How to Prepare For & What to Expect at BlogHer

Have questions? Leave a comment or visit our BlogHer ’12 Community Forum.  Also, feel free to bookmark this post or our forum for future reference.

Mom Spark Forum Members – BlogHer 2010

Some of you may find this post silly, but I know that there are many terrified ladies out there who are worrying themselves sick over their first BlogHer experience.  Haley (my project manager/partner in crime) and I have been there, too, so we have put together some helpful advice and tips for attending BlogHer this year.

 

::PREPARATION::


What Items to Bring & Pack

Aside from the obvious clothing (we’ll talk clothing in a minute) and toiletries, here are some items you will also want to include:

  • cell phone, charger & extra battery
  • laptop & power supply
  • power strip (sometimes it’s hard to find a plug)
  • camera, charger & USB cord (in case you want to upload photos to your laptop)
  • a few purse/bag options (you may want a big purse/bag for day & smaller one for evening events)
  • snacks (you will often find yourself hungry, so pack some granola bars, crackers, etc.)
  • cash (for taxi, shuttle & tips)
  • business cards (don’t have any yet? small budget=Vistaprint, big budget=MOO)
  • headphones for flight (I like Chicbuds because they retract)
  • umbrella (if forecast looks rainy)
  • all tickets and maps you may need for parties and events (keep these with you at all times)
  • blow dryer (this is a must if you are sharing a room)
  • makeup remover wipes (if you have roomies, the sink isn’t always available)
  • Tylenol/Excedrin/Motrin (you will get a headache, trust me)
  • extra sweater (it will be summer, but conference rooms are almost always freezing)
  • BAND-AIDS! (your feet will thank you)

Try to label your electronic items.  Power strips, cell phone chargers, etc. all look the same and can easily disappear.  I use Mabel’s Labels to label my electronics and luggage.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is the swag you will pick up at BlogHer.  It is no joke that you will return with several items, so  make sure you leave extra space in your suitcase or prepare to ship these babies home.

 

What to Wear

{advice from Haley}

What to wear?  I’ve often heard people answer this question with, “Wear whatever you’re comfortable in”, but I think that is bad advice. Some people are comfortable in yoga pants and their old sweatshirt from college, which you can wear, but think about the image you are displaying by doing that. That is not to say that people would be judgmental for dressing casual, but most women and brands attending this conference will be there to network, grow their business, and even start new ones. Think of the BlogHer conference space as one big office space. You should wear clothes that are comfortable for you (if you normally don’t wear heels, don’t buy a pair of stilletos to try to impress people), but that are still acceptable for a casual business setting. You will be meeting new people and making connections this entire conference, so think of that as you are selecting your clothes. For daytime, I recommend a cute top paired with dark tailored jeans or khakis. Capris would be cute, too, with the right top. For evening parties, think more dressy and fun! Cocktail dresses are a norm at the parties-just pair with a cute pair of heels or flats and you’ve got the perfect outfit!

In addition, you don’t have to buy new clothes for the event.  A quick “shopping trip” through your closet will prove successful in finding some great outfits for the conference.  If you do want to buy new clothes, I recommend hitting up TJ Maxx or Marshalls because they have some fabulous deals and will help you shop for conference attire, even on a tight budget.

I always plan my outfits ahead of time. I even choose the jewelry for each one and put it in a ziploc bag. I write the day the outfit is for and what event right on the bag, ie. Thursday- Sessions or Friday Night- Sparklecorn. I then punch a small hole through the baggie and hook it to a hanger. I put my outfits on hangers as soon as I get to the hotel (wrinkles don’t look professional AT ALL). I pack my own hangers since many hotel rooms don’t have enough hangers in the closet for all my outfits. I will put each outfit on the hanger that has the corresponding accessories. Doing this saves a ton of time and keeps me from being indecisive while dressing for an event. There is often very little time available for changing from day to evening and I really think this practice helps.

