Being a newbie to BlogHer I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I will say that everything that I “thought” I had expected was exceeded. Heading back to Chicago already filled me with excitement, since I used to live there. There’s something about that city that draws me in and makes me never want to leave – it truly is magnificent. And the events of the week and weekend made the experience one that I won’t soon forget.
My co-worker and I ventured to BlogHer to represent Wanderful Media and Find&Save, learn more about the blogging community and meet the amazing women that drive the industry.
From the moment we touched down at Chicago O’Hare, the BlogHer presence was known! It was in the airport, on street flags and even on the evening news. The conference took place at McCormick Place, which fun fact, has 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space – we’re talking MASSIVE!
The flow of the show was perfect for newbies, such as ourselves, and offered up opportunity after opportunity to get to know your peers, and I must say that I’ve never seen so many smiling faces in one room before – it was refreshing! The conference kicked off with their “Evening at the Expo” party, which allowed sponsors, like ourselves, and bloggers to mingle, browse the exhibits and even get a manicure – champagne included.
The first day of the conference started at the crack of dawn and concluded into the start of Saturday. I don’t know where all of these hard-working ladies got their energy from, but they gave me a run for my money. The sessions catered to everyone’s needs – from basic marketing courses such as, contests on social, to advance presentations on how to grow and monetize email lists. BlogHer attendees were educated in all areas of expertise.
Now on to the celebrities… Friday’s keynote speakers included The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) and Silicon Valley author Guy Kawasaki. Saturday’s lineup packed just as big of a punch with Facebook COO and Lean In’s Sheryl Sandberg, and a Makers and Creators discussion with Brit Morin (Brit + Co.), Majora Carter (Majora Carter Group), Randi Zuckerberg (Dot Complicated) and Lisa Donovan (Makers Studios and YouTube star).
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Randi Zuckerberg of Dot Complicated
To close out the show the BlogHer women had to keep up with tradition by entertaining guests with the 2nd Annual BlogHer Fashion Show, followed by the famous CheeseburgHer party. I heard through bloggers that it simply started out as a few women grabbing McDonald’s cheeseburger meals at the end of a long day, they turned it into a slumber party and now a tradition is born.
So much was packed into, in such a short amount of time, but it seemed that for most, this was their time to unwind, catch up with friends and educate themselves in areas they may not have explored or fine tuned yet.
To everyone that I came into contact with, thank you for being gracious enough to chat with us – the response we received when explaining Find&Save was extremely positive. Now for a moment that was just as gratifying – seeing attendees walking around with our shopping bags. It was awesome! They were foldable and insanely practical. I’ve learned after half a year in California that you must carry reusable shopping bags on you at all times, seriously.
It was hard to not leave the conference inspired, empowered and ready to write! I truly hope I get to return next year.
I would also like to extend a HUGE thank you to the ladies at Madame Deals Media and Frugal Diva Frenzy for inviting us to their wonderful events!
Until next time BlogHer…
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