I attended the BlogHer17 Conference in Orlando in June. Up until May 5th, I’d never heard of BlogHer. Amandalyn Jones of She Knows Media posted in the Houston Bloggers Union that she had 5 free tickets to attend. I quickly sent in an email, because I’m all about FREE, then went to look at exactly what it was. WOW, it just so happened to be the $400 conference that I’d glanced at the other day. I’d dismissed it because I didn’t have $400, but look at God!?
I will say that I went into BlogHer17 EXTREMELY under-prepared. I wasn’t ready for the magnitude of the conference. I should have known it was a pretty big deal when they announced Serena Williams would be keynote. I arrived to registration, and I immediately knew this conference was much bigger than I’d anticipated. I immediately regretted wearing my heels as I strolled through the magnificent hosting hotel Hilton Bonnet Creek. I walked through the Welcome to BlogHer17 sign and saw the line. Oh.Em.Gee. There were tons of people there.
Check in was super quick and seamless. I was delighted to find that I won a raffle. I chose Luvvie Ayajii’s book “I’m Judging You.” I wandered around aimlessly for a few, the got in line to grab my seat for the opening sessions.
Over the next few days, I met a ton of people – including other bloggers, brands, speakers, hotel staff, etc etc etc. There were over 2000 people in attendance. I attended some amazing segments. I’d say my favorite was the SEO session with Chloe Spencer and her father, Stephan Spencer. I’m looking forward to the free session she offered to BlogHer attendees. I didn’t realize how little I knew about SEO. I got to “meet” Carla Hall. I heard some remarkable speakers, and left with a few take aways:
- No one is judging you. I think the enemy “gifted” me that I’m Judging You book just to throw me off from the beginning. There were so many people that were willing to help. Stephanie Flor of Around the World Beauty organized a great meetup for the travel bloggers, where we chatted and talked travel. Many of the bloggers there were way more influential and established than myself, but everyone was open to sharing their experience.
- Take what YOU need from the conference. Everyone needed something different. Everyone had their own reasons for coming to BlogHer. Some people needed brand exposure, some needed help with content, some needed to narrow down a niche, while others simply needed a little motivation. What I loved about BlogHer is that you are free to experience it as you wish. You set your own schedule, and there are topics that cover anything you may need to know regarding blogging.
- Make notes on your business cards right away. You will receive ALOT of cards. After a while they began to run together. Typically, when I network, I write little notes on the cards to remember important details about the person. I didn’t do this at BlogHer, and I really wish that I had.
- Talk to EVERYONE you see. I am an introvert, and the amount of people there was a bit intimidating. I took to burying my head in my phone when I felt too overwhelmed. After seeing the comments of other people that felt the exact same way, I wish I’d stretched passed the discomfort and connected with everyone that I could.
- Be comfortable with the position that you are in. As I mentioned, everyone is at a different point in their blogging. There were people with millions of followers, and those with a hundred. We’ve got to get to the point of being OK with the process. You don’t know what that person has done to reach that level (and if you want to know, ask). Everyone has their own race to run. Run yours to the best of your ability. Be You.
I am so grateful to She Knows Media for the conference pass. I would recommend this conference to bloggers, both new and experience. While I was supplied the tickets for free, all opinions are my own..
As I mentioned, I met some AMAZING women at the conference, and I wanted to share a few favorites:
I know I forgot some people, but there were so many amazing women there. You should go next year!