 

Making a Schedule/Agenda

Making a schedule or agenda before traveling to BlogHer is a must, especially if you plan on attending several parties/events on and off location.  In the past, Haley and I have used Cozi for scheduling our days and if you have a smart phone, they have an app as well.  Some important things to include in your agenda are:

  • flight times & confirmation numbers
  • hotel checkin & checkout times with reservation numbers
  • session descriptions with times & locations (see the preliminary session schedule)
  • breakfast, snack, lunch & dinner breaks
  • party/event times & locations

AND if you want to feel even more organized, you can also add:

  • day & evening outfits
  • personal breaks in hotel room to relax/nap/refresh
  • times for getting ready for evening outings

Cozi is a great scheduling tool.

Swapping Phone Numbers

If this is your very first visit to a blogging event or BlogHer and you haven’t met your blogging buds in real life yet, make sure you swap some phone numbers before leaving.  You may not need to make the calls, but it’s a great safety net if you are feeling alone or having trouble hitting it off with other bloggers.  There will be several people in this boat, so try to connect before BlogHer (follow the #blogher11 hashtag or meet other attendees in our BlogHer ’11 forum), and you won’t feel alone once you show up.  Some attendees also like to make a list of people they would like to meet, which is great, too.

 

::WHAT TO EXPECT::


Over-Stimulation and Chaos

You will soon find out how truly crazy and chaotic BlogHer is once you arrive.  It’s extremely crowded, loud and busy. (hopefully not as crazy as NYC was, though!)  For people like me, I thrive on this kind of energy, but it can still be extremely exhausting.  Know your limits.  If you feel tired or over-stimulated, go to your room and rest.  If you don’t do well in crowded places, prepare yourself now because the crowds are completely unavoidable.  Also, most gatherings will be very loud, so you will need to speak rather loudly to communicate effectively. (and you will probably lose your voice by Saturday night)

Meeting New People and Brands

This is one of my favorite elements of attending conferences.  I love making new contacts and friends, and I love to talk.  This may not be your cup of tea, I understand that, but I do recommend coming out of your shell just a little.  You will be glad you did.  Also, remember that this is a conference for women bloggers, not just mom bloggers.  Because of this, most attendees will not know you and you will not know them.  Do not take this personal, but instead see it as a great opportunity.  Meeting new blood with different experiences and talents is part of what make the blogging community so special and unique.

Don’t take the expo hall for granted.  This is a great place to connect with brands and learn about new products.  These sponsors also make BlogHer possible, so make sure you make time in your schedule to visit.  You may also run into PR representatives or other business contacts at various sessions or parties, so take advantage of these relationships.  The best business ideas and conversations happen over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Most people will be friendly to you, but be prepared for a few who will not be.  Don’t let it get to you.  Out of the hundreds of people I met at BlogHer the last couple of year, only about 20 or so were rude or unfriendly.  It exists, but you can choose to move on to those who will treat you with respect.

Always have your business cards on you, even at parties.  Last year, I passed out and received over 200 business cards.

Juggling Conference Sessions, Parties and Events

As much as you want to stick to your schedule, you will inevitably get off track due to the craziness that is BlogHer.  You will not be able to attend or see everything and that is okay.  It is simply impossible to do everything because there is so much going on at once.  For example, I only attended two of the six conference sessions in 2009 because I decided to take extra time getting ready for parties and seeing Paula Deen in the expo hall.  Look at your schedule as a guide and if you get off track, you can easily get back on.

Sessions fill up quickly, so make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes (if not earlier) before the session starts.  Last year, attendees were sitting on the floor and standing because the rooms filled up so quickly.

For a current list of BlogHer 2011 parties, check back often here on Mom Spark (subscribe here), as well as our 2011 BlogHer forum.

{advice from Haley} Drink coffee and lots of it, it will save you from crashing mid-morning, especially if you were up until 4 am the night before.

 

Emotions and Confidence

BlogHer is what you make it.  If you allow yourself to have a bad time, you will be disappointed with the conference.  Don’t let people or sessions get to you or make you feel insecure.  Remember, you are the only one that has control over your confidence and emotions.  Make this experience not only fun, but worth your time and money.

You will not be invited to every side party or event that happens during Blogher weekend.  You may never get off of that waiting list.  It’s okay.  There is always plenty of other options and people to chat with.  Use your experience as a building tool to further your blogging career, or just to simply make new friends. Both are equally valuable.

