additional cocktails will be available for purchase.
As a bonus on Saturday night: July 28 also happens to be Chicago's "Venetian Night." This means that there will be a virtual water parade of decorated boats sailing on the Lake all evening.
While our reception ends at 9 p.m., you are invited to find a spot outside the Museum to view the Navy Pier fireworks, which will begin at 10 p.m.
Saturday night's reception will graciously be hosted by Dove.
A: We work very hard to keep the price of the BlogHer Conference to an absolute minimum, and to offer you more than one option for registering for the event. To see a complete breakdown of options and costs, please go to www.acteva.com/go/blogher.
A: Register right here!
Still don't see your question answered? Submit your questions via email here, or add them to the comments below.