I went into the weekend with a meticulously planned-out schedule, which I fully expected to throw out at some point. I actually stuck to my schedule pretty well, but if there was something else going on that I was more interested in doing or if there was an opportunity to grab some time with a blogger I like a lot, I tossed my plans and chose the face-time. I attended the Newbie Breakfast on the first day, which was lots of fun. Stacey and I sat at a table with other newbies and listened to the BlogHer founders welcome us to our first conference. I was still a little nervous until Deb on the Rocks, a BlogHer veteran, took the stage and immediately put us all at ease. She congratulated each of us on taking the initiative to come to a blogging conference, many of us alone. She told us that we were now veterans and had the hardest part--getting there in the first place--under our belts. Her words were inspiring and uplifting and made me tear up 3 times. I was so happy to get a moment to talk with Deb in the hallway after breakfast, to thank her for putting me at ease and for just being a cool person in general. (You REALLY need to read her blog if you don't already. Especially THIS post.)
The breakout sessions were a bit of a let-down for me. Maybe I chose poorly, but I didn't get as much as I'd have liked out of them. I was especially excited about the Writing Lab entitled "Stoke Your Creativity." I was a bit disappointed that most of the session turned into a discussion of writing fiction instead of blogging. I still got a lot out of the sessions I attended, but they weren't the mind-blowing educational experiences I was hoping to have. Oh, well, live and learn, right?
The Expo Hall was lots of fun and I feel like I made some good connections with some of the companies, especially the ones who make food. I did an interview for Yahoo Shine about reinventing yourself and that should be up on their site in the next week or so.
I spent a good deal of time with some mascots:
I also sampled pretty much every single food offering there was, including sausage, biscuits, cupcakes, honey, Terra chips and so much more. It was fun to see the new products and hear more about the companies. I colored a postcard to send home to Dean at the Play-Doh booth. It arrived yesterday. He is unimpressed.
I think next time I go to BlogHer, I'll do more research into the sessions. If none of them really grab my attention, I may consider doing a party pass because for me, connecting with the people was the best part.
Stay tuned....the FOOD post is coming soon!!!