BlogHer was my first blogging conference last year.  I was excited, but very nervous.  It took me a while to get my groove, but once I did and realized I was okay, I had a blast!  The conference opened so many doors for me and introduced me to many friends for life.  I refused to let myself or anyone else get in my way, and because of that I succeeded.  You can, too.

Visuals

For a visual idea of what to expect, see my post-Blogher 2009 post.  You can also see various BlogHer photos on Flickr.

Avoid getting the “Post-Conference Blues” by reading this post.

Questions?

Have questions?  Simply leave a comment and we will be happy to help!  In addition, if you see an area that I did not cover, like how to handle being sponsored, etc., check out BlogHer ’11 forum for more in-depth BlogHer details!

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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

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112 Responses to “How to Prepare For & What to Expect at BlogHer”

  1. #
    Nadia — May 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    What a great post! So informative and packed full of helpful tips. Looking forward to attending my first BlogHer conference this year!

    [Reply]

  2. #
    Christy — May 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    This is a great post. I’d also suggest earplugs for people who are noise-sensitive. NYC is loud and the street noise can be challenging for people who are used to silence or crickets.

    As for clothes, I don’t entirely agree with this. This is such an individual thing and, quite honestly, it’s hard to stick out (at least in a negative way) at BlogHer. I do think you should dress comfortably (how many ppl would be comfortable wearing a ratty t-shirt and yoga pants outside of their own home?). I vary what I’m wearing slightly, but am perfectly fine in my everyday jeans and T. I don’t even know what tailored jeans are. =} . BlogHer is more like the mall than an office – generally, no one cares what you’re wearing except you.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 16th, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

      @Christy, Yeah, clothes are tricky. Totally depends on what your personality is. If you are unsure, though, this post may be helpful.

      [Reply]

      • Lizz replied: — July 10th, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

        @Mom Spark,

        Another first-time conference goer here! For me, reading “wear what you’re comfortable in” is more psychological than physical. When I’m dressed well (in a favorite top, for example) I just feel more confident and outgoing, which I really think will be *my* key to a good experience at BlogHer.
        My default at a party where I don’t know anyone is to hide behind my camera or find a comfy chair and study my nail polish. If I look fab (or even just feel like I do!) it makes it that much easier for me to step out of my comfort zone and jump in with new people.

  3. #
    Sky — May 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve bookmarked this post…thank you. I’ve been planning my to take items for months now…but from your list, I was missing a few!

    I’m really excited for Blogher, but nervous. I just want to have a great time and meet new friends.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 16th, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

      @Sky, It’s normal to be nervous, I really was, too. Allow yourself to have the time of your life!

      [Reply]

  4. #
    Julie {Angry Julie Monday} — May 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Great post. BlogHer was my first blogging conference ever. It can be quite intimidating. I was lucky to have at least ten or so bloggy friends whom also have more friends. I was able to glide from group to group with ease. This helped me quite a bit so I never felt awkward or out of place.

    I met soooo many incredible people. I’m one of those totally OCD people who also plan out their outfits. People still remember some of my outfits from BlogHer last year.

    My #1 Tip is to make sure to take tons of pictures and get pictures with people you meet. I’ve used at least one picture every month of this year from BlogHer. There were soo many stories from that weekend.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 16th, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

      @Julie {Angry Julie Monday}, Great tip! Yes, take LOTS of photos! Last year I took my Nikon D40 (big camera) and I’m glad I did. I was able to capture some amazing Chicago photos.

      [Reply]

  5. #
    Elizabeth — May 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Wish I could be there but just not in my budget or time schedule this summer. I’m going to try for the SITS Bloggy Boot Camp in Austin this October.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 16th, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

      @Elizabeth, Let me know if you go to Austin, because I’ll be speaking there!

      [Reply]

      • Kate, aka guavalicious replied: — May 19th, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

        @Mom Spark,

        Cool that you are speaking in Austin. I am thinking about trying to go since I have a place to stay there. I definitely could use the help. My mommy blog is just for fun but I started a local blog and am a little out of my comfort zone.

