|First thing I heard when I registered..."Sorry hun, we're all out of lanyards...next please!" (I told you I'd end up like Milton Waddams from Office Space, didn't I!) A fellow blogger, Aspiring Mama, felt so sorry for me that she gave me a hand-made gorgeous beaded lanyard so mine ended up being better than anyone else's! Bawhahahahaa! Thank you!|
I am back from NYC and have a huge pile of laundry to prove it!
Not only did I make it out of the bathroom - I did better than that! I had a blast. (Though some of my favorite moments were in the restroom...you can really connect with women and learn a lot about people's bowels in there!)
I'll be honest - I did not unlock the mysterious sacred code that is how to make a million dollars from a silly little humor blog...but in all honesty, I did not expect to. I did, however, thrive on the energy that everyone brought to the conference..the mixture of excitement, nerves, enlightenment, pride and the happiness that is felt knowing that everyone there 'gets' it. I wanted to recap some of the highlights for those of you who really want to know.
*Sitting in a room with over 4000 bloggers (mostly women), it struck me as to how much power we have through our voice. It was mind boggling to understand that we belong to a little microcosm of people who are willing to express, share and relate to others by putting into words what so many others are feeling. It was pretty cool to feel that power and sense of camaraderie. There is a totally relatable blog out there for EVERY situation..whether it's single parenting, being a widow, cancer, parents of sick children, remodeling your bathroom, selling your home, needing a laugh - you name it - just search for it - and BOOM instant support group.
*One simple smile can unlock a new friendship, a new life lesson, a new understanding of the struggles of others. I absolutely loved meeting new people, and understanding their life through their blog in their 10 minute chat with me. We all struggle differently..we all thrive in various ways..we are all just making our way through life. This conference reminded me that it really is a small world.
|Me and NINJAMOM...one of the funniest women I have ever met.|
*The sessions were great. It was enlightening to hear what works for other people and what their take on the best way to handle things is, however, I am a true believer that there is more than one way to do things, so as with anything, I take the applicable stuff and leave the rest that stresses me out. That probably goes for any conference that you go to.
*These are the most popular/memorable comments I received this past weekend:
-YOU CANNOT BE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE...
-THAT'S WEIRD YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE YOU ARE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE..
-YOU ARE PRETTY COOL FOR SOMEONE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE..
-WHERE DID YOU SAY YOU WERE FROM AGAIN..VERMONT WAS IT?
-CAN YOU MOVE, WE'RE TRYING TO GET A PHOTO HERE. (also see: can you take a pic of us?)
-CAN I SEE YOUR INVITATION?
-LET ME GUESS, YOU'RE ITALIAN (PRONOUNCED EYE-TALIAN)
-WHO ARE YOU AGAIN? NOPE, NEVER HEARD OF YOU...?
-SORRY, WE'RE ALL OUT OF __________(LANYARDS, SWAG, COOKIES, ETC)
-HOW MANY TWITTER FOLLOWERS DO YOU HAVE? OH.
-OH YOU'RE GREEK? I LOVE FETA CHEESE.
-ARE YOU PEOPLE I WANT TO PUNCH IN THE THROAT'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT?
|Answer: Yes. I would be her freaking assistant any day of the week. She. Is. Awesome. But alas, she wishes to remain anonymous..but I swear that is my cheek against her soft delicious hair - and my arm and hand squeezing her shoulder a little too tight. SECURITY!|
-OMG HOW IN THE WORRRLD DO YOU SAY YOUR LAST NAME?
And finally...the most popular comment...
YOU'RE FROM JERSEY, RIGHT? YOU JUST LOOK LIKE YOU'RE FROM JERSEY.
|NOOOO I'M NOT FROM NEW JERSEY!|
I decided to throw in my suggested itinerary for future blogging conferences based on my experience.
*The Underachiever's BlogHer 2013 Itinerary for Saturday*
Breakfast 7:30-8:15am: The longest, most spectacular all-you-can-eat Breakfast Bar with at least 50 urns of coffee and creamer/sugar stations so you do not have to be polite to anyone while you are waiting for them to finish stirring their damn coffee 100 times before they are content that it's mixed properly.
8:15 - 9:00 am is reserved for waiting in line in bathroom for 10 minutes while discussing constipation from conference food and/or urinary frequency or incontinence due to childbirth, aging, etc.....once finished in bathroom, the rest of the allotted time is for wandering the hallways of the massive center/hotel pretending to read signage to find where you are going, and walking around aimlessly looking for particular session room.
First Session 9:00 - 9:10: Blogging 101 Designed for up and coming new bloggers with the attention span of a gnat. Time 9:00 - 9:10 am - No question and answer period, sorry.
