Last week I successfully attended my very FIRST blogging conference. Well, successfully may be a bit premature, but I did attend Blogher 2010. I have mixed reviews of the entire event, but mostly I found it to be an enjoyable experience. I was happy that I chose only to attend one day, since I think any more would’ve been even more overwhelming. I figured today’s post would be a perfect place to share my experience. So here goes!
Overall Blogher Experience
I still go back and forth on what I thought of the entire experience. Attending a conference with about 2400 bloggers, pretty much by yourself, is a very overwhelming experience. As a matter of fact it was kind of lonely. I was happy, and excited to meet up with some bloggers that I knew were there, but I was unable to meet up with some, and the others I didn’t get to see as much as I’d like due to everything that was going on.
I found the AOL party on Thursday night to be fun. It was a nice and smaller atmosphere which I felt more comfortable introducing myself to others. I still hated that I had to go myself (I’m really bad at doing things myself), but I embraced the situation as much as I could and met some really nice people. Being pregnant was a great ice breaker, but on the downside I couldn’t indulge in any adult beverages which maybe would’ve helped me relax.
Friday morning I missed the Newbie Breakfast because it was just too early for me to make it into the city by 8. After it was over I did get to meet up with my blogging friend Pamela of Skin Care In The City, but unfortunately we had different ideas as to what break out sessions we wanted to go to, and after that I lost her for the rest of the day. So I was pretty much on my own. To be honest I didn’t get much out of the break out sessions. I thought they were way too broad. So I spent a lot of time in the expo hall. I had fun wandering around and meeting representatives from various companies. Sometimes I wonder if I would’ve been better off just getting an expo and party pass, but I haven’t come to that conclusion yet.
I went to a “birds of a feather” lunch. Which sits you with bloggers who write about what you do. I decided to go to the “mommy bloggers” table even though I would be considered soon to be mommy blogger. It was good because I felt more comfortable than wandering into the grand ballroom trying to find a table and striking up conversations. I thought it was a good idea.
After lunch I wandered the expo hall some more and ended up trying the 3rd break out session (I missed the 2nd..oooppss!!) Again I found it to be too broad for what I was looking for. I have a feeling MOST people there wanted to learn how to bring their blog to the next level. I didn’t feel that ANY session helped with that. They did have a few specific sessions such as autism, and writing about sex, but I thought there could be happy medium between the general and specific. I didn’t feel they did a good job of that.
My favorite part of the day was the end of the day. After the 3rd breakout session I had a meeting with Michelle of Kolcraft about possibly becoming a Kolcraft mom. What’s that you ask? Well I would be reviewing various Kolcraft products, which are all geared towards babies. It’s perfect timing for that since I myself will soon be needing baby items! It wasn’t just the program that I found interesting, but I loved chatting with Michelle. I thought we connected well and I look forward to working with her more in the future. Hopefully on more than one project!
My meeting ran a bit long, so I was late to a meet up with some TTC blogging friends. It was so great to finally meet them!! After talking so long on Twitter, it’s funny to finally meet in person. I was sorry that I couldn’t hang out and chat longer. Great to meet you @PCOSChick and @Vfriske!!! I was so sorry I didn’t get to meet @amaprincess, but she wasn’t feeling well. Maybe next time!
So the day ended there. I decided not to go to the Gala. Most people I spoke to were not going, and were going to other parties or gatherings. What’s the point then?? Plus my family was coming into town so I figured I’d go meet up with them. I think it was the right decision.
I liked the opportunity to meet other blogging women, as well as the blogging friends that I have already made. I also had a great time in the expo hall but I doubt that was the main reason that people go. (or is it??) I hope that the new connections I made will carry through into the future. If they do then the whole experience was completely worth it.
It may sound like more dislikes than likes but it really was a good experience. I wasn’t a fan of the break out sessions. I thought they were too broad, and for me, didn’t really fit my needs. I also thought that they really didn’t allow for much networking at the overall event. The sessions were set up in lines of chairs. Other than maybe to the left and right of you, there was no opportunity for me to meet other bloggers. If I missed something please comment and let me know how I could’ve made it better. Same goes for in the expo hall. How was I able to meet other bloggers there? It was set up great to meet the vendors…but not the bloggers.
Blogher In closing
I was happy I took the opportunity, and went to the Blogher conference. It may have been a bit overzealous since it’s probably one of the biggest ones out there. Lucky for it happend to be in NYC so it made it that much easier and more of an incentive. Thank you to all the friendly new bloggers I met. I can’t wait to keep in touch into the future!
Did you go? What was your experience.
I actually wrote a post today about my own experience. Well, really, my last 3 posts were about the conference.
It was my first, I also went alone. This was an issue when, on Thursday, I wussed out on the party (Thursday’s post – Blogging my Shame. haha).
To me, it was a lessons-learned thing. Next time, I will know better and I think I’ll get even more out of it. I don’t think it was a FAIL by any stretch, but I will apply what I learned to getting more value next time.
Good luck with the baby!!
It is definitely hard to do this stuff alone! I was impressed I went to a party myself…it was a bold move on my part since I never do that! lol
Live and learn right??!!
I enjoyed reading your take, there is a blogger conference here this Fall. Though, it isn’t in the cards this year, it is something I have been thinking about.
I hope your connection works out and you have the chance to review some fun baby products.
I hope so too!! I guess only time will tell! I recommend maybe a smaller one to start.
I’m so sad to have missed out on an opportunity to meet you and so many other awesome ladies! Perhaps next year we can both go with our little kiddos, and be conference buddies 🙂
Yes I’d love to do that next year! (if I get a sponsore since The Captain reminds me that I don’t make much $ on this blog lol) I’d love to meet you (and your future little one!)
Thanks for the review! I’m thinking of attending one of those conferences someday… it’s good to hear what people think of them!
I recommend starting w/ a smaller one. but its definitely and experience!
I agree it was overwhelming and I loved a lot of it but I had mixed emotions about parts. I don’t think it is an easy first conference (it was my first ever) but I am still glad I went. I sort of thought that the endless swag parties sort of got in the way of having time to get to know other bloggers. Wish we had met!
I wish we met too!! It definitely is not an easy start. I think it wsa more of an expo than a conference, but I didn’t mind the free stuff! 😉
Thanks for sharing your experience honestly! I’ve never been to a blogging conference.