  6. #
    Bucksome Boomer — May 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I had no idea it was that dressy. I work at a software company where our normal business wear is jeans and a tshirt.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 11:17 am

      @Bucksome Boomer, During the day, you could easily wear jeans and a nice top. Like we mentioned in the comments above, you could pull of the t-shirt/jeans if you really want to.

      [Reply]

    • Condo Blues replied: — July 7th, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

      @Bucksome Boomer, Jeans and a t-shirt are OK to wear to the sessions. I saw a lot of people last year who wore t-shirts advertising their blogs and sponsors. I’m considering making and wearing a bottlecap necklace with my social media photo on it because some people don’t look like those photos in Real Life. I want to declare right now if you see me at Blogher 10 I am 10 pounds lighter on the Internet than I am in real life :)

      [Reply]

  7. #
    Mel — May 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Hopefully I didn’t miss any of this already in this post..

    On the What To Bring/Pack: Make sure you mark your items, such as extension cords and power supplies. This way if you are rooming with someone or you leave an item somewhere you can identify it or find it later at lost and found. (oops just realized that you said to label them with labels..hehe)

    Also, when you print out all those maps for the hotel, and areas, with your ticket reservations for parties and travel, keep them in a folder. That way everything is together with your Cosi (or other) schedule. Easy to find and easy to put your paperwork in that you receive.

    You mentioned handing out business cards..something I started doing after the first day was wriitng on the business cards I was given…writing where/how I met them, and what we talked about was helpful when I went back through them once I was home. Make sure you have a permanent thin tip marker since some cards are glossy and difficult to write on with pens.

    When you are getting your swag…spread it out on your bed each night. My roommate and I both did this and gave each other items that were better suited for the other person. The other thing we did was decide what we definitely didn’t want and took it down to the swag return table. With airfare costing so much right now for all your extra baggage, you may as well return your items before taking it home when you don’t want it right?

    I agree with your idea of extra hangers. I brought all my own hangers last year and it was great since then my roommate could use all the hotel hangers and we had enough for both of us!

    If you have an iPhone there is an app called Bump..download it before you go to the Conference and enter in the details, such as your name, blog, email, etc that way you can share your info without handing out business cards to others that have Bump as well. It was fun to get others to download the Bump app and share our contact info and save on some paper! It is a free app too.

    A great way to get to know others before you head to the conference is to set up your own Whrrl story with photos of you in the clothes you are wearing at the conference. This made it a lot easier for me to find some of my fellow blogHer’s and Twitter friends :) Last year BlogHer even set up a post about this and everyone linked their story to it so we could share together.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 11:20 am

      @Mel, All great tips, thanks! That is a great idea for the business cards, and I did see people doing that. I just didn’t feel like I had any hands available to write!

      On swag- great to purge every night and I also forgot to add that you can ship from the hotel if you absolutely need to. Sometimes it is much cheaper to ship than to pay for extra baggage.

      I did have the bump app, but it was very buggy. Didn’t always work.

      [Reply]

  8. #
    MusingsfromMe/Jill — May 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I have attended two conferences. BlogHer sounds very different to both. The advice on clothing is helpful. I find that a dressy blouse can make up for casual pants and sneakers!

    [Reply]

  9. #
    Pammer — May 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    What great timing for this piece! I just got my ticket off the waitlist and this will be my first BlogHer – nice to know the evening events are a little dressier. When do we ever get a chance to do that with friends?!

    Look forward to meeting you Austin at the BloggyBootCamp!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 11:22 am

      @Pammer, I’m with you, we rarely get to dress up, so this gives us a great opportunity to do so!

      Look forward to meeting you at both events!

      [Reply]

  10. #
    Michelle — May 17, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Great post. I attended Bloggy Bootcamp in Baltimore in March, which was 100 women. It was a great day/weekend of networking and fun but to be be honest after Friday dinner, and all day conference I was feeling tired and overstimulated by Saturday afternoon. I am a people person and really enjoy meeting people. I have only been to NYC once and found it a bit overwhelming too, so busy, so fast-paced.