Vendor Stations/ Expo Center - 9:15-11:00 am: Super swag shopping mania. Grab a bag and run as fast as you can, nabbing all of the free shit your bag can hold. Do not make eye contact with any vendors, do not drop your cards in their fishbowls. Do not pass go. Do not collect their information and paperwork. Grab and Run. Go. This is a sprint AND a marathon. Three floors of all the swag you can imagine. Don't forget you'll need to sprint up the 40 flights of stairs to the special suites because taking the elevators will get you there in about 8 hours. <--you most definately want to click on that link...
Lunch: 11:00 - 12:00 Bloggers will not have to beg, borrow, steal, or elbow anyone to get a little nourishment at lunch time. There will be an endless pizza bar, salad bar, all you can eat fried foods station and countless beverages to choose from. We understand that women and food go together like peanut butter and jelly and we are not going to stand in your way.
Second Session: Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog: 12:15 - 1:00pm This is a good opportunity to sit in our comfy chairs, ready to listen, while Tweeting one liners from our speakers to pretend you are actually listening. Be sure not to make eye contact at all with anyone, but continuously tweet and mention people that are sitting right next to you.
|While we are talking about Twitter - I think I should pass along the advice I kept hearing all weekend. If you aren't on Twitter..you are living in the dark ages. Follow me @domesticgoddss and while you're at it, follow Punch, too ! @throat_punch|
Third Session: How to Get Invited to Private Parties 1:15 - 2:00 pm. - Learn the secrets about who you need to schmooze so you too can score an invite to these exclusive events. Also learn the proper form of how to carry your elite swag from private functions so that others can see you are much cooler than they are. (Ok, ok, I was totally jealous that I wasn't at any of these parties...and yes, that was me that got escorted out of the Disney Junior party when I showed up without an invite.) They had Minnie Mouse do it so I didn't cry too hard. (I should clarify - I didn't crash it or get escorted out, I'm just being funny. I did ask Minnie if it was a private party when I got to the door and saw the Disney sign and she nodded yes..she's a nice little mousey).
|Oh Toooo-dles! Show her the door - she doesn't have an invite!|
2:15pm - 3:00 pm: Supersession: What Would You Do For a Klondike Bar? - It's 2:15 pm, you are starving - this session is self-explanatory. It should be stated that you'd do anything right about now for some chocolate covered lusciousness on a stick. This conference understands that we need to be on a steady diet of fried foods, chocolate, coffee and alcohol every few hours.
|The basic food pyramid of bloggers and women everywhere.|
3:00 - 5:30pm - NAPTIME. Do not even think about skipping this. You will not make it past dinner without a nap. Schmoozing is draining, exhausting, and an absolute must for this conference. You will feel like you've been run over by a train by 3pm and your eyes will be so dry only a gallon of Visine will help. Go to your hotel room, you're grounded for 2 1/2 hours.
5:30 - 7:30pm - Dinnertime with Friends & Fashion Show- Dinner will be served promptly at 5:45. Real life bloggers will model yoga pants, tshirts and slippers - hairstyles will also be modeled - check out the ponytail, the side ponytail, the messy bun on head, the headband, and the wrap scarf.
|One of the most hysterical parts of the weekend was the Mouthy Housewives/ Aiming Low party. Talk about women after my own heart! They had a photo booth (a very tiny one) that we squeezed ourselves into while wearing all different types of props. I have drawn arrows where you can see me and/or my big hair that took up so much room you can't really see anyone else. (Also in photo: ninjamom, motherhoodwtf, let me start by saying, & hiding/choking behind/because of my hair, people I want to punch in the throat)|
7:00 - 10:00 pm - Party - Free drinks abound. Comfy couches, cell phone charging stations, and m&ms at every table. Drinks served by men in togas. Highlight of the night includes the largest cake that the cake boss can make along with goggles and ladders for anyone who wants to jump on and eat it. This is a cake for eating, not for gawking.
|At this conference, your phone is your lifeline. I highly recommend bringing your charger or buying a portable charger. You will drain your battery in no time!|
10:15 Lights out. No one has to pretend they have the stamina to stay up past 10:15. You're tired, you have dry mouth, your feet hurt, your back hurts, your head is pounding and the Spanx are cutting off your circulation giving you gas that you can't hold in anymore. Get up to your room, get the bra off and let your dogs bark. Good night.
|I packed 3 gorgeous pairs of shoes - and one pair of comfy travel shoes. Guess what I wore the entire weekend? Yup - the travel shoes. You have no idea how much you will need your feet on a weekend like this!|
That's all for me - put BlogHer 2013 Chicago on your calendar for next year. It's a brilliant meeting of the funniest women around. Bravo and Kudos to BlogHer 2012 for all of the hard work it took to make this outing so successful. Anytime you have that many women in one room and no casualties, you are doing something REALLY right.
More info on Chicago 2013 - http://www.blogher.com/blogher-13-heading-back-midwest-chicago-here-we-come Take my advice. Sign up EARLY.