If you’re a blogger, and you’re passionate and serious about it, you’d be a fool to not attend at least one blogging conference during the year.
I was nearly a fool, as I almost didn’t attend BlogHer because of the cost (I dropped about $600 on registration, hotel, Greyhound, blah, blah, blah). But what I got in return can’t compare to its costs!
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should attend a blogging conference:
1. Meet new friends!
Your worst enemy at a blogging conference is SHYNESS. Get out of your confort zone and sit with people you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to turn to them and ask them about their blog, their city, their children–anything that will open the gates of communication. Laugh well, and laugh often. One of my roommates, Ally, whose every other word was “f*ck,” was the funniest chick I’ve met in a long time! We had such a good time that I can only hope that she and I party it up at BlogHer 2013 in Chicago next July!
Ally and me acting stupid at CheeseburgHER, in the photo booth.
My blogger running buddies that I met while at BlogHer — Renita on the left, and Roni in the middle.
Ally and me at the Naughty Monkey party.
A duet of karaoke in the Expo Hall
This one seems like a given, but seriously–whenever else are you going to get to meet a huge group of people that share your same passion for blogging? This is your opportunity to exchange business cards. Connect! Find out what’s up-and-coming in your niche. And most importantly, don’t let that synergy end at the conference–hit ’em up on Twitter, post on their blog, do blog exchanges. If you do this part right, you could walk away with at least 30 new contacts, if not more, if you’re at the top of your game!
Just a handful of cards I collected…..There….are……MORE!
3. Play Dress Up!
Flip-flops were the main fashion staple on everyone’s feet. And yes, I rocked the flat wear to save feet, too. But, come on…..Getting away from home for a 4-day trip without your hubby or kids, in a big ‘ole exciting city warrants a girl wearing her best heels, at least for an hour, before your feet start killing you! Don’t be a frump-a-dump. Wear your best clothes. It’s a special occasion! And you’re making a first impression. Tomorrow you can go back to wrinkled t-shirts and “mom” shorts.
Sexy heels are a must, at least for 1 hour….
…but comfort prevails when you’re headed home, tired as hell.
4. GetFree Stuff!
The amount of swag you get at a conference is mind-blowing–free food, free make-up, free vibrators, coupons, gift cards –Um, wait–free vibrators?? Yeah, that’s not a typo. In the Expo hall, one of the sponsors, Eden Fantasy, was giving out vibrators. Who can turn that down?? Of course, in return, some of the sponsors wanted you to Tweet out about their company in turn for their swag, with pictures of yourself promoting their stuff, like this pic:
I got free fake eyelashes while at BlogHer, thanks to KISS. They looked awesome!!!
I filled my whole suitcase with “swag” (i.e. free stuff from sponsors)!
5. Meet Sponsors!
So you’re getting all this good stuff, but the eye on the prize is meeting sponsors. These representatives are there in hopes that you’ll promote their products on your blog. Sometimes they might want to buy ad space. You’ll get their business card and follow up with them. You’ll post about their products. They’ll compensate you, either with more free things, or sponsorship. Hell, maybe they’ll even sponsor your next trip to BlogHer 2013! Ya never know…. But blogging conferences help to bridge this connection.
Bowlopolis representative at the BlogHer parties. — EDITED: OMG….I thought this was a representative. This is freakin’ Chris Barnes, professional bowler! LMAO at my mistake!!!!! Thank God I played it off well……..
Hanging out at the Martha Stewart sponsor booth
6. Party Hard with No Curfew!
Don’t judge me if I enjoy getting away for 4 whole days, to live it up with a bunch of bloggers (or, rather, party animals–these chicks were crazy!). You would enjoy it, too! It also builds blogger camaraderie. Dancing the night away, sans responsibility, and no curfew? I can sleep in tomorrow morning? Sign me up. And the only thing that wakes you up in the morning is your roommate’s snoring and the promise of a new day full of blogging goodness. 🙂
Girls just wanna have fun at BlogHer!
Sippin’ a beer uninterrupted.
MMMMmmmmmmmmm nom nom nom…..
7.Learn a Thing or Two!