    BlogHer sounds so fun but I decided to pass this year. I hope I don’t regret it because next year if I want to go it will probably be on the west coast.

    [Reply]

  11. #
    Sarah Kimel @Tech4Mommies — May 17, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I’m preparing for my first BlogHer this year, and am definitely Evernoting this post! Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

  12. #
    Jen L. — May 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

    This is a great post–thank you! This will be my first BlogHer and I am SO excited! Hope to meet you there!

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You — May 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you SO much for this. BlogHer ’10 will be my first major conference, although I did attend a mini-me BlogHer in ’08 in Boston. My question for you is this – I have SEVERAL blogs – and so I’m unsure as of right now, which one I should concentrate on promoting/representing at BlogHer. Suggestions?

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

      @Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You, When you say several, how many exactly? I always promote two- Mom Spark & Mom Made That! I would stick to no more than two when connecting with others. If you want to add them all to your biz card, then that would be appropriate. You just don’t want to a new contact too much information at once, you know?

      [Reply]

  14. #
    cher — May 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Great Post! Very true and helpful! I was at BlogHer last year and was not at all prepared.

    [Reply]

  15. #
    Sweetie — May 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks for the great and informative post. It sure helps to see it all from someone who has actually attended. And, anytime you get that many women in one place there is bound to be some sort of drama so it is good to remember those things that will keep you on track and let you enjoy the event.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

      @Sweetie, I think most “newbies” do not expect to be so emotionally affected at a conference like BlogHer. You can really allow yourself to get rattled if you’re not careful. I think we have to truly focus on why we chose to attend BlogHer in the first place, and keep that frame of mind.

      [Reply]

      • Sweetie replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

        @Mom Spark, I actually have never been to Blogher myself and have been battling within myself for the last 6 months on whether to go, mainly because I had heard of all of the drama before. I have been to many professional conference and I guess since most of them half 80% or at least half men in attendance you just don’t see drama. Let’s hope all works out because I want to have some fun in NYC :-)

  16. #
    Condo Blues — May 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Thank for you for talking about the Emotions and Confidence elephant in the room! Last year was my first BlogHer and I think I lot of the drama on Twitter and afterwards was caused in part by jealousy, high emotions, and confidence. There were times during the conference I felt popular, unpopular, ignored, lucky, and sought after – all at the same time. I joked that blogging turns me into Sybil :)

    You can’t do or be invited to everything that’s unofficial. Last year I didn’t get invites to the swag suites and big unofficial parties but that freed me up to find something cool or just be at the right place at the right time to do interviews for other blogs.

    One thing to any person going to remember that this is a conference for all types of bloggers. You may see a sponsor or get a piece of swag or there may be something sponsored from an entity that you don’t like for a number of valid reasons for you or doesn’t fit you or your blog topics. Try not to pull the “I’m so offended they exist” situation. I’ve also been in the situation where a baby food sponsor didn’t realize I used their product because I don’t have a baby. I told them that many dog owners like myself use their product to bake treats.

    Try to talk to other bloggers outside of your niche. I’m sure you can connect on some level. That’s why I’m here commenting on Momspark!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

      @Condo Blues, I think the emotions and confidence issues are the main reason why some women choose to never return to BlogHer. It seems like, as women, we can so easily defeat ourselves over nothing, you know? We have to stay focused and remember why we blog and why we plopped down $1000 to attend BlogHer in the first place.

      [Reply]

  17. #
    Alex@LateEnough — May 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    this is TOTALLY what I needed to help me begin to think about blogher. it’s my first time going and i fluctuate from excited to im-not-going every other week. thanks!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

      @Alex@LateEnough, I went through the same thing! I remember thinking, “This is totally out of my league!” Seriously, it’s not. There are women of many different niches, ages, and interests that are all in different stages in their blogging path. Everyone fits in.

      [Reply]

  18. #
    Meg — May 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    If I wasn’t having a baby this summer I would SO be there :) Maybe next year!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

      @Meg, Meg- you would be surprised how many mommies wear their babies at BlogHer!

