BlogHer 2011 style:
My top ten favorite things at BlogHer 2011 so far:
1. Networking and connecting. I have met so many awesome bloggers, women, and people in general. I have made real friends that I will keep in touch with. I will be sad to part ways with them on Sunday.
2. The sessions. I learned so much! The women on the panels and in the audience have so much information. They are bright, funny, successful, and incredible.
3. The swag. OMG. So much good stuff! I have the opportunity to try so many new products. I have met so many representatives from so many great companies. There are terrific brands that I am excited to work with in the future.
4. I won a new LG Galaxy tablet! I went to a luncheon with Verizon Wireless yesterday and they treated us like royalty. Diana Zaccardi was the speaker. She is an executive of Verizon Wireless and she was an inspiration.
5. My roommates. I have the coolest roommates ever! They have their own magazine called Mamalode. I had the best time with them at Sparklecorn last night.
6. The opportunities. I have been given many opportunities to do and learn new things. I did yoga two mornings in row, while the sun was rising.
7. The full belly laughs with new friends and old.
8. The parties, the meet-ups, the dinners and luncheons, and gatherings.
9. The pool and jacuzzi.
10. That there is more to come today and tonight.
Stay tuned for my big wrap up later AND I will be giving away some really cool swag.
If you are here, what are your favorite things from BlogHer 2011?
Last year was my first year at BlogHer. The days leading to the conference, I was a wreck. In my mind, I had the preconceived notion that I would have to compete somehow with incredible people that were out of my league. It had the familiar feel of the summer before junior high, when I worried about every detail. Fortunately, at BlogHer, I did not have to dress in front of a locker room full of strangers, yet my self-confidence was approaching pre-pubescent lows. What if I was that girl wandering by myself? What if people were mean to me? What if I did not fit in? My most material concern was not having friends.
I spent a good part of my first day wandering around the hotel in New York City solo. It was Thursday before the conference and the hotel was buzzing with boisterous voices and women throwing their arms around their blogging buddies, like long lost friends. I saw many of the more well-known bloggers being hounded and smothered by their adoring fans. I did not have any aspirations to try to insert myself into the higher echelons of the blogging hierarchy. I wanted to find my own tribe. I met a few people that first night, yet I went to bed feeling like a friendless, hopeless loser. Dramatic, I know.
The next day at breakfast, I sat at a table where I knew no one, to hopefully meet some new friends. I did meet some nice women, yet I did not find any new friends. I spent time in sessions all day, meeting some people that I talk to today, but later found myself by myself.
That night, I went to the karaoke and welcome gala. I found myself alone again, wondering if I was going to meet anyone. I could not remember a time in my life when I felt so pathetic. About 30 minutes and some unknown number of used drink tickets later, I finally found my tribe.
I met some women that were so much fun. We danced. We drank. We laughed our asses off. We talked about our kids. We drank some more. We connected.
The following morning and the rest of the conference, I had my tribe to sit with for breakfast. We went to sessions together. We went to parties together. It was a blast. I made real connections with some really great people.
A year later, I stay in touch with my friends I met at BlogHer. Fortunately, some of them are coming back this year. One of my friends, had a baby today. Obviously, she is not coming. Congratulations, Jenn! For the ones I will miss, I know there will be some new friends that will join my tribe. As for the other friends, I look forward to seeing them next week!
I use the lessons I learned from BlogHer with my daughter now. She finished Kindergarten in June. There were many tears and heartaches. She would come home from school, with tear stained cheeks, and tell me about her day:
“Haley won’t play with me anymore. AND NOW, Elizabeth won’t play with me because Haley told her not to.”
It took everything I had to resist the urge to come into the classroom to defend my little girl. With the ethics and legality of it all, I took the high road and gave her the advice I wish I would have listened to before BlogHer.
If they do not want to be your friend, then they are not worth it. They are not nice people. There are no-so-nice people in this world and you are going to have to embrace it. It does not reflect your worth. It means they are jerks or clueless or have some other issue you might not even know about. There are jerks, clueless people, and people with issues. BlogHer/Kindergarten is not any different. Do not waste your time whining about it. Get over it and move on. This conference is what you make of it. If you look for the opportunities, you will find your tribe. There will be 3000+ women at BlogHer. You are bound to connect with one or two—maybe more!
