BlogHer ’12 In a Nutshell
As soon as BlogHer ’12 ended, I hopped a plane straight to vacation in sunny Sarasota, Florida (close to me, but far enough away to be “away.”) Which means I haven’t been home in almost 2 weeks! It’s great to be home. I have so much to talk about, vacation, back to running, all of my swirly whirly feelings about BlogHer, I hardly know where to start!
I didn’t widely broadcast my post-BlogHer vacation by the way on account of not wanting burglars and scary people to find my house empty and so when I got to Sarasota I tried to do this thing called “relax” (which I was actually somewhat successful at! More on that later…)
What I will say is that upon return from BlogHer in New York during which I barely slept, sporadically ate, I was exhausted. And craving a hookup to a spinach IV like you wouldn’t believe.
I can sum up BlogHer ’12 in one word: insanity.
FIVE THOUSAND bloggers descending upon New York City with an expo filled with companies who want to network and goodies that you hardly have enough time to see/grab/taste/smell all of, off site parties, sponsor suites, parties that run well through the night time, fuzzy uteruses… not to mention the blogger sessions! (I know!)
It was quite overwhelming trying to squeeze everything into just two days, Friday and Saturday, especially on the tail end of having run around all over visiting family and friends beforehand. This was my first time at BlogHer and also my first time fully sponsored at a conference too, which was really exciting for me (thank you Sew Plain Jane again!)
So I’ll try to recap the entire event in a nutshell and then share with you (in two more separate posts) what I learned and what I loved (and didn’t) should you decide to go to BlogHer ’13, which is being held in Chicago next year. Did I mention that the president addressed BlogHer attendees on Thursday?
That was seriously impressive, as were the Keynotes that I was thrilled with, Martha Stewart and Katie Couric.
So we checked in on Thursday night and got our badges and bags and couldn’t help but want to know what was up at the Trojan booth on the way out (there was quite a line! You might say it was all abuzz! *snicker*)
(Hmmm… Hello interchangeable heads! Close your eyes, mom.)
Friday was the first official day of BlogHer and it was pretty fabulous. I started early at an offsite (mimosa) party for #BrandsWeLove that was put on by She Heard. There was a great swag bag from this party (thank you Jeana and Jennifer!) and I’m currently fingerscrossedhopingplease that one of the products in there that helps you grow out your hair WORKS, and I’m obsessively using it right now!
Then I headed in to the expo, hit one of the sessions (in which I left early) and headed to the Grand Ballroom for lunch and to save some seats for the first Keynote speaker, Martha Stewart.
Who was freakin hilarious! We learned she loves to Tweet, that the only thing she’s not perfect at is stuff she hasn’t tried yet (her words) and at the end of it, we all got a free online subscription to her magazines (hurrah!)
Then when she was finished, I went back to the expo to meet the Jimmy Dean Sun because I had heard he was going to be there. This was pretty much a highlight of mine. I don’t know why, I’ve always loved his commercials and when I heard he was going to be there, I was over the moon. Er, SUN! (OK, bad pun.)
It got even better when my friend Marisa told him she wasn’t sure about taking a photo with an “actor” playing the sun to which he defended himself innocently and grandly by proudly stating, “I’m a celestial orb!” He got hugs for that.
By the way, have I mentioned I LOVE EXPOS? I am giddy like a school girl even at the race expos and not because of the swag (a lot of people are all about the swag), I really just love finding cool stuff and meeting the people at the booths. I’d be just as happy with a business card so we can work together later (after all, I had to check a bag for $40! Not that I’m complaining of course, we did take home some cool stuff.)
But some of the cool stuff I found here were musical toothbrushes for kids, a musical vibrating bathtub by Kohler, a fuzzy uterus (which started out as REALLY FUNNY! Until it wasn’t. *sigh*) I only took one of those things home, by the way, and it was the fuzzy uterus that my son calls “Bubble Gum Guy.” Soweird.
Zicam gave us these really cool charm bracelets that I’m really excited about, we got to pick 4 charms that describe you and these were mine:
You never know who’s at the booths, too, the Zicam CEO was chatting it up with people and no one even knew it!
Shortly after that, I got gussied up for the evening of parties, starting with an offsite party by Hasbro that I was invited to where we got to lock and load the Nerfs (it was very freeing)…
And then we ended the day at the BlogHer SparkleCorn party where there were lots of sparkles and glowing and of course I got to wear my cape. Every party needs a good cape. It was good times. I was beat by 11 and had to call it a night.
Saturday we got our start at the expo again and I went to another session that turned out to be just sort of ok, so I left and got seats for the next keynote, Katie Couric, hurrah! I so love her. And man did she rock some GUNS! We found out she does spin class that incorporates arm exercises (pretty cool). Both Katie and Martha were very inspiring, wonderful, down-to-earth, tech-savvy women.
After her talk, we went BACK to the expo (I’m telling you, it was nearly impossible to see everything at this expo!) I was going to watch the session with Soledad O’Brien but I had an appointment to get fakey eyelashes put on by Kiss! And so I did! How do I look?
We got majorly sidetracked after that stopping at the sponsor suites which were on an entirely different floor where I got to pretend-makeout with Zac Efron in the #OutMyWindow suite…
I hit the Hot Wheels suite…
AND THE S’MORES SUITE (which was really Wal-Mart and Hersheys and honestly their fake backyard looked better than my real backyard!)
I had to char a couple before I actually put it on my Smore. (How do you like your marshmallows? I love mine BURNT!)
Then we paused for a moment at the Rosacea suite which offered us MASSAGES. Oh boy did I need that. (Also yes I have Rosacea, I’ve tried everything and I still don’t have it under control by the way.) I had to run back to the room to pack, and then…
I ended the night at the offsite Timothy Green party with Disney and we got our wings! (I can’t wait to use these at the Princess race next year.)
It was on the rooftop of the Yotel not too far from Times Square and the sky looked amazing.
I headed back to the hotel where we wrapped up BlogHer with the CheeseburgHer party sponsored by McDonalds for I would be off to the airport at 6 a.m. to fly back to Florida to meet my family for vacation.
If you’re wondering if this conference is much ado about the products and the brands then yes you’re right – a lot of bloggers I knew didn’t even bother getting a full pass because they had meetings and parties lined up with brands all day long. But I did get to network with some companies I’d been trying to meet for a while (one of which was at my table at the keynote, yay for coincidence!!) and so for that? It was worth it for me.
It was also so wonderful seeing my bloggy friends again, my in-real-life friends turned bloggers, and making new connections. Will I go to Chicago? It’s already in the plans — but now I know how to do it better next time with perhaps less exhaustion in the end (perhaps? We’ll see.) Registration for BlogHer ’13 opens September 1st.
I’ll share my loves and not loves in my next BlogHer posts and all I learned from this one, because it was A LOT.
Ever been to BlogHer? Did you go this year?
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