What Were Your BlogHer '12 Moments?
Reflecting on my BlogHer experience in New York City this year, I realized that my conference was filled with a lot of little moments that created a bigger picture of the event. As we read through all of your important post-conference posts, I wondered if others here at BlogHer had a moment this year that really defined the conference for them, that they will look back on and think, "Oh yes, that happened at BlogHer '12. Of course they did.
I asked a few staff members who in one way or another shaped your conference this year to share their moment in hopes of inspiring our members to share their moment. This is what they had to say.
Lori Luna, VP of Event Operations:
A sitting president spoke at BlogHer, an event I, along with the events team, produce. Hold up, let me read that again, yep, that's what it says and that is what happened. Holy cow! A week before BlogHer '12 we received word that yes, President Obama would speak live, via internet or satellite at BlogHer '12 in NYC. My head spun as we had conference call after conference call with the campaign staff of President Obama, you know, the leader of the free world, ya, him. Every detail was ironed out, we would go live with an internet feed and show his face and hear his voice at BlogHer '12 now, all we needed was the President.
During keynotes and general sessions I sit with the technical team with my headset on so I can talk to the techs and hear what they say and then our director said, "7 minutes until the President" I got goosebumps. Then it was "2 minutes to the President" and more goosebumps. Would the live feed stay strong? Would the internet go down? What about sound? I was holding my breath, literally. And then, there he was, in our house, talking to us. I cried. Not the ugly cry, it was more a cry of relief, gratitude and pride. I was overwhelmed with emotion that a man of his power was listening to US, talking to US, and honoring our attendees and yes, so grateful that the internet was strong. And then in my ear I hear, "30 more seconds, 20, 10 and we're out" and it was over. But the tears continued. Now before anyone says that I was thrilled and emotional because I happen to like President Obama let me say this…I would have been the same way with ANY sitting president. This was not political for me it was personal. It was a personal accomplishment in my career to produce something of this magnitude. I've done large productions in the past but this was the biggest to date and if I never have the privilege of hosting a sitting president again, I will always have BlogHer '12 to reflect and enjoy.
Diane Lang, Social Media Manager:
BlogHer conferences are made up of many special moments that all run together into one big, amazing event, so it’s hard to pick just one, but I think this year’s highlight, for me, was moderating a panel on how to leverage Twitter and Facebook with social media pros, Nelly Yusopova and Leticia Barr. Those ladies know their stuff! I had so many people come up to me after the session to tell me how much they learned and how grateful they were for the information.
That’s what BlogHer conferences are all about; inspiration, empowerment, gaining new skills, and making a personal connection with other bloggers. I love taking the knowledge that I have gleaned over the years and passing it on. I love meeting new people and giving them something positive and concrete to take home. And, of course, spending time with old friends is a total bonus!
Image: Danielle Tsi
Rachel Ladd, Sponsor Benefit Administrator:
Many of our sponsors are represented by a PR agency who works with us to execute the BlogHer ’12 sponsorship. In one of these cases I had the pleasure of working with a gal- let’s call her Sue – who has been pushing her hesitant brands to attend the BlogHer ’12 conference for some time now. This year she was able to get multiple brands to attend the conference and they were so thrilled they want to come back bigger next year! She succeeded in talking them into attending and changing their minds about BlogHer and the value of attending. She has been so gracious, complimentary and sweet the entire process and couldn’t be happier with BlogHer and our team (she even mentioned she wants to join us as an employee!). For me it’s people like this that make the 2 hour naps we call sleep during the conference worthwhile! Thanks “Sue” for reminding me why I love this job!
Shannon Carroll, Conference Programming Manager:
With over 4,000 attendees, it feels almost impossible to have any one, true, small moment. However, I walked the halls of the conference this year and watched as attendees came together, united not by niche, or color, or age, but by the common thread of the love and respect we have for the work that we are all doing, and that made ever long day, every late night, completely worth it. To see literally hoards of women and men working together to better themselves, hone their skills, and change the world...well, I can't even believe I get to play a small role in facilitating that.
Lisa Stone, Co-Founder of BlogHer:
1. I walked into Queerosphere and bumped into my friend Georgia Getz, who writes Bossy. She's someone I've been thinking a lot about since BlogHer '11 in San Diego, where we had one of those deep, private not-on-an-airplane-but-airplane conversations that stick with you throughout the rest of the year. Bossy was beaming and I quickly learned why -- she'd brought her amazing 22-year-old son, one of the smartest, most articulate men of his age I've ever met. And to see her introducing him around, well, as a mother of sons, it made my night.
2. Elisa and Jory are so committed to this community and they work so hard. SO hard. So I thought my heart would literally tear open with pride twice: First when Elisa introduced President Obama, the ultimate conference speaker, and second when Jory popped up on the big screen and was her oh-so-eloquent self. Did she look for a second like she was a nine-months pregnant woman up at 4:30 a.m. for a Skype keynote? No she did not. I thought, these are my girls and I'm so lucky to be their co-founder
Elisa Camahort Page, Co-Founder of BlogHer:
My best moments at BlogHer are when I'm watching. I always sit backstage during the Voices of the Year community keynote. I like to pat each Voice on the back as they get ready to read, and I like to hug them when they return. This year watching the first BlogHer Fashion Show was another great moment. I screamed my lungs out, exercised my all to infrequently used wolf whistle, and shook my hands in the air like I just didn't care as each hot BlogHer owned that runway. Both events, one all about the words, and one with no words, somehow perfectly demonstrated the breadth and diversity and pure kick-assness of the BlogHer community. And I was just taking it all in. Just watching...with, I confess, a big silly grin, a lump in my throat, and a tear in my eye.
So, as you can see, each of these staff members that share responsibility in some way or another for bringing the conference to you -- from social media discussions to those beloved sponsors to the nitty gritty of planning -- had a different moment that defined their personal conference experience. Just as our blogs are individual, shaped by our personal interests and life experiences, our conference experience is shaped by who we are as individuals.
So what was your "moment" at BlogHer? What sticks out in your mind as "the moment" when you think back on BlogHer '12?