      [Reply]

      • Meg replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

        @Mom Spark, now you are just tempting me ;) If I go to BlogHer next year, I want to be kid free so I can enjoy it to the fullest! This year I will just have to live vicariously through you and all the other bloggers. Promise to keep us updated!

        • Mom Spark replied: — May 17th, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

          @Meg, Hahaha, yeah, I know the ladies who bring their little ones have a tough time listening at the sessions and going to the after hour parties, etc. I look forward to the day I can finally meet you IRL!

  19. #
    Amanda — May 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Wish I had something to add. This is fantastic. I look forward to getting the chance to say hello in person!

    [Reply]

  20. #
    hangingwithmrscooper — May 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Woooowwww!!!! How awesome of you to take the time to post this. I truly appreciate it and will definately come back as the time gets closer. I think the section on What to Wear has been one of the greatest helps. Thank you so much for this.

    [Reply]

  21. #
    Jennifer — May 18, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Thank you so very much for this post. I am a social person and very talkative but I know that this is going to be such a new experience for me that I will be intimidated! But thanks to this post I have more confidence than before and am just going to open up and have fun! Looking forward to meeting you there as well.

    [Reply]

  22. #
    Maria — May 18, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Good stuff!

    [Reply]

  23. #
    amber — May 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Bookmarked! Thank you for all the useful info. This is my first conference (if you’re going to go, go big, I always say) so I’m clueless. But I will have a blast…I’m determined.

    [Reply]

  24. #
    Di@PowderRoomGraffiti — May 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Great post Amy – I was a ‘newbie’ last year and had an absolute blast. I didn’t know anyone, so just kept going up to people and introducing myself – and everyone, without exception, was fantastically friendly.
    I wish I had taken on board Mel’s idea about writing on the business cards – because when I got back home, I couldn’t remember who was who – and the fact that I’d met many people after a few glasses of wine (and several cocktails!) didn’t help.
    I would also add that newbies should be prepared for the BlogHer ‘Speed Dating’ ice breaker – where you get to talk to people for about 60 seconds before having to move on to the next person. That’s the sort of thing that makes my British toes curl with fear and embarrassment – and yet it remains one of the most memorable highlights of the conference (probably because I hadn’t started on the wine and cocktails at that point). You do need to have your blog ‘elevator pitch’ ready though – to tell people very succinctly what your blog is about.
    I would add that last year there were soft drinks and bottles of fruit juice galore from the sponsors (and loads of food) – but bottles of water were in scarce supply, so bring your own if – like me – you are liable to lose your voice from laughing like a horse all the time.
    Really looking forward to meeting everyone this year!
    Start spreading the news…… (da da-de-da!)

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 19th, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

      @Di@PowderRoomGraffiti, Yes, the water! I should have added that into my post. It was so hard to find water and it’s so easy to become dehydrated. Thanks!

      [Reply]

  25. #
    Kellyology — May 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Last year was my first blog conference, and I would totally recommend your tip concerning connecting with your bloggy friends who are going before you get there. Get phone numbers, make plans, etc. Once you’re there, it’s too late. It’s such a large event that if you think you’ll see them, when you see them…that’s a big mistake. You won’t see them! At least I didn’t. This year I’m planning ahead.

    Oh, and I’m a Nikon girl myself. Have tried owning other cameras, but ultimately I keep going back to the Nikon. My latest is the Nikon Coolpix P100. Saving for a Nikon SLR next (probably the D3000). Was deeply jealous of the Nikon party attendees of last year which I guess includes you. So hey Nikon, put me on your list! ;)

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — May 19th, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

      @Kellyology, I wonder if Nikon will have another party this year. I just bought a Nikon Coolpix L22 to keep in my purse and I’m very happy with it.

      [Reply]

  26. #
    Kellyology — May 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Oh and one more thing. There’s a tendency for blogger to come home from this conference and trash their blogs after feeling completely inferior or completely inspired to do better. I’m not saying don’t do it, but be sure that you’re doing the right thing.

