It was the first time I have been away from my son since his arrival 20 months ago – so I had high expectations from Blogher 11. When it comes to my thoughts on the mega-conference – I have two words for you: Flash Mob!
If there was any doubt that BlogHer was going to be a good time, it went out the window when the flash mob showed up. By then, I knew these ladies were about a good time.
I wasn’t disappointed. The sessions I attended were helpful and gave me some things to think about and some just confirmed that I was already doing some things right. The people I met were cool. I quickly connected with a few fellow bloggers and we stuck together throughout the conference. Most were newbies like me. I was shocked at how many people there seemed to already have a crew from Day One. Clearly, for some BlogHer is an annual thing and a it’s bloggy buddy reunion of sorts.
I had a good time checking out the various vendors. I thought they were exaggerating when talking about the swag. Not so much. I came home with at least 5 bags of stuff. The Hershey’s Smores room was a favorite for obvious reasons – chocolate!
I was uplifted by the commonality of the women I connected with. We shared many of the same views and experiences. It’s always great to meet people that get you and speak your language. Others of us had varying views but still a general respect for each other.
I was in awe. Not just of the conference and the speakers. The women I met have blogs that are so beautiful and successful, it was encouraging to see where my home on the internet can go. It’s pretty much limitless. While I still consider myself a newbie, the “vets” in the sessions offered advice and encouragement that I’m thankful for.
The keynotes were inspiring. Indra Nooyi, anyone? Although she’s not a blogger, as the head of Pepsico, her story was really touching and left me motivated. I left all of the keynotes feeling like I could do anything! They really validated my little corner of the world and encouraged us bloggy ladies to recognize our influence in this space and not think small.
I was inspired, uplifted and in awe. That pretty much summed up my experience at BlogHer 11. The only downside for me was connecting with other bloggers. It wasn’t always easy. There were times where it was clear to me that I was the newbie on the block. I think that’s probably true of many first-time conference experiences. The huge conference was my first and I’m hopeful that it won’t be my last.
Someone at the conference described it something like this “It’s like summer camp for grown women.” It seemed such a fitting analogy. It was fun and full of activities but it wasn’t short on learning.