Veteran bloggers probably already know all they (think) they need know about blogging; they’re more interested in making connections and networking. But let’s not discount the experience of blogging sessions. They are constructed to be informative. While at BlogHer 2012, I found the vlogging sessions to be most informative and helpful. I couldn’t wait to get back home to put to use what I had learned!
8. Freedom to Do the Uncommon
I bet you’ve never challenged a street vendor to push-ups at 2 a.m. on the dirty corner of a huge city (wearing a dress, at that). Yeah, me neither. Until BlogHer 2012.
9. Discover a city.
Most big conferences take place in a large metropolis. This is a great opportunity to visit a new city and to explore what it has to offer! Next year, BlogHer 2013 will be in Chicago. I’ve never been there. But you can damn well bet I’ll be exploring Chicago next year!
It’s not true that this is the “city that never sleep”–ironically, we couldn’t find any food places opened past 11p.m. (other than street vendors) in the area of the Hilton New York hotel (approx 55th st. and 6th Ave)! LOL
10. It’s Your Passion
It’s hard to say what makes one person so passionate about blogging, while the next person would moan and groan being tasked with writing a blog, and would never be so forthcoming to complete strangers in the blogosphere. But if you’re one of the lucky ones to become afflicted with this desire to inspire….this desire to reach out….this desire to be heard….then it’s only right that you pursue it. You must. If you don’t, you’re cheating yourself.
Ready for another big day of conferences! (Day #2)
Is that a cake?? (At Sparklecorn)
I tried to sneak into the Hasbro party and ended up wasting 30 minutes or more in this long-ass line.
A trip to NYC warrants a trip to Mood, where Project Runway films their mad-dashes to buy fabric for challenges.
So have you attended any blogging conferences lately, or do you plan to attend any? Tell me all about it! 🙂
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tempted but finances are definitely making me hesitate with signing up for BlogHer16.Thanks for sharing your story.
Joy @ The Joyous Living
I’ve made it to the end of the post and found it so helpful! Thank you!
I just found your blog and I am gonna explore it some more 🙂
I am sixteen and have a youtube channel and am trying to work out plans to attend the BlogHer Food 2015 conference in Chicago. I think it can really help me learn photo, video and marketing techniques. As a blogger, do you think other bloggers would be interested in exchanging info and getting to talk to a Youtuber? Or would they find it odd that I am there?
Good post! I got a pic w/ the Lorax as well :).
There was a street cart selling Halal food at the corner near the Hilton … it was like $4 for a HUGE pita. Definitely hit them up a few times when I was crunched for time and needed something filling.
Too funny! I think that’s the guy we challenged to push ups! His name was Magico, and seriously flirted with me and my roommate. Hilarious! Great food, too!
Magico – “magic” in Spanish?
I was glad this was not my first trip to NYC, though, because I mostly stayed in the Hilton-area bubble. In previous trips I had been to Chinatown, etc … the only time I left that area was when we did a boat tour (we got to go for free since we did a blog post about it, we won tix) and then when StumbleUpon did a walking tour, although it was mostly in that area too. I did get my Magnolia cupcake though! 🙂
LOL, yeah, but he wasn’t Hispanic! Threw me off, too. Yeah, NYC is amazing! I didn’t get outside of the Hilton area, either, because there just wasn’t TIME. Conference stuff took up a lot of time. I’m going to Chicago this year a day early (Wed.) so that I can do some sight-seeing while there. Have never been there before! Are you excited for BlogHer ’13? I am! The swag is fuuuuun! And now my blog has grown into something bigger over this last year, so I have more of an insight into who I want to connect with while there.
I’m from the metro Detroit area so I’ll be driving in with a few other bloggers, it’s like a 4 hour drive I think. I’ve been there before (and used to live in the suburbs, a looooong time ago when I was little – 1992-96), most recently last August for a wedding, but there’s some stuff I always do when there, including the Ghirardelli store and Cheesecake Factory :). I might check out the Sears (Willis) Tower too, or John Hancock, haven’t been to either of those recently (taking the elevator to the top, I mean).
And yes, the swag was nice!
LastMom, you have to visit Mood–their selection was the best I have seen in upholstery fabrics. Lots of pretty selections, and reasonablly priced (about $22/yd). They had a section of animal hides, and I have NEVER seen something so extensive, even the hides of ZEBRAS! *sob sob on that one*
Jealous you made it to Mood!!!!