This past week, I attended the BlogHer 2013 conference in Chicago, Illinois. Before attending I spent a lot of timing thinking about what blogging conference to attend for my first conference. Ever since I began blogging BlogHer was on my “to do” list. I had an amazing time at the conference, and it was everything that I expected in ways good and bad. It was definitely something that I needed to attend and for so many reasons I am so glad that I did.
Since I am not a beginning blogger, I decided to buy the expo and party pass for the conference. Most of the classes at BlogHer seemed really basic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing it just meant they weren’t a good fit for me. My goal at BlogHer was to network with brands, meet blogging friends I hadn’t met in real life before, and to meet new bloggers I hadn’t networked with before. For these three goals, I would say that it was the perfect BlogHer for me.
The blogosphere is full of lots of recaps about BlogHer and talking about the revokation of BlogHer passes and whether outboarding parties are ethical or not. What I can tell you is that this blogger did her best to avoid the drama as much as possible. (which trust me was NOT easy to do)
One of the things I found at BlogHer that I really didn’t expect to find was a little bit more about myself. I am always trying to be PC and sometimes too non-confrontational and sometimes that leads to people walking on me. What I figured out while I was there was that it’s really important to cut drama queens out of your life, and to learn to stand up for yourself. This doesn’t mean putting them on blast in the middle of a public event, but it does mean letting them know how you feel and why continuing a relationship with them isn’t the best option in your opinion.
I also learned that being a “big” blogger and traffic isn’t everything. Some of the best advice I got from a fellow blogger is to pour my heart and soul into everything that I do. It’s the passion and the quality that attracts success, not having a bajillion followers.
I went into BlogHer hoping to meet lots of friends new and to connect with brands. When I left Chicago, I had not only found friends new and old but found a little bit about myself. This week I have found my passion for what I do renewed and my faith in myself restored, and there’s not much more you could hope for when trying to find the best path for yourself.
To make your next conference a little easier, I have put together a quick list of tips to make sure you have the best conference ever!
Don’t overschedule yourself: Make sure to build in enough time to get to and from venues and to give yourself a break as well. Otherwise you will return home like a zombie! (Trust me on this one)
Choose your roommates carefully: Sad to say there are always stories on bailing roommates, and it’s super important to choose your roommates carefully. That way you aren’t left stranded in a city where hotel rooms run $300/night with no place to go.
Wear comfortable shoes: This one is crucial. I can’t tell you how many people I saw rubbing their feet by the end of this conference. Make sure that you have shoes that are both cute and comfortable
Bring LOTS of business cards: Nothing is worse than making a great contact and having no way to share your information with them. I personally ordered 250 business cards for the event, and it was more than enough to pass out to brands and bloggers.
Always be respectful: You would figure this one goes without saying, but remember you are representing your brand and yourself at this event. Remember to be courteous to the brands and bloggers you meet. You don’t want to be remembered as that girl.
Pack a Suitcase within your Suitcase: There are lots of great goodies at this event. It’s a lot less expensive to pay for a checked bag than shipping lots of things home. Pack light and pack a suitcase in your bag so you can bring your items home.
Did you attend BlogHer 2013? What was your favorite part of the event?
Loved meeting you, Ashley! And I totally think of you as one of those big time bloggers! ;o)
I’m glad you enjoyed yourself at your first conference, and what a conference for it to be your first, right? =) Sounds like you learned some valuable things while there, but more importantly, stayed true to who you were.
Ronni Keller says
I am SO glad you got to go AND you had an awesome time!! Also, I love, love, love hearing when people say ‘they found their voice’!!! 🙂
Wish I could have been there!! In my Home Sweet Home Chicago no less!! I totally miss it!
I have yet to go to BlogHer but think you advice is great! It is always best to know what you want to achieve by attending the conference and then doing it. So many that are disappointed come away because of things they personally did or didn’t do.