    [Reply]

  27. #
    Christy — May 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I thought of something else. Don’t be afraid to say hello to bloggers you recognize! People are always telling me that they recognized me somewhere, but were afraid to say hi. Most bloggers will be thrilled to meet you and if they’re not, it’s your loss. Also keep in mind that many people blog because they prefer the online interaction… someone who seems snobby or standoffish may just be shy/tired/overwhelmed, so don’t take things too personally.

    As long as you try to maintain a professional attitude and not take things personally, you should have a drama-free trip. I haven’t had any issues at any of the conferences I’ve attended largely because I don’t worry about what other people are doing/thinking and just focus on enjoying myself.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 20th, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

      @Christy, I heard a few other gals say the same thing to me, too, and I was shocked. We are just women, right?

      Yes, another good point about those who are shy/timid. They may seem rude, but just may be very shy.

      [Reply]

  28. #
    miceelabeda — May 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    [Reply]

  29. #
    If I Could Escape — June 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. I was recently able to score tickets to Blogher so will be a newbie and need lots of help! LOL

    [Reply]

  30. #
    ConnieFoggles — June 3, 2010 at 12:37 am

    First timer here to BlogHer so thank you for these tips. I’ve bookmarked all of your BlogHer posts to look over again before August. I was wondering about what to wear, especially at night. Your outfit idea is fantastic! I’ll plan my wardrobe that way to be sure I have every day and night covered.

    What about shipping the swag? Do you know if anything will be open on Sunday like UPS to ship instead of carry swag home? I was considering doing that.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 3rd, 2010 @ 12:43 am

      @ConnieFoggles, I’m glad this was helpful!

      For night, you can never go wrong with a black dress. I will probably bring several in different styles, but I really love black. :)

      If you don’t have room in your luggage for swag, most hotels offer shipping services. You could try calling the hotel beforehand to make sure.

      [Reply]

  31. #
    Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) — June 3, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Fantastic post with lots of valuable tips!!!

    Great job.

    See you there.

    [Reply]

  32. #
    Al_Pal — June 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Cool post. I’m strongly considering going, as I’m already planning to be on the East coast!
    (& haven’t been before–I went to Type-A Mom last year to help out with #VDogsAnkle, and have been to other online meetup conferences, but… ;)

    [Reply]

  33. #
    Alecia @ Savings & Stewardship — June 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I would LOVE to know more about the parties – what to expect, what is the purpose of them (in general) – which ones are awesome :).

    Thanks for this post! It is very helpful to us newbies!

    [Reply]

  34. #
    Jan Harness — July 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    What a wonderful post! I’ve bookmarked it. I’m speaking at BlogHer, but haven’t attended before — it sounds incredible! Looking forward to meeting you, and I think it’s really great that you respond to posts on your blog — especially given the number of posts! Thanks for the jumpstart.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — July 7th, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

      @Jan Harness, I’m so glad you find this helpful! I look forward to meeting you.

      [Reply]

  35. #
    Mel — July 16, 2010 at 1:07 am

    This is such a great post. If a person had to choose between missing part of the morning session on day 1 or the closing keynote and progressive parties on day 2 (due to flight schedule), do you have a recommendation? I’m so a newbie, and really don’t want to miss anything….but flight schedules are hard to work with.:)

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — July 16th, 2010 @ 10:43 am

      @Mel, If I had to choose between the two, I would hands down miss the morning session instead. :)

      [Reply]

  36. #
    beeacutie2 — July 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Thank you so much for this post. this is my first blogging confence and it is a lot scary! Also being six month pregnant being comfotable in clothes well as we all women know is hard! lol I will be that pregnant women in a simple black dress for the night!

    [Reply]

  37. #
    jen — July 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

    this was very helpful, thanks. I live in NYC and am not staying in a room. this is my first event and I am already nervous. What do you suggest for changing clothes for the parties if you don’t have a hotel room? :)

    [Reply]

    • Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You (Linky) replied: — July 25th, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

      @jen, my suggestion would be to find someone that you know is going and will have a room – and then just ask them if you can borrow their bathroom to get ready for the party! I am sure it’ll be very easy for you to find someone :)

      [Reply]

  38. #
    AmyBlam — July 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you SO much for addressing what to wear, I was SO tired of seeing where whatever you are comfortable in. There really is an appropriate attire for most things.
    I mean, I’m comfortable in PJ’s, but don’t think I’ll wear them.