My tips for finding your tribe:
1. Be nice! Be friendly! Don’t be a creep!
2. If someone else is being a jerk, leave them alone! Don’t pout about it! PLEASE DON’T BLOG ABOUT IT! LET IT GO!
3. Always sit at a table where you don’t know anyone. This will optimize your opportunity to meet your tribe.
4. Don’t force it! Be yourself!
5. Recognize that some people are more outgoing on the internet than they are in person. Give them a break! Be friendly and don’t take it personal.
6. You are going to see blogging celebrities. Give them a break. They may be trying to find their tribe too and you may or may not be a part of it. Don’t overwhelm them. Everyone gets exhausted at BlogHer. Sometimes people need their space.
7. Smile! Be happy and approachable. Make the most of every opportunity to meet everyone you can.
8. Go outside your comfort zone. Introduce yourself. Get yourself out there!
9. Start thinking about what you are going to tell people about your blog and who you are. You are going to be asked a million and one times. Don’t short sell yourself. Talk yourself up. If they go to your blog, they can decide for themselves, but don’t discourage them from going by talking your blog or yourself down.
10. For the love of God, go have fun! Don’t worry about the parties and the who’s who stuff. We are grown-ups here. No whining!
Some photos from BlogHer10:
Monica and I at the Martha Stewart party at Martha’s headquarters in Chelsea
Jenn had a baby today. As it turns out, she is also a Sigma Kappa. She is totally a part of my tribe.
Jenn and I at Sparklecorn
CheeseburgHer party photo booth. So fun!
We were invited to a blogger event at the Del Mar Racetrack today. Sundays are family day at the racetrack and they have rides, games, activities, and fun for the whole family. It was a bit warm, even through the overcast sky. Nothing a little sunscreen could not help though!
We managed to make it an hour before the event started and Allison got her Webkinz pony. She carried it around with her all day long. We waited in line for THREE hours for the bungee trampoline, so it was nice she had something to play with while we waited sometimes (im)patiently in line. It was crowded, nonetheless, we made the best of it. I took about 100 photos of Allie on the bungee trampoline and then realized that the settings were set wrong (I must have knocked the knob the wrong way) and they were all ruined. Boo!
We had a great day as far as betting goes. I picked the winner on four out of six races. One race we did not pick the right horse at all and one race, Mr. Bear picked the winner. We did really well. We were more consistent than ever before. We did not bet a lot each race, yet we won about $30 to $40 on each race because our long shots kept winning. After dinner and drinks, we nearly broke even and that is not too shabby!
My nephew and Mr. Bear wandered around together, taking Allie to different activities, while I waited some more.
Sadly, I did not get to connect with most of the other blogging ladies today. We had fun as a family and that is the most important thing. It truly was a “family day” at the races.
While standing in line, I noticed the woman in front of me had a familiar face. After hearing her talk, I immediately recognized her. I worked with Christine in Oceanside at Coco’s Restaurant about 16 years ago. I was introduced to Mr. Bear by one of my co-workers while working there and Christine began dating one of the cooks during the same time period. When her daughter walked up, I immediately could see the resemblance of “the cook” in her daughter. Sure enough, Christine married the cook and had children with him. Now, the cook is the general manager of another restaurant. It is a small world.
Without any further ado, I am going to lay down my weary head. However, before I do, I am going to leave you with some photos of our day.
Trapped in a beer. Allie and Mr. Bear got trapped in a beer. We are such good role models.
My nephew, Mr. Bear, and Allie posing in front of the beer.
Allie got her face painted. She, of course, chose a unicorn.
…AND THEY’RE OFF! (Mr. Bear is in the maroon shirt, near the middle)
Allie was so excited to see the mascot. (I believe it was the Lake Elsinore minor league team–Storm)
I got back from the Spaphile blogger event that was hosted downtown at 57 Degrees Wine a bit earlier. I feel relaxed, totally pampered, and ready to take on the world. I was invited to this event a while ago and have been anxiously awaiting the day’s arrival.
I got a facial, a massage, my make-up done, a bikini wax, eyebrows done, hair done and hair tinsel added. I also got to hang out with some wonderful ladies—new friends and old. There were lots of smiles, laughs, exchanging stories, planning our next adventures, and girl talk. So fun!
Sugar Jones donning her tribute to Amy Winehouse
A few of the girls that stayed as late as I did.
Me, after a lot of pampering
Many thanks to our hosts. I will be booking some services really soon!
Tomorrow, I am going to another blogging event with the group. This one is for the whole family. We are headed to the Del Mar Races. More V.I.P. treatment. Love.