    [Reply]

  39. #
    Lissa — March 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Great information, thanks! Looking very forward to my first conference & meeting some wonderful new friends.

    [Reply]

  40. #
    Stacie — March 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Thanks so much for writing this! I am going to the BlogHer this year for the first time and am a bit nervous about what to expect. This post makes me feel much better!

    [Reply]

  41. #
    Suz @ Suz's Treats — March 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks for this information. I’m book marking this to read again closer to BlogHer ’11. Can’t wait to meet y’all!!

    [Reply]

  42. #
    Mrs. Wonder — April 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I’m really nervous- this is my second conference ever, first was for photojournalism and I left it defeated. I’m hoping this experience will be way better! This post makes me more comfortable about going already.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — April 16th, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

      @Mrs. Wonder, You’ll do great. It’s all about the attitude you have going in. Don’t put your expectations so high that you leave disappointed. You will find that just meeting a couple of people can make the hugest difference in your blogging path.

      [Reply]

      • mrs_wonderbread replied: — April 16th, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

        @Amy Bellgardt, Thanks! The more I learn about blogHer the moe it seems overwhelming! But I can also tell it will be a completely differetn experience than the one I had years ago.

  43. #
    SuzRocks — June 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    This is great…I’m just starting to get nervous about going because most of my blogger friends who I thought were going, aren’t going anymore, so now I’m nervous that I’m not going to know anybody. And I’m a pretty social person- I can’t even imagine the anxiety that someone would have who didn’t like crowds and parties.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 6th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

      @SuzRocks, It can be pretty terrifying for introverts. As long as you can jump into a new group with ease, you’ll be just fine!

      [Reply]

  44. #
    lostinterest — June 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I lost interest in these conferences, and won’t be attending anymore. It costs too much money and I never enjoyed it. August and October are out of budget for me.

    [Reply]

  45. #
    Carlee Colonneso — July 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I shared this with a group of bloggers that are going to the event as well. I am a little nervous since this will be be my first event, but I am looking forward to it!

    [Reply]

  46. #
    Jen — July 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Blogher, last year, was my first conference ever. I was not sure what to expect and I did not know anything about private parties, meetups and such when I went. The biggest pieces of advice I can give, from someone who a little bit introverted and a little bit extroverted, is:

    1. Reseach the conference before you go. Follow the twitter stream #Blogher11. Get to know people prior to going.

    2. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Everyone I met was a bit nervous and in the same situation so step out of your comfort zone. You can always talk to me.

    3. Bring extra bags. Dragging a stuff back on the Greyhound bus last year was a big pain then taking it on the subway in Boston was more a pan. Bring extra good bags. This year I am flying and that is what I plan on doing.

    Jen

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — July 15th, 2011 @ 10:25 am

      @Jen, Great advice, thank you!

      [Reply]

  47. #
    Kate Wilke — July 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I am considering attending BlogHer this year. I have never attended a conference about blogging. But I have great interest in it. I have a family blog that I currently update. My main purpose of it is to leave a legacy for my 3 boys. However, I would like to have a blog that talks about important stuff and things going on that I know people would be interested in reading. But I don’t know how to get readers. With that being said – do you think this conference would be beneficial to me? It all sounds really overwhelming. Is it more for heavy bloggers trying to start businesses?

    Also – I am considering having my husband come along. He wouldn’t attend conference – he would golf while I am in the conference. Do you think this is a good idea? It seems like there’s a lot to do w/the conference?

    Thanks,
    Kate

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — July 15th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      @Kate Wilke, There are a lot of women who bring their husbands! Keep in mind that you will be very busy during the conference, even in the evenings, so make sure your husband is cool with that beforehand. :)

      [Reply]

  48. #
    Lina — July 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks so much! I am a new blogger and this is my first conference…going big! ha
    I am super excited and feeling overwelmed already ! ha

    Lina
    http://Www.fancyfrugallife.blogspot.com

    